Tipping Etiquette in Italy

To tip or not to tip? Many people often ask me what is the proper etiquette when it comes to tipping in Italy. Keep reading and learn all about the tipping culture and get ready for your upcoming trip!

Restaurants & Coffee Shops

One of the biggest misconceptions when traveling to Italy and other foreign countries is whether to leave a tip at restaurants, hotels, cabs etc. Coming from the US leaving a 20% tip is a good practice as most restaurants pay employees under minimum wage counting on diners to leave a tip.

In Italy wages are set so they are not depending on tips to make up for their low compensation. You should not feel obligated to leave a tip when you are dining in Italy, but you can definitely leave a small gratuity if you don’t feel comfortable not tipping. You can leave a tip if you received an exceptional service and feel that they should be rewarded. For example, was the waiter/waitress extra attentive and recommended a special dish that you will be dreaming about for months? Did the hotel staff recommend you to try an amazing restaurant or help you call a cab? If you feel that the service was impeccable then say thank you with a small tip.

In more touristy cities such as Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan workers have come to the understanding that tourists often leave a tip as that’s how they are accustomed in their home countries. Many restaurants in the more popular cities in Italy include a service fee “servizio incluso”. This can be written on the menu or on your check, if you see such a fee then there is no need to leave an additional gratuity.

If the restaurant you are dining at does not have a service fee, feel free to leave a small tip if you would like. If you are paying cash you can just round up the check and not ask for change. If you are paying by credit card, don’t expect to see a slot to ask for a tip, but you may leave a couple of Euros in cash on the table. Many smaller restaurants and coffee shops don’t accept or don’t like accepting credit cards as they have to pay a fee for every credit card transaction, so if you’re dining at a mom and pop business, try to pay with cash to help them out!

Taxis

Before we talk about tipping taxis in Italy, let’s talk about how much taxis cost in Italy. A big problem for tourists that are traveling to popular destinations is dealing with fake cabs. These fake cabs are often found in touristy spots and try to scam foreigners by charging an insane amount of money. Taxis in Italy are not expensive, so if you feel that your cab ride was outrageously overpriced then I’m sorry to tell you but you were scammed. There will be a separate post on how to avoid these cabs but for now beware of cars that don’t have a logo or taxi number! As for tips only leave a couple of Euros if it’s too much of a hassle to get change!

Hotels

When it comes to tipping the hotel, leave a couple of Euros to the bellhop for helping you with your suitcases if you would like and leave an Euro for the housekeeping staff for cleaning up.


Overall tipping in Italy is not expected and leaving a small gratuity is more than generous if you feel that the people that served you went above and beyond for your service. When you are traveling it’s fun to immerse yourself in the culture as much as possible and this includes the tipping culture as well!

Now you are all set to travel to Italy and understand the proper etiquette when it comes to tipping. Please subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram and Facebook at Simply Signorina.

Bacioni,

La Signorina

7 Comments Add yours

  1. This is good to know. After living in America for so long, we got used to always tipping, but it’s not as big in the U.K. We’ve never understood the wages for restaurants in the US. It seems crazy!

    Lucy and Kelly
    theblossomtwins.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kelly says:

    This is so helpful Diane!!! It’s always confusing to know when to tip in all these different situations. It’s actually so nice that servers receive better pay so tipping isn’t necessary or covered by the coperto. I always worry about leaving just the right amount of tip in the US (and always shocked at how much it increases the bill!). Do you know if it’s required to tip at the hair salon? I have always wanted to get my hair done in Italy but wasn’t sure if I need to tip or not! Thanks so much for joining us! #dolcevitabloggers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is great advice for travellers to Italy who aren’t sure what to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tipping is so annoying-and stressful! It’s a relief to be somewhere that tipping isn’t a custom😎

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tipping is so annoying- not to mention stressful. It’s a relief to be in a country where it is not the norm! Ciao, Cristina

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Diane, a very informative post that lays it all out in a clear way. It’s so confusing at times and it took me a while to “get used” to the tipping habits (or lack thereof)! I think tourists in general tend to leave tips and the people in the service industry here take advantage of it. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves actually as my husband and I are often mistaken for tourists and we’ve actually gotten yelled at by waiters or drivers for not tipping which is insane because an Italian would almost never tip and then they let up once my husband starts yelling back in Italian. So just goes to show how they kind of rip off tourists in this sense and it’s too bad. Thanks for the great post for #DolceVitaBloggers this month! Love, Jasmine.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mammaprada says:

    So pleased to read an accurate post on tipping in Italy. Being British I find the American way too much and am always shocked when workers ask you outright for a tip or a bigger one when sometimes all they did was pass you a glass across a bar. In Italy, as you say there is no obligation to do it and people often are slightly offended if you start handing out too much cash. We tend to slightly round up a bill if the service has been good.

    Liked by 1 person

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