Italian town of Positano to impose €1000 photography tax

Nov 3, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Italian town of Positano to impose €1000 photography tax

Nov 3, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

The picturesque town of Positano in Italy is one of the most popular photography destinations in the world. But, if you’re planning a visit and taking photos for commercial purposes, be prepared to pay a pretty expensive fee.

Starting from mid-November, the municipality of Positano is imposing a €1000 (almost $1200) of tax for all photographers who want to capture the town’s panorama for commercial purposes. It will be even worse for videographers, who will need to pay €2000 for the shooting permission.

From now on, anyone who wishes to take photos of Positano will have to submit a request for permission to the municipality at least 30 days before the shooting begins. For emergency requests, you’ll need to pay 50% more.

The mayor of Positano, Michele De Lucia, says the decision wasn’t made to make money. As Repubblica writes, the mayor explained that this is the way to filter out the commercial shoots associated with the town. According to him, not everyone should be able to tie their brand to Positano. He adds that this is also the way to control the territory, because the improvised photo or video sets often stop the pedestrians and cause discomfort or even bickering. According to Il Giornale, the town will also forbid the use of drones, which will limit the photographers and videographers even further.

You’d think that €1000 and €2000 is a bit much for a photo or video permit? Well, according to the mayor of Positano, these figures are “symbolic.” As quoted in Repubblica, the mayor said that those who exploit the image of Positano should pay 50,000 or 100,000. It really is a beautiful town, but come on.

Fortunately, there are certain exceptions to the new rule. Amateur photographers (or just those who don’t use images for commercial purposes) won’t have to file for the permit. I guess this includes tourists too. The tax also doesn’t apply to television programs, magazines, newspapers and documentaries. Since Positano is a popular wedding destination, it’s good to know that municipality will grant you the permission – but only if you file for it at least ten days before the event.

I found an interesting piece of information in Il Giornale’s article, saying that those who don’t obey the rules will have to pay up to €500 fine. If this really is the case, then the entire “photography tax” is completely meaningless, considering that the fine is two to four times lower than the actual permit.

This isn’t the first time a public place requires a photography permit. For example, the City of Laguna Beach requires you to pay from $100 to $590, depending on the type of the shoot. Some places even banned photography completely (either for real or as a joke). So Positano is now one of the places following the trend. I don’t know Italian laws and if this violates any constitutional rights. But even if it doesn’t, I still think it’s just ridiculous to charge €1000 or €2000 for a photography permit. What do you think?

[via Amateur Photographer, Repubblica, Il Giornale]

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

52 responses to “Italian town of Positano to impose €1000 photography tax”

  1. Jeff Ridout Avatar
    Jeff Ridout

    Lol how do you say fuck off in Italian?

    1. Jeff Ridout Avatar
      Jeff Ridout

      Thanks Barbara :) I love italian.

  2. Dunja Đuđić Avatar
    Dunja Đuđić

    Lorenzo I finally used my passive knowledge of Italian to translate the source articles. :D
    Have you seen this?

    1. Lorenzo Morgoni Avatar
      Lorenzo Morgoni

      I didn’t read the news, though it sounds both funny and absurd. Typical Italian job. I agree with you, «the entire “photography tax” is completely meaningless». Welcome in Italy :/

  3. Adrian Mirgos Avatar
    Adrian Mirgos

    Darek Szubiński – uwazaj tam we Włoszech na plenerach! ;)

    1. Darek Szubiński Avatar
      Darek Szubiński

      Since Positano is a popular wedding destination, it’s good to know that municipality will grant you the permission – but only if you file for it at least ten days before the event.

      Więc problemu jak by nie ma dla mnie:)

  4. Jimmy Chin Avatar
    Jimmy Chin

    This is seriously ridiculous.

  5. Oppilif Inallessam Avatar
    Oppilif Inallessam

    If you don’t have enough money, don’t worry, for 10 euro you can take pic of my house ?

  6. Robin van den Bee Avatar
    Robin van den Bee

    Don’t they understand that every pizza they eat is due to tourists? Don’t they understand that they scare people off? Don’t they understand that this town is soon forgotten without photographers? Then what do they understand??

    1. Luigi Barbano Avatar
      Luigi Barbano

      No, they are just stupid…and Italy is overrated right now…

    2. Robin van den Bee Avatar
      Robin van den Bee

      I have been in the Cinque Terre and yes it is very crowded with tourists. But there are no other means of income. I don’t get this

    3. Kambis Avatar
      Kambis

      How are tourists affects? They will still make that money and generate some income from professional photographers.

