If you think that doing business in Italy is not an easy affair, you are right. I happened on a site called "Doing Business" that "provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 178 countries and selected cities at the subnational and regional level"and thought I would share the page on Italy.
Overall Italy currently ranks number 53 for "Ease of doing business", slipping three places from last year. The sub-areas that slipped positions the most this year include: ease in trading across borders, getting credit and starting a business. Ranked n. 1 overall was Singapore, followed by New Zealand and the U.S.. Italy is tucked in between Botswana (n. 51), Mongolia (n. 52) and "St Vincent and the Grenadines" (n. 54).
Without getting into the details (you can just "click" above, if the subject is of interest), it is enough to say that it was no surprise to find that "time" (sometimes twice as many days) and "costs" (up to 3 or even 4 times the OECD average for some procedures) stood out as the culprits.
Oh well, in the meantime, I'm picking up coaching clients worldwide via Skype and phone -- one way to avoid it all is to move up and out into cyberspace! Not many folk out there taking on the daunting task of Doing Business in Italy...