We have been selling direct to the public at racetracks in most European countries for a number of years. As it is normally only once a year in each country we have always been below the Vat threshold.
As we have always been below the threshold we do not pay any Vat on the income. We also do not reclaim any Vat on the purchase price of the products sold or any other purchases, hotels fuel etc.
The authorities at Monza are saying that for this year we need to have an Italian VAT number, Italian bank etc, has something changed?
Are you a member of the FSB or a local UKTI group? These are often a very good place to start with this sort of enquiry. Alternatively, many of my clients join LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) to use the advice groups on there.
Hope this is of help.