  7. Pelota Basca Avatar
    Pelota Basca

    just stop going there

  8. Karen Padilla Avatar
    Karen Padilla

    No, it’s not for the money. lol. I can understand having a photographer who is setting up a lot of equipment and is shooting with models, etc and monopolizing an area of the town paying something. But really who’s going to pay that. I’ve donated money for exclusive photos at some animal sanctuaries but no one has charged $1200. Even our national parks don’t charge that much for a license to shoot there. All photographers and videographers are expected and follow the rules to respect the area and if they move something or damage any property then they pay to fix it. It really isn’t surprising that cities are doing this due to the poor manners of some photographers but tourists taking selfies are a lot worse. I would most likely avoid any foreign city that requires a fee even though I do travel photos and not photo shoots with other people or objects involved. I can see this going all wrong with photo police watching everybody taking photos and accosting people on the street trying to extort money from them. I have made it a point not to visit the cities that charge photographers for taking photos but then I like to take photos as places that aren’t packed with tourists. There are many wonderful places in America, Europe and around the world that deserve to have beautiful photos taken of them and they don’t charge. They get free advertisement from the photographers and a wonderful write-up if that photographer is also a travel writer. I doubt that Positano will see a decrease in tourism over this. Perhaps if they agreed to donate any money they collect to a special charity for the homeless or children, photographers wouldn’t mind donating to that and would willingly schedule their big shoots with the city.

  9. Jimi Filo Avatar
    Jimi Filo

    Alternate Title: “Local Bumpkins Unaware Telephoto Lenses Are a Thing, Hilarity Ensues…”

  10. Batman Avatar
    Batman

    Do they understand that with only couple of months without tourists and photographers, the picturesque town of Positano, will turn into the dying town of Positano ? And they will start asking for help from the Government, and start a kickstarter.. and ask for our money to save Positano …. and all this why ? Because of some dumb, greedy mayor :))) … well .. good luck Positano, you lost me as a tourist in your town.

    1. Kambis Avatar
      Kambis

      How does this affect tourists?

      1. landshark123 Avatar
        landshark123

        Because some of them (say the ones with good gear that tend to spend $), will get offended and skip the place.

        1. Kambis Avatar
          Kambis

          They will rather take it as a complement to be mistaken for professionals. But honestly, dosen’t a commercial photo shooting involving models, people holding reflectors and what not look totally different than a guy with a big lens?

          1. landshark123 Avatar
            landshark123

            So a well heeled amateur with good gear is automatically a pro? What if they are taking landscape photos, but are using fast lenses etc, but not all the stuff you just mentioned. How would you tell the difference without up close inspecting their gear. Would a card full of RAW files as opposed to jpgs make you a pro.

  11. Luigi Barbano Avatar
    Luigi Barbano

    Good, quit to take pictures for touristic pretty motion and let that socialists fail as they deserve… anyway Italy is overrated.

  12. Jurgen Galea Avatar
    Jurgen Galea

    “for commercial purposes” should be in bold, italics and underlined though…don’t have any problem with that…

    1. Strideo Avatar
      Strideo

      So basically you just tell them you’re an amateur and you can shoot for free!

      1. Jurgen Galea Avatar
        Jurgen Galea

        exactly…it’s italy ffs! :)

  13. Aaron March Avatar
    Aaron March

    Nothing wrong with this. Their town, their call.

  14. Craig Johnson Avatar
    Craig Johnson

    Won’t be visiting there anytime soon then ?

  15. James M Hamilton Avatar
    James M Hamilton

    I guess they don’t want any tourist money

  16. Kenth Hagström Avatar
    Kenth Hagström

    Then say goodbye to tourists also.

  17. Guido Buddassi Avatar
    Guido Buddassi

    Ahahahah those bastards
    In Positano you have to pay also for breathing

    1. Guido Buddassi Avatar
      Guido Buddassi

      la mia mente giocosa e da fanciullo si concentrava solo su ano
      e non capivo

  18. DUCK! Avatar
    DUCK!

    Well that mayor has got some guts hasn’t he…?

    It’s not as if Positano has not featured in commercial photography before, indeed perhaps so frequently have we seen that enchanting hillside, that many of us might have tired of it by now.

    But go ahead if you want to kill the layer of the golden eggs.

  19. Gabe Gargiulo Avatar
    Gabe Gargiulo

    Socialism at its worst. Photons are free!

    1. chuckygetslucky Avatar
      chuckygetslucky

      Putting a price on something of value? Sounds pretty capitalistic to me.

  20. Claudio Maria Lerario Avatar
    Claudio Maria Lerario

    This ordinance does not concern tourists or travel/documentary photographers but only those productions that use Positano as a background for their advertising campaigns.

  21. Dario Toledo Avatar
    Dario Toledo

    “[…] the municipality of Positano is imposing a €1000 (almost $1200) of tax for all photographers who want to capture the town’s panorama for commercial purposes”. Thank you DIYPhotography for the deceiving title. Italians didn’t have enough problems being given a bad name for anything.

