It is compulsory to have your pet microchipped and vaccinated against rabies (in that order), using a suitable inactivated vaccine. After the first rabies vaccination at least 21 days must pass before you can depart for Italy. An EU Pet Passport in accordance to European Regulation 998/2003 is also a requirement. This can be issued directly from your approved veterinary surgeon.
There is no quarantine for pets arriving in Italy, but they do need to have a health certificate (preferably in both English and Italian), issued by an approved veterinary surgeon. Dogs and cats need a rabies vaccination not less than 21 days before departure or more than 11 months, prior to the date of issue of the health certificate. Pets under the age of 3 months (12 weeks) are exempt but must have a health certificate as well as a certificate stating that no cases of rabies have occurred for at least six months in the local area. It is forbidden to bring animals less than 3 months old and not vaccinated for rabies.
UK pet owners are required to complete an Application for a Ministry Export Certificate for Dogs, Cats and Rabies Susceptible Animals (form EXA1), available from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Animal Health (International Trade) Area 201, 1A Page Street, London SW1P 4PQ, UK (0870-241 1710). An export health certificate is valid for 30 days. Animals may be examined at the Italian port of entry by a veterinary officer.