Italian architects are apprehensive about the arrival of a new generation of graduates who have completed a three-year university course instead of the five years' training required to practise.
The three-year degrees lead to the architetto junior qualification, which enables holders to practice in a limited capacity.
But the National Council of Architects, which controls authorisation to practise, views the new degree with suspicion.
It argues that a three-year degree is too short and that its holders could compete with the five-year graduates in what is already an overcrowded market.
Italy's universities turn out more than a third of Europe's architects. It has more than 123,000 registered architects, one in every 480 Italians.
There is also competition from hundreds of thousands of geometri - registered draughtsmen-surveyors who are authorised to direct small projects.
The junior architects cannot direct a major building project but they can undertake minor modifications, restorations and redecorations that do not involve major structural alteration.
Opposition to the three-year architecture degree is backed by the Conference of Directors of European Architecture Schools.