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Italy hotels and keeping passports

Old Sep 21st, 2005, 11:02 AM
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Italy hotels and keeping passports

We are going to be in Venice for a week staying the entire time at one hotel. However, we want to spend one night in Bologna, without checking out of the Venice hotel. On our last trip to Italy 2 years ago, our hotels kept our passports the entire time. Is this EU/Italian law? Will we be able to get our passport back to check into our Bologna hotel? I know EU law requires a passport at checkin but do they have to keep it?
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 11:05 AM
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On our last trip, they gathered our passports to document and kept them on a very short time, maybe an hour. When we returned from walking around, they handed them to us. They did not keep them for the duration of the stay.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 11:05 AM
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Absolutely no. They don't have to keep your passports ! You give them when you arrive and when they have done all their paperwork..they have to return it to you and that's usually at the moment or next time you go to the reception desk. If they don't , just ask for it !
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 11:07 AM
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Our most recent experience in Italy: they collected the passports long enough to make a photocopy of the "info" page and immediately gave them back.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 11:13 AM
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Well, that's good to hear. All the places we stayed except for one in Oct. 2003 kept them the lenght of our stay-a practice I was very uncomfortable with.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Hello swalter, I have never had a hotel in Italy keep my passport for the duration of my stay in the hotel.

I have always gotten back the next time I was at the registration desk. They need to give the info to the local authorities, that is the law in Italy but the hotel absolutely has no legal right to hold onto your passport any longer then it takes for them to do that (unless the law enforcement agency instructs them to) so please do not allow it. Best wishes.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 11:30 AM
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Did you ask for the passports and they refused to give them back to you? Perhaps it just slipped their mind to return them, and they were waiting for you to ask. They've always returned it to me.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 11:34 AM
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No, we did not ask for them back. We had copies of them with us so I wasn't too concerned. Probably should have been more concerned in retrospect.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 11:58 AM
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I have limited experience, just a couple times, but as other mentioned they took passports and check-in, and returned them the next time we were at the hotel front desk.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 12:38 PM
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Frankly, I don't think you should have been concerned at all..if for no other reason than at the end of the stay..no passport return..no bill paid.

Passports sometimes have to be given up all over the place in Eruope such as on night trains that cross certain borders and so forth.

I am certain that if you ask them for your passport they will return it to you.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 12:44 PM
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I remember in 2000, 2 places in Italy kept our passports for the duration of our stays. They indicated that it was law. We didn't argue but it did make us nervous. We actually drove away from the hotel without them and remembered at the last moment. The hotel staff didn't even remember until we went back in. That could have been messy if we'd gotten all the way to the airport without them.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 12:46 PM
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There are two reasons why hotels in Italy and several other countries often keep guests' passports. One is to copy details onto registration forms, and this, of course, takes only a couple of minutes. The second reason is for their security: it stops guests from sneaking out without paying. This is commoner in cheap hotels, but they have no legal right to keep a passport and, in my experience, will return it if you ask. They may ask for payment in advance, especially if you're leaving the next morning, and I can't see any problem with this.
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