The distribution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes in Italy was investigated by PCR amplification of the E1 region and hybridization with type I- and type II-specific nonisotopic probes. Positive PCR results were obtained for 65 of 72 patients (90.3%). Type I was detected in 13 of 72 patients (18%), type II was detected in 39 patients (54.2%), and a mixed type I-type II infection was detected in 7 patients (9.7%). Six amplification products not classified by this method shared a low level of homology with HCV types I and II. HCV type I was significantly associated with human immunodeficiency virus, whereas HCV type II was detected in older subjects who were negative for human immunodeficiency virus markers. These results indicate different epidemiological distributions of HCV types I and II in Italy.