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!
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!
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.