    1. Claudio Maria Lerario Avatar
      Claudio Maria Lerario

      Exactly! I think we can archive this title/article in the fake news folder.

    2. Terence Pereira Avatar
      Terence Pereira

      Gotta have some click bait. :p

  22. Luca De Nardi Avatar
    Luca De Nardi

    Said from an Italian, this is pathetic. This is just a move against art, as it is limiting artists freedom.

    Van Gogh didn’t pay Provence for his Starry Night painting did he?

    1. Francesco Dandria Avatar
      Francesco Dandria

      sei italiano vero? scusa ma per vedere la monnalisa non devi pagare? e poi è solo per foto commerciali… dove è il problema bell’italiano? dimmi

      1. Luca De Nardi Avatar
        Luca De Nardi

        Se avessi capito quello che ho scritto, intendevo dire che far pagare per delle foto di un PANORAMA, significa limitare le libertà di un artista e limitare l’arte in generale.
        Non sto parlando di vedere l’arte in un museo, ma di un fotografo (magari amatoriale) che vuole vendere le proprie foto e rischia di dover pagare mille euro per fotografare, ripeto, un PANORAMA. Da quando devo pagare qualcuno per fotografare la natura o una città?

        Il mio riferimento a Van Gogh non era per le persone che vanno al museo e pagano per vedere le sue opere (o il tuo esempio della Monnalisa). La mia domanda è: Van Gogh (o Leonardo) hanno dovuto pagare qualcuno per fare alcuni tra i quadri più famosi che conosciamo?

  23. Derek Johnson Avatar
    Derek Johnson

    The interesting thing is what about all the photos taken before the tax. Maybe they just became more valuable as fewer new ones will be taken.

  24. moonshin Avatar
    moonshin

    simple solution.
    tell them your shooting as an amateur
    then after leaving sell the photos.
    assuming your not an italian citizen,let them try and collect their fee…

  25. Mia Carrera Avatar
    Mia Carrera

    I completely understand from the point that it does interfere with traffic and pedestrians it’s really annoying when you’re visiting a town and there’s a professional shooting going on and you’re supposed to stop and let them finish because they don’t want people in their background. photographers can act very entitled sometimes. hopefully this will reduce the number of people with cameras and I don’t think It will interfere with tourism.

  26. John Krill Avatar
    John Krill

    I’m a photographer and I live in Laguna Beach. Even though we must pay for commercial work, including weddings, enforcement is almost non-existent. So very few pay anything.

  27. mlawlor777 Avatar
    mlawlor777

    This is bullshit. Selfish even. Italy has some weird laws and they make themselves seem like assholes out for money. I’ll just go some place else on my European tour then. Im just a tourist so i dont think it will affect me but i don’t support the decision at all.

  28. Nat Bocking Avatar
    Nat Bocking

    Sounds entirely reasonable that a municipality requires a permit for a commercial activity in their streets, like practically every other place in Europe or the US. Shops pay rates, vendors pay for licenses, why not photographers utlising the visual assets of the town for a commercial purpose? One person with one camera and one model could be exempted but I’ve seen the sidewalks in London blocked by tripods, lightstands and boards and twenty people standing around, and that’s taking advantage.

  29. Barbara Cortili Avatar
    Barbara Cortili

    I have read the articles and I understand that this tax concerns commercial photography and doesn’t involve tourists at all. Please rest reassured and keep visiting our beautiful country :) !

  30. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
    Adrian J Nyaoi

    Wonder how many people actualy read beyond the click bait title.

  31. KaffeGlad Avatar
    KaffeGlad

    Never mind the title… READ . THE . FULL . TEXT !!

    It will only affect certain commercial use of images of the town. To sell a photo of Positano seems to be OK… to use a photo of Positano to sell your product is not OK.

    Compare this to the french limitations on photographing the Eiffel tower…. the lighting (light show) at night is copyrighted!!! And, if I understand the limitations here… any use… commercial or not is prohibited.

  32. JustChristoph Avatar
    JustChristoph

    The sheer volume of tourists in Positano is like a rat infestation. It makes a joke of local snobbery about the self-declared wonderfulness of Positano. There are vastly better places to visit and photograph just along the coast or even just the other side of the peninsula.

  33. Deacon Blues Avatar
    Deacon Blues

    “The mayor of Positano, Michele De Lucia, says the decision wasn’t made to make money.”
    I smell bullshit.

  34. Renlish Avatar
    Renlish

    I bet it’s not a money-making scheme. /sarcasm
    If they want to have a license for commercial shoots, that’s fine. If they want to have a license for amateurs as well, I can even agree with that. But call it what it is. It’s just a way for the town to be getting their “cut” of any profit that might be made from the photographs.1000 euro is outrageous though.