In Moscow, the largest May Day contingent on the streets was reportedly a trades union federation that supports President Vladimir Putin.
The unions said 20,000 people gathered on the traditional workers’ festival- they demanded the minimum wage be raised to allow for the cost of living.
Other cities such as Vladivostock in the east saw large communist rallies but in Moscow police put their number at 9,000.
In general fewer people attended May Day rallies in Russia, partly because Orthodox Christians are celebrating their Easter.
In Naples in the south of Italy, the traditional demonstration called by the major unions was centred on the district of Scampia.
It has seen deadly fighting between rival clans within the local mafia, known as the “camorra”. Protestors denounced the violence.