From North to South, there are several cities that will ask for your contribution during your hotel/self-catering/B&B stay on their territory. Introduced with the Tax Federalism Act of 2011, the tourist tax is the tax set directly by the Municipality of reference, which decides the amount and the methods of application.
For example, there are cities where this applies only to some categories of hotels, while in others only for high season periods. There is no obligation to apply; each city is free to decide whether to make its tourists pay a contribution. There are over 1000 municipalities where this tax is due;
The tourist tax is a tax that must be paid per person for each night of your stay. A contribution that tourists pay directly to the accommodation used during their holiday. This tax has variable costs depending on the municipality and is collected by hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels and campsites. Even for Airbnb customers, the fee is now mandatory when renting a room or an apartment.
To date, the tourist tax depends on various factors such as the number of stars and nights spent in the hotel. Generally, the amount of tourist tax ranges from €1 to €5 per day per person.
Each Municipality can decide independently not only the rate that the tourist has to pay per day but also for how many days it applies. For example, in large cities, it ranges from €3 to €7 in Rome and from €2 to €5 in Milan, while Florence has decided for €5 a day per person down to €1 if you sleep in a farmhouse or bed-and-breakfast.
The fee can be paid in cash or by card, at the end of the stay, directly to the tourist facility manager, who must issue a nominative payment receipt (keeping the copy as normal), or enter the relative amount on the invoice showing it as “VAT free charge”.
The tourist tax is applicable also to those who have paid their holiday through their tour operator or travel agent in their own country.
They are normally exempt from paying the tourist tax:
children up to 10 or 14 years;
carers of disabled people or those in serious health conditions;
patients and carers admitted to health facilities;
Where do I pay the tourist tax?
In 2011, there were only 13 Municipalities claiming the tourist tax from tourists. Over the years, more and more mayors have taken advantage of this tool, also because it is one of the few taxes that does not impact directly on the citizens’ pockets.
In cities, such as in Matera, the tourist tax rates have doubled: €2 for two and three-star hotels and €4 for 4-to-5-star hotels.
But in which cities do you pay the most? Looking at the ranking of Italian cities with the highest tourism tax, we find Rome in the first position, followed by Venice, Florence and Milan.
In the Italian capital, a family comprising a father, a mother and a child over the age of 10, staying in a 3-star hotel for 3 days spends €24, €17.50 in Venice, €14 in Florence, €12 in Milan and Viareggio, €8 in Bologna and €6 in Naples.
In Sicily, the most expensive tourism tax is in Palermo, with a tax of 0.50 cents per night per person in a 1-star hotel and up to €3 a night in the most luxurious facilities.
To give you a more precise idea, here is a table showing the tax amounts (we have selected only a part of the Municipalities where it applies):
Location € 5-star 4-star 3-star
AGRIGENTO 3,00 3.00 2.00
ALBEROBELLO 1.00 1.00 0.80
BOLOGNA 5.00 5.00 5.00
CAPRI 1.50 1.50 1.50
CATANIA 2.50 1.50 1.50
CEFALU′ 1.00 1.00 1.00
ISCHIA 4.00 3.00 2.00
LAKE COMO 2.50 2.50 2.50
LAKE MAGGIORE 2.50 1.50 1.00
LAKE GARDA 2.00 1.00 1.00
LECCE 3.00 2.00 2.00
MILANO 5.00 4.00 3.00
MATERA 4.00 4.00 2.00
NAPOLI 4.50 3.50 2.50
OTRANTO 2.00 2.00 1.50
OSTUNI 2.00 2.00 1.50
RAVELLO 4.00 3.00 2.00
ROMA 7.00 6.00 4.00
SORRENTO 4.00 3.00 1.50
TORINO 5.00 3.70 2.80