8 June 2020 | Information about access to Assisi’s Basilica of San Francesco during COVID-19 has been added.
30 March 2020 | The section Access and mobility has been updated with information about coach access in Naples.
26 November 2019 | The section on Attractions has been updated with information about free entrance days in 2020.
If you have updated information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two types of tourist tax are levied on visitors:
- tassa/imposta di soggiorno for visitors staying overnight in commercial accommodation
- contributo/tassa di sbarco for day visitors to small islands (and Venice, though it is not yet implemented there)
Please click on the right hand banner to find out rates and further information.
Access and Mobility
Updated 30 March 2020
Current coach access plan can be found here.
Intended coach access plan from June 2020 (not confirmed)
The city of Naples banned access to the historical centre for tourist coaches from Christmas 2019 until 5 February 2020.
It has been proposed that this ban may be implemented again from April 2020. However, our understanding is that the decision has been delayed due to COVID-19. If the ban is implemented, this will not commence until June 2020. We will be update this page accordingly when more information is available.
You can read about the proposal and exceptions here.
If the proposal is to be implemented, note some exceptions of the ban:
- Coaches with less than 9 seats;
- Coaches with more than 9 seats that accompany and collect customers from hotels, railway, port and airports;
- Coaches with more than 9 seats that accompany school groups on a trip to museums, theaters or events;
To obtain authorization, please note that it is mandatory to forward the request to the ANM email box (email@example.com) using the forms available for download on the ANM website. We advise groups to carry confirmation of reservations/tickets at all time. We have been informed that school groups must bring a student verification letter on letterhead with date of the confirmed visit as well as the confirmation of the booking.
These attractions are selected due to high demand and/or operational issues. If you think we should include others, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attractions located in Rome can be found here.
Attractions located in Venice can be found here.
Attractions located in Florence can be found here.
If you are a member attraction of ETOA and would like your attraction featured on this page, please contact email@example.com.
Free entrance days 2020
It has been announced by Beniculturali (current ministry of tourism) that all museums and monuments managed by them will be free to visit on the first Sunday of each month. The current information is ambiguous as some official pages mention the first Sunday of every month, while other pages confirm that this is only applicable January-March and October-December. When we have more information and clarification, we will publish it here.
COVID-19: June 2020
Information (in Italian) about restrictions to visit the basilica until further notice can be found here. Some of the measurements include:
- Maximum 25 in a group including guide
- Mandatory to wear a mask
- Temperature check and disinfection mandatory at entrance
A booking fee is applicable for groups visiting the Basilica, regardless if the visit is guided or not. More information here.
For non-guided visits, the fee is €1.00 per person, which must be paid online.
It is currently also possible to pay the fee at the Information Office, located off the Lower Plaza of the Basilica, but we have been informed this may change; we will monitor the situation closely.
The visit must not exceed 35 minutes.
The fee is €2.00 for guided groups with own radio-headset and €2.50 for guided groups without radios (as they receive the headsets from the basilica).
Guiding in Italy is a regulated profession and EU nationals who intend to provide guiding services in Italy on a ‘temporary and occasional basis’ must submit a prior declaration before entering the country. Different rules apply if individuals are established in Italy or wish to move to Italy and provide guiding services. Please click here to read more about the EU directive.
In 2019 a few incidents of fines being imposed on members’ guides have been reported. This includes a guide being fined €83 in April in Venice for not wearing a visible ID card. In July a guide was fined €3000 for accompanying a group from the coach to the entrance to the city centre in Amalfi. We have also had reports on tour guides being checked at Cinque Terre. Incidents of harassment from local guides in various places in Italy (e.g. Matera) have also been reported.
ETOA is working closely with its Italian lawyer to monitor the situation. There is a clear difference between the information available on the EU database, the national requirements/legislation and local authorities’ interpretation of these, and related enforcement practice.
Due to the apparent complexity, we strongly recommend members operating in Italy to read the below sections carefully to minimise the risk of interference on tour and fines.
While it does not have legal force, we recommend that operator members sign up to the ETOA Tour Guide ID card scheme, which offers their contracted guides a visible ID card, serving as an evidence of their profession and status when working as a tour guide across Europe. This has proven to be useful. Please click the link in the right side of the page to learn more about the ID card and how to sign up.
Please contact us if you would like to hear more about guiding in Italy.
Italy regulates both guida turistica and accompagnatore turistico and defines them in such a way that their activities are mutually exclusive, despite that being contrary to actual practice and business requirements.
Individuals established in Italy may risk a fine if they do not hold a patentino for one of the above professions.
According to the EU database of regulated professions, those holding a patentino as an accompagnatore may provide “significant news and information concerning transit zones which are interesting from touristic point of view and do not belong to the scope of competence of the tourist guide.”
The description of a guida turistica in the EU database, which refers to a 1983 Italian framework law on tourism that has since been repealed, states: “A tourist guide is a professional who accompanies individuals or groups of people visiting museums, galleries, archaeological sites and illustrates historical sites, artworks, monuments or any other cultural or natural heritage. Tourist guides’ activities include organizing itineraries and welcoming tourists, with the purpose of guiding them through visits of the cultural and natural heritage sites of a certain area.”
