Tipping in Italy: A handy guide to the Do’s & Don’ts

Many questions arise when you visit a foreign country.

Others are invigorating, and remind us why our sights were set on a specific destination in the first instance: Where should we stay? What should I do? Who could I meet?

Some are more practical, and they emphasize how lost we can feel when traveling. How can I use public transport? What tip should I give? Should it be too high? Oder worse, is it too little?

You’ve probably been there, deliberating about tipping and service charges in a foreign country. But not everyone remembers to.

It is a matter of taste whether you tip or not in Italy.

First, Tipping in Italy does not have to be done. However, it is an indication that you appreciate the service rendered.

While many people like to tip, or are at least used to it, it is worth noting that different etiquette apply depending on the service rendered.

These tips will help you have a successful trip to Italy.

Are Italians willing to tip for coffee?

But first, coffee!

Locals love a quick coffee at the cafe counter. They are more likely to reduce the cost of their drink after getting a quick fix of caffeine.

For example, if you bought a coffee that cost 80c or 90c and paid one euro, it would be greatly appreciated if you left 10 or 20 cents on your receipt.

It’s as easy as it gets!

Restaurants have a cover and a service fee

To tip or not to tip?

You can tip a waiter if you are eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner in Italy. The terms of the receipt will determine the amount.

Many Italian restaurants offer bread or oil to their customers. As such, they will have to pay a coperto (or cover charge) that goes to the restaurant and not to your server.

If you feel the service was excellent and enhanced your experience, it is a good idea to add ten to your bill. Locals will often leave a tip for the server in these cases.

You should not add any additional charges to your receipt if it contains a service fee – servizio incluso.

Before you place your order, make sure you read the entire menu.

Tipping at bars in Italy

To tip or not to tip?

It is common to tip in Italy’s coffee shops and cafes, but it is not customary to leave change for your server.

Locals will simply round off the bill and leave the rest for waitstaff if they are happy with the service.

Tipping in this instance will depend on how frequent a local visits a bar and how familiar they feel with waitstaff. Visitors to the country are not required to tip for each drink, or to leave a significant amount after paying your tab.

Tipping taxi drivers, tour guides and hotel porters

Tipping tour guide can be difficult! Do you think so? Shouldn’t you? What is the proper etiquette What are your thoughts?

It is a good idea to take into account the length of your tour in Italy. You might tip your guide between 5 and 10 euros if you spend half a day on a tour. A tip of at least 10 euros would be appreciated if your experience was less than a day.

Remember that your decision should be based solely on how impressed and satisfied you were with your guide and the service rendered. You should not feel pressured to tip.

PSSST! PSSST! You can take our food tour to Rome, or learn how you can make fresh pasta from Florence.

It’s very easy to tip taxi drivers in Italy. Locals tend to round up so if you pay 18 euros for your fare, leave 20 euros for your driver.

What if you want to tip your hotel porter It’s possible! It’s a good rule of thumb to spend one euro per bag!

If all else fails…

Let a local guide you with their own rule of thumb if you are still unsure about tipping.

These were provided by one of our Walks’ insiders from Rome.

“If we pay EUR40 for the meal and leave a EUR50 tip, the waiter will give us a EUR10 note to change the bill. No tip for the waiter. We would, however, consider tipping the waiter EUR5 if he gives us to change back with two EUR5 coins!

A word for the wise

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