Holidaying in Rome

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Colosseum in Rome

Colosseum in Rome

The threats to our wallets whilst holidaying or travelling come in many forms including pickpockets and fraudsters. These are mostly small time but government pickpocketing is the largest threat and the one we can do nothing about.

Yesterday, Rome more than doubled its tax on accommodation in some cases.

Even if you booked months ago, expect to pay the new costs which are as follows. For a five star hotel the fee is now €7 per night per person; (before yesterday it was €3) for 4*- €6, for 3* – €4 and for 2* and 1*- €3. It will cost €4 for farm stays and residences, €3.50 for houses, apartments and holiday homes and €2 for camping sites and those areas that allow caravans/mobile homes and camper vans to be parked overnight.

But as a benefit to tourists, the authorities have said you will only be charged for up to ten overnight stays in a calendar year if you stop in a hotel, guest house or residence and for only five days if is outdoors.

For the majority of us that won’t apply but if it does then keep every receipt because I think you will have a hard time persuading hoteliers that you shouldn’t pay because you have already used your quota of 10 days!

Tourism companies were given just five weeks’ notice of these changes and are, understandably, aggrieved as this will dampen business at least initially. As I have written before, this means that you should like at the costs of staying outside the tax area and consider travelling in each day particularly if you are taking others with you. Most people would just opt for up to a week in Rome. Seven days will now cost €70 per person which is a considerable sum to have to find.

Last year the city council made €56 million from this tax and expects to make €110 million this year. For 2015, it makes no forecast but if tourism holds up then €200 million is not outside the realms of possibility. And what do we, the visitor, get for this? Better signage, better policing in tourist popular areas? More staff to reduce queuing times? Better preservation of Rome’s heritage?

Will Venice and Florence be far behind? I cannot believe so particularly if tourism numbers hold up.

The cynic in me says that the funds will go into central coffers and who knows where it will go then.

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