The Italian Almanac

hotel room

Italian News - September 26

Tourists visiting Rome may have to pay a nightly bed tax to offset the costs of maintaining one of the world's most popular destinations. A nightly charge of between 1 and 3, depending on the price of the room, has been proposed as a way of aiding the Eternal City's finances, which are struggling under a national cap on public spending. Similar schemes operate in France and Germany.

The tourist tax is one of several proposals to help pay for such things as maintaining and restoring the capital's many historic monuments, including St Peter's basilica, above; cleaning the city; underwriting the cost of transport and paying for cultural events. Another suggestion is for Rome to take a share of VAT charged on goods and services.

"This is a problem all the 'art' cities of Italy face," said Marco Causi, the deputy mayor in charge of Rome's finances. "We do a lot for tourists, but not one cent of their money remains in the territory." Mr Causi said he favoured the "more efficient" VAT-share idea, but that a tourist tax would also be discussed.