The town council of Taormina, one of the most beautiful towns on the east coast of Sicily, particularly famous for its Greek-Roman theatre, has decided to make tourists pay a small visitors tax; an extra 1 when parking a car, 10 for parking a mini bus and 40 for parking a full sized tourist bus.

Shopkeepers in the town fear that the extra tax will deter visitors, last year more than 1.5 million people visited the town, but the local hoteliers claim that the tourists are very willing to pay a little more to visit a clean well maintained town.

Taormina is not the first tourist town to impose a tax on visitors. La Maddalena an island on the north coast of Sardinia charges 1 to land on the island as do the Eolian islands to the north of Sicily. At Positano on the Amalfi coast underwater divers are asked to pay a tax of 3 for every immersion. To land on the island of Pianosa a national park off the Tuscan coast where only 400 visitors are allowed to land per day, tourists are being charged 6.