The orders of merit awarded by the Italian government are:
- Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Military Order of Italy
- Order of Merit for Labour
- Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity
- Order of Vittorio Veneto
In view of its social value, one should also mention the Star of Merit for Labour, which is an honourable distinction but not a veritable order.
The large number of Orders in Italy and the complex rules of international law make it extremely difficult to identify them and authorise their use in Italy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also created a “Study Group on Non-National Knighthoods”(for explanations refer to specific legislation: Circular of Italian Defence Ministry M_D GMIL III 104/0541891). Sanctions are envisaged for unlawful orders and awards.
In the diplomatic world, Heads of Mission are awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic subject to reciprocity terms and, in general, all diplomats are awarded the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity.