In January 2011, Rome introduced a new tax on accommodation, amounting from 1 to 5 euros per person per night, depending on the type of lodging. The move was quickly followed by Florence and Venice. Not to be undone, Naples, Sorrento, Ancona and Catania jumped on the pipeline to implement similar taxes. In the foreseeable future the list will get longer as more towns will find that they, too, need to fill their coffers with tourist coins.
In Rome the required contribution is going toward repairing and restoring famous landmarks and in Venice to save the island from the rising sea. Florence and the other cities have yet to determine what they will do with the money.
Each town puts its own spin on the tax. The Venice fee is seasonal and children under 10 are free, while Rome is charging anyone over 2. Exceptions are made for guests over 75 in Massa Lubrense. The amount also varies according to hotel star rating. In Florence, be prepared to pay 2 euros for a 2-star hotel and up to 5 euros for a 5 star hotel. And to confuse you even more some cities have a maximum number of taxable nights.
In the grand scheme of things, adding a few euros to a trip that costs several thousands could seem like a small thing but it is definitely something to be aware of when you estimate your travel budget. A family of 2 adults and 2 teenagers can expect to pay, for a 3 night stay in 3 star hotels in the classic cities of Venice, Florence and Rome, a total of 117 euros or approximately $117.
Payment is made directly to the hotel, either upon arrival or check out and often in cash. Anyone traveling to Italy is advised to conduct an advance check on the web with the relevant city tourist board. Expect to pay in every iconic and picturesque town of the land.
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