The mayor of Rome has registered 16 gay marriages performed overseas.
Same-sex marriage is illegal in Italy and local officials have been warned that any marriages registered will be voided.
However friends and family gathered delightedly on Saturday to celebrate the couples’ marriages being written down in the city’s ledger.
Groom Fabrizio Maffero said: “This is a signal of disobedience in 2014, this is the reason why we have joined this ceremony, because it is really crazy that there is such a turmoil over two people in love.”
Bride Marilena Grassadonia added: “In legal terms it does not change much, but at the social level it changes things dramatically. As our mayor said, today is a special day, but it would be nice if soon it could became a normal day, like any other.”
For many it was a controversial move, and dozens of people gathered outside to protest against the mayor’s decision which they say breaches the country’s constitution.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has previously said he will put forward legislation to allow gay marriage.