I am going for a week on a business trip to Italy. I want to take my wife along with me. What visa does she need to apply for? And do you have a sample cover letter as she is not employed, and I will be the sponsor.
Assuming your wife needs a visa, and assuming that she will not be in the Schengen area for more than 90 days, she needs to apply for a Schengen visa from Italy. The application asks for the "main purpose of the journey"; she can choose tourism. If she prefers, she can choose other and write that she is accompanying you on your business visit.
The cover letter should be very simple. The point is to present any information that is not conveyed by the application itself. If there is no such information, you may not need a cover letter at all.
Whether or not there is a cover letter, it is probably a good idea to include a list of attachments, that is, of documents that you are including with your application.
(If you are a citizen of the EU, an EEA country, or Switzerland, your wife's visa should be free of charge and the documentary requirements for the application are reduced.)
You can draft a simple cover letter for your wife stating that she will be travelling on tourism and accompanying her husband who is on a business trip. Since she is not employed, she as well needs to specify that you will be her sponsor and attach all your finance documents, in her visa application and mention the same in cover letter, that she is attaching husband's finance documents in her visa application. She would also be required to provide your accomodation details along with her visa application(if private or hotel etc.).
Will be good if you can cary some evidence of your mairrage(Please ignore this, if either of you already have spouse name specified in the passport)
Follow my tryst with Schengen visa officials for similar scenario for Belgium visit here