Thursday, April 22, 2010

Italy Vacation Home Ownership Information for Non-Natives

Vacation homeownership involves additional complexities when you're a non-native. In Italy, these 3 categories account for about 99% of the accommodation-based businesses started by expatriates or non-native Italians. 
1) Bed & Breakfast
Bed and Breakfast is the most popular choice - partly because it is so easy to set up. You only need to visit the comune office (local town hall) and declare the start up of the activity and the prices you plan to charge. The regulations that apply to B&Bs are determined by Italian law #135 of 2001.  Some regions have additional local laws, but the following points apply throughout Italy:
  • The person operating the B&B must be resident in the house where the guest rooms are located and the breakfast is served.
  • A maximum of 3 bedrooms (more in a few regions) must be furnished with a maximum of 2 beds each. A cupboard, bedside tables, lamps, chairs and a waste bin must also be provided.
  • A double room must have a minimum area of 14 square meters; a single room must be at least 8 square meters.
  • If the B&B is closed for at least 90 days during the year, the activity is classified as saltuario (occasional) and you don't need to register for IVA - Italian Value Added Tax - or issue any invoices. In most parts of Italy, closing for 90 days each year is not a problem - note that the 90 days don't need to be consecutive.  
2) Affittacamere (Room Rentals)If you want to offer more than 3 rooms, you probably want to go the affittacamere route.
According to Italian law #217 of 1983, affittacamere can offer no more than 6 rooms: like a B&B, these must be located in the building that you live in.  
3) Agriturismo (Farmstay)
An agriturismo is a farm that offers accommodation. The majority of the revenue from the farm should be generated by farming, not by the accommodation.  For more info: 

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