Italy is the most problematic country in this respect due to legal uncertainty and the gulf between practice and policy.
Despite the national legislation being clear – only EU nationals providing services as guida turistica should send a prior declaration before providing their services on a temporary and occasional basis – some local authorities are starting to require the declaration for EU nationals providing services as an accompagnatore.
ETOA therefore highly recommends all tour guides, regardless of their guiding role, to submit this prior declaration ‘dichiarazione preventiva’.
This section is applicable for EU citizens not established in Italy
All Tour Guides (guida turistica), according to EU law, who intend to provide their professional services, on a temporary and occasional basis, must have completed and sent, before entering Italy, a ‘prior declaration’.
The form is available via the following: Dichiarazione Preventiva.
The prior declaration allows authorities to assess if the professional meets the requirements, e.g. having a relevant qualification, or experience of performing the service in their own EU country of establishment for at least one year in the last ten.
Although the prior declaration must be sent only if the professional is intending to provide services as a guida turistica, it has been reported that local authorities are also requesting this for EU nationals providing services as an accompagnatore.
To minimise risks for fines and tour interference, we therefore recommend all tour guides established in another EU country to send the ‘dichiarazione preventiva’ before entering the country.
It must be sent 30 days before arrival, either via post or email (the addresses are on the form) and should include the documents required. The declaration must be renewed as necessary on a yearly basis.
Timely submission of the Dichiarazione Preventiva should provide a strong defensive argument in case of a fine imposed on the basis that an individual is guiding without a licence.
In order to avoid a fine, professional should be able to provide documentary evidence that the Dichiarazione Preventiva was sent at least 30 days before arrival.
For more information from the Italian Ministry responsible, see here.
It is recommended that all Tour Guides not established in Italy should always travel with below documents when leading groups in Italy:
- A full copy of the ‘dichiarazione preventiva’, duly signed
- including all the documents attached to it
- including a receipt proving that the declaration was sent in time by registered mail or evidence that the email had been received and read by the Italian administration
- ETOA ID card or company membership ID card (if issued)
- A document, signed by a legal representative of the Tour Operator, stating:
- The commercial name of the Tour Operator
- The name of the Managing Director of the company
- The country of establishment of the Tour Operator
- The full personal details of the Tourist Guide/Tour Manager
- The nature of the work relationship between the parties (for example self-employed)
- The details of the liability insurer for the company
- The itinerary of the tour
- The number of tourists participating
The local law enforcement authorities (Polizia, Guardia di Finanza, Carabinieri, Polizia Municipale, Polizia Provinciale) may approach and check if Tour Guides have the correct documentation to lead groups.
To avoid a fine the EU Tour Guide must be able to provide documentary evidence that the Dichiarazione Preventiva has been sent within the said timeframe.
In case the Tour Guide receives a fine despite having sent the Dichiarazione Preventiva, the Tour Guide can oppose it within 30 days (counting from the day the fine has been inflicted/notified). The fine can only be opposed if it has not been paid.
If the Tour Guide receives a fine, the below steps should be followed:
- The law enforcement authorities must release a copy of the fine to the Tour Guide, otherwise it will be impossible to oppose it.
- The Tour Guide must immediately send their Tour Operator a readable copy of the fine along with a short report, which should include whether the Tour Guide did send the Dichiarazione Preventiva or not.
- Within 48 hours following the fine, the Tour Operator should send a legible copy of the document received by the Italian authorities to ETOA. This will enable ETOA and our local Italian legal partners to assist in opposing the fine. Please, use the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that this is only possible for ETOA members, not individual guides. In practice, ETOA may connect operator directly with a local lawyer.
Be aware that, in a number of regions (e.g. Sicily, Veneto) the local/regional laws expressly forbid the simultaneous provision of services as a guida turistca and accompagnatore. Therefore, the guide should avoid any suggestion that they are carrying our both jobs at the same time.
Public holidays and opening hours
Italy has 11 national holidays per year, called I giorni festivi. Furthermore, regions have their own holidays celebrating specific local patron saints.
Most businesses will be closed on public holidays.
Business hours in Italy are generally 08:00/09:00 to 13:00 and again 15:00 to 17:00/18:00 Monday to Friday. Contacting government and authorities can generally be done from 08:00 to 14:00 Monday to Friday.
|1 January||New Year’s Day|
|25 April||Liberation from Nazi-fascism|
|Between 22 March and 25 April||Easter Monday|
|1 May||Labour Day|
|2 June||Republic Day|
|1 November||All Saints|
|8 December||Immaculate Conception|
|25 December||Christmas Day|
|26 December||Saint Stephen|
More information can be found here.
Most businesses will follow Saturday working hours if the regional holiday falls on a week day. The major local holidays are:
|25 April||Venice celebrating St. Mark|
|24 June||Florence, Genoa, Turin celebrating St. John|
|29 June||Rome celebrating St. Peter and St. Paul|
|7 September||Milan celebrating St. Ambrose|
|19 September||Naples celebrating St. Januarius|
If you are placing business in one of the above cities during a local holiday, it may affect you.
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