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These information pages are here to help give you a starting point to find out about some of the obligations that may apply to you if you decide to host Experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to official resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
What is a tour guide?
Tour guiding is a licensed profession in Italy. The relevant regional legislation for Rome regulates the following:
- Tour guides: are professionals who guide individuals or groups through museums, monuments, villas, archeological sites, art galleries and other sites of artistic relevance in Italy, with the purpose of illustrating their characteristics. They have a specific educational background that helps them provide detailed information about the cultural, technical and artistic characteristics of an artistic venue. For example, tour guides can provide you with information about a listed building: who is the architect, when it was built and completed, what style or art movement it relates to.
- Tour managers: are professionals whose job it is to take care of the practical aspects of an organised trip and ensure that it runs smoothly (e.g. taking care of documents and formalities and assisting members of the tour).
- Tour interpreters: are professionals who assist foreign tourists with translations during their stay, trips, meetings, or touristic events. If you’re an interpreter, you’ll generally need a tour interpreter license.
When am I likely to be considered a tour guide?
Here are some examples of when you are likely to be considered to be acting as a tour guide:
- I take someone to a historic quarter explaining the art movement it was inspired by - we go to an antiques market and then follow up with a guided visit to a museum or art gallery.
- I take my guests to the Colosseum, buying tickets for them, and then walk them through the Imperial Forum giving them historical details on the Roman Empire.
Here are some examples of when you are likely not to be considered to be acting as a tour guide:
- I meet my guests in the neighbourhood where I was born and raised, and walk with them to my favourite restaurant where we are joined by a group of close friends of mine. Together, we tell travelers why the neighbourhood is so special to us. (Note: The position is different if you also walk them through the city to explain the history of local tourist attractions or buildings of architectural or historical merit.)
- I run yoga and fitness classes for my guests, and then we continue our training outdoor running together by the river or around an interesting part of the city centre. (Note: the position is different if you go beyond the outdoor activity, and you indulge in detailed explanations about the historical or artistic buildings you come across during your run.)
- I love music and football, so from time to time, I take guests to a local music gig, then to the stadium to watch the game and meet some players I know.
What if I am considered to be a tour guide: do I need to get a license?
Yes. If the activities you want to offer are those reserved to tour guides or tour managers, you will need to pass an exam and get a specific license. You will also need to comply with the general requirements that apply to businesses.
On this page, you can find a summary of relevant declarations and forms you need to submit before the authorities in order to start your activity as a tour guide, a tour manager or a tour interpreter; and you will also find some relevant contact details of the Tourism desk.
How do I get a license? What are the requirements?
This depends on whether you want to operate as a tour guide or as a tour manager, or whether you are a qualified guide in another EU Country. In Rome, the following rules apply.
You need to pass an exam (written and oral) in different matters (e.g. historical, art, geography, depending if you are passing the exam to become tour guide or tour manager ) and in a foreign language. The exam should take place about once a year, after publication of a specific announcement of selection (you can check here or contact the competent office through the contact details below).
In order to apply for the exam you essentially need to be of age, to hold a secondary school degree ("scuola media superiore") (this is compulsory in Italy, so everyone is likely to have this degree), to have a doctor's certificate of good health ("certificate di sana e robusta costituzione"), and to certify that you are not barred from holding public office ("autocertificazione godimento diritti civili").
Once you passed the exam, you need to register to the Lazio Region, by submitting a form (that you can find here) and you will receive a professional certificate (commonly called “tesserino”), that you need to bring with you while performing tourism guides activities.
Additional License: Note that an additional license is required to guide tours in listed venues and buildings identified in a dedicated decree by the Ministry of Tourism and Heritage.
EU citizens: EU Citizens who carry out tour guiding activities in Italy on a temporary basis can be authorized to do so to the extent they are qualified in their home Country. If you are an EU Citizen and you hold a license in your home Country, you will have to file a specific notice before the Competent Ministry. On the Italian business portal there is a dedicated FAQ about this.
What authority do you need to contact?
You need to contact the Lazio Region. You can do this by calling the competent desk on this number: 06/51687234 or via email at email@example.com.
How long does it take to get a license?
It doesn’t take long to pass the exam, but you may need to prepare it. Moreover, you need to wait the publication of the announcement of selection (“bando”) to be able to apply for it.
Once you have passed the relevant exam, you can start your as soon as you register at the Lazio Region.
At the moment there is no fees or costs to apply for the exam and register at the Region.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).