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The tourist tax on accommodation. What is it and in which Italian cities do you pay it?

The tourist tax on accommodation. What is it and in which Italian cities do you pay it?

An unpleasant surprise if you are coming on holiday to Italy: the tourist tax on accommodation. What is it and in which Italian cities do you pay it?

It happens very often that tourists (especially foreigners) that come on vacation to Italy, have to face an unpleasant surprise when they go to pay their hotel or B&B room at the checkout. In fact, the hotel/B&B staff will ask them to pay, in addition to the price for their room, a tax of which most tourists are absolutely unaware: the tourist tax.

The tourist tax was introduced by the law on fiscal federalism (Legislative Decree  March 14, 2011, n0. 23) with the intention of financing public policy on tourism. Italian municipalities are entitled to apply a tax on tourists’ stays in hotels, bed & breakfasts, holiday homes, cottages, campsites, etc.. The amount of the tax ranges from € 1 to € 5 per day per person depending on the type and “luxury level” of the facility (except in the case of Rome where it is up to € 7 per day in 5-star hotels).

Therefore, the amount of the tourist tax, which a tourist staying in an Italian hotel/B&B etc. will have to pay to the hotel/B&B etc. (the facility will then transfer the sum to the municipality) at the time of the checkout, is not fixed but is calculated according to the rate decided by each municipality.

For example, the fees that a tourist will have to pay if he/she stays in a hotel in the city of Rome are the following:

a) € 3.00 per day per person in 1-star hotels;
b) € 3.00 per day per person in 2-star hotels;
c) € 4.00 per day per person in 3-star hotels;
d) € 6.00 per day per person in 4-star hotels;
e) € 7.00 per day per person in 5-star hotels.
For a bed and breakfast or a house (e.g. Airbnb) in the city of Rome, there is a € 3.50 fee per day per person, while for an agriturismo there is a € 4.00 fee per day per person.

The tourist tax can be paid in cash or by card, and the accommodation must issue a payment receipt.

So, if, for example, a couple stays in a 4-star hotel in Rome for two nights, in addition to the cost of the hotel room, the couple will have to pay an extra € 24 (€ 6x2x2= € 24).

However, there are some exemptions, that for the city of Rome are the following (they generally apply to other cities as well):

  • those who reside in the city;
  • children up to 10 years of age;
  • those who stay at youth hostels;
  • bus drivers and tour leaders for every 23 participants;
  • people who are ill and one caregiver for a patient admitted to a health facility;
  • parents accompanying their children under the age of 18 who are admitted to a medical facility;
  • State Police and other armed forces personnel who are carrying out activities of public order and security.

For students and workers who stay overnight, even non-continually, for prolonged periods of time, to attend study courses or for work reasons the fee is applied up to a maximum of ten overnight stays in the calendar year, as long as the student or worker stays in the same accommodation facility. In order to benefit from this exemption, the student/worker must document the reason for their stay.

The tourist tax which already must be paid in major Italian tourist centers, such as Milan, Rome, Florence, Naples, Turin, Venice, starting from January 1, 2018, will be extended to other smaller municipalities including Todi, Assisi, Pompeii, Paestum, and later on in the year to Portofino, Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure and many others.

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