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Tourism For Members

What is Italy’s 'tourist tax' and where do you need to pay it?

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected]
What is Italy’s 'tourist tax' and where do you need to pay it?
Tourists are pictured as they approach a water bus stop in Venice. Photo by ANDREA PATTARO / AFP

Whether you're staying in a big city, a seaside holiday spot or an Alpine resort, when visiting Italy there’s a good chance you’ll have to pay a 'tourist tax' on top of your accommodation bill.

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What is the 'tourist tax'?

Italy's 'tourist tax', also known as imposta di soggiorno, is a charge imposed by some Italian cities on visitors staying in local accommodation establishments (hotels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, hostels, campsites, etc.).

The idea behind the charge is that visitors use services during their trip that are partly paid for by local residents' taxes and the imposta di soggiorno passes on some of that cost to tourists themselves.

The collected funds are earmarked for services that benefit both tourists and locals, such as maintaining the city centre, running public transport, putting on cultural events or offering free wifi.

Where do I have to pay it?

Local authorities have the right to decide whether or not to charge the tourist tax.

In 2011, when the tax was first introduced, only 13 comuni (town councils) applied the tax, whereas well over 1,000 imposed it in 2023.

Though there’s no exhaustive list of Italian comuni currently charging the tax, most big cities, including Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Milan, and tourist hotspots around the country (Gallipoli, Sorrento, Ischia, Cortina, etc.) have it in place.  

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If you’re unsure on whether or not the city or town you’re planning on staying in charges the tourist tax, it’s generally advisable to look for an imposta di soggiorno item in the tributi (taxes) section of the local comune website – or alternatively run a Google search of this sort: comune di [town] + imposta di soggiorno + relevant year.

Pitti square, Florence

A view of Pitti square in Florence in June 2013. Photo by CLAUDIO GIOVANNINI / AFP

Who has to pay?

Barring local residents, anyone staying in an accommodation establishment (this goes for hotels, B&Bs, holiday homes, campsites, hostels, etc.) in a city that applies the tourist tax must pay the charge.

This applies to both foreign nationals and Italian citizens.

Children under a certain age are generally exempt from the tourist tax, though the age limit varies from city to city – for instance, it’s 18 in Milan, 12 in Florence and 10 in Rome.

Other exemptions may include elderly guests, guests with disabilities, hospital patients and their carers, students, or tour guides. 

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How much is it? 

The exact rates of Italy’s tourist tax are entirely at the discretion of local authorities, which is why you can expect to be charged different amounts in different parts of Italy. 

Further, rates generally change based on the type of accommodation, with higher tariffs in place for guests staying in luxury establishments.

For instance, this is an overview of Rome’s tourist tax rates per night:

  • One-star hotels: €4
  • Two-star hotels: €5
  • Three-star hotels: €6
  • Four-star hotels: €7,50
  • Five-star hotels: €10
  • B&Bs: €6
  • Agriturismi (holiday farmhouses): €6
  • Hostels: €3.50
  • Campsites: €3

These rates refer to a single guest, which means that a couple staying seven nights in a three-star hotel should expect to add €84 – (€6 x 2) x 7 – to their accommodation bill.

Most local authorities set a cap on how many nights are taxed. For example, Rome will only tax the first ten days of your stay (or five days in the case of campsites), while in Florence the limit is seven nights.

Rome, Colosseum

A tourist takes a picture during a visit to Rome's Colosseum in February 2021. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

Furthermore, some cities lower their tourist tax rates in the low season. For instance, the tourist charge for a four-star hotel in Venice is €4,50 per guest from February 1st to December 31st, and €3,10 from January 1st to January 31st.

It’s worth noting that tourist tax rates and regulations can change fairly frequently, so it’s always best to check the relevant comune website to get the most up-to-date information.

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How do I pay the tourist tax?

Guests pay the tourist tax directly to their accommodation structure, which is responsible for declaring it and sending it to the local authorities. 

If you've booked directly with your accommodation, they'll in most cases include it in your accommodation bill. 

If you've booked via a tour operator or third-party booking site, you may have to pay the tax separately to your host before the end of your stay.

In all cases however, the tax should be clearly marked on your bill or documented with a receipt if paid separately.

As of February 15th 2024, in some 1,200 comuni around Italy, Airbnb automatically collects the tourist tax on behalf of hosts at the time of booking. In the remaining comuni, collection is still up to hosts, though the process should be automatised for the entire country by the end of the year. 

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