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Taxes Up in Rome’s Luxury Hotels

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A hotel in Rome (photo courtesy Perillo Tours)

A hotel in Rome (photo courtesy Perillo Tours)

Thanks to a change in Roman law, luxury hotels in Rome just got pricier. Italian lawmakers recently approved a new lodging tax, hiking fees for five-star and four-star hotels from 3 to 7 € and 6€, respectively (approximately $4 to $9 and $8), per person per night. Previously, guests staying at one-, two-, or three-star hotels incurred a €2 € tax; now, that tax has risen to 3€ ($4) for one- and two-star hotels, 3.50€ ($4.50) for bed and breakfasts and apartment rentals, and 4€ ($5.25) for three-star hotels.

Guests staying in hostels are exempt from the tax, as are children at some hotels; however, many hostels in Rome are officially registered as B&Bs, so visitors may find themselves paying the tax at some hostels. The change in hotel taxation (tassa di soggiorno) took effect Sept. 1, 2014. The initial hotel tax took effect in 2011 and was intended to fund restoration efforts for the city’s beloved and ancient attractions, including repairs and maintenance, to preserve and protect the Eternal City against wear and tear from millions of tourists.

Tour operators are criticizing the new charges, saying that, because the Italian government issued only five weeks’ notice for the change, tour companies must now ask clients to pay more money to cover the taxes — which would upset travelers — or pay the extra money themselves.

“The reactions from clients have been very negative: we have become the most expensive city in Europe, just think that in Paris the tax is 1.50€, in London there is no tax,” the president of Italian hotel and tourism association Federalberghi, Giuseppe Roscioli, told Wanted in Rome.

We still think Rome is well worth visiting!

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Kathy is the founder of the award-winning subscription travel newsletter Dream of Italy, and a noted Italy travel expert. Kathy’s travel advice has been quoted in USA TODAY, BusinessWeek, U.S. News + World Report and on ABC News, among others. Follow Kathy and Dream of Italy on Facebook and Twitter.