For Americans knowing how tipping in different countries can be a confusing situation. Do you give 10%? 15% or 20%? Below is a simple guide for tipping in Italy!
Although in many countries tipping your server after good service is basically second nature, in Italy tipping is not always expected. Having said that, tipping in Italy is considered a bonus so it is always appreciated!
Why less tipping?
Businesses in Italy like restaurants, bars and pubs pay their employees a fixed salary or stipend for their hours worked that is considered a livable income. So unlike America, their income does not depend on that business’ affluence nor does it depend on its patrons generosity. Their salary will be the same no matter whether the restaurant is empty or packed, full of generous people or stingy customers so don’t worry!
Although there are no set rules for tipping here, which can make it more confusing, here are some quick tips for you to help you when thinking about tipping in in Italy:
Tipping in a breakfast bar:
In Italy it is typical for most people to pass by a breakfast bar on their way to work to get a cappuccino and a cornetto (similar to a croissant) before they start their day. So if you want to pretend to be a local for the day head to the breakfast bars! When you go to pay for your coffee and pastry, bring your receipt with your order and give over the change to the waiter (this will usually be around 10/20 euro cent or similar).
Tipping in a restaurant:
If you’re going out for a bite to eat at lunch or dinner, tipping in a restaurant is a little different to what you may expect in other countries. You may be used to leaving quite a big tip if you’re eating in a restaurant but it is not required. After your meal if you receive a bill that is an average, not overly expensive price for dinner for 2 people, then feel free to just leave a little bit of change for your waiter. If your bill was €57 and you gave €60 and left the €3 change, this would be considered perfectly fine.
If you feel like splashing out a little bit and having a more expensive dinner or lunch while on holiday then it is more appropriate to leave a little bit of a bigger tip of €5 or €10 euros! But again there is no need to sit and calculate percentages at the dinner table as your tip is seen as more of a gesture of kindness.
Top Tip: Before you pay your bill, check if there is a service (servizio incluso) charge included into the bill. If this is the case then you don’t need to leave a tip for your waiter.
Tipping at a bar or club:
If you’ve decided to go out for the night and want to order a drink for yourself then it is not customary to leave a tip for the bartender who serves you. The same applies if you’re buying drinks for a large group of friends or family members, tipping is not necessary but leaving your chance is not uncommon.
Tipping for a taxi ride:
Tipping for a taxi ride isn’t expected. If you want to leave something then the main rule we stick to is to round the change up to the nearest euro and leave that as a tip. If you’re taking a short ride then this isn’t expected, but for a longer ride this would be appreciated.
Tipping a hairdresser:
If you’re getting your hair cut while you’re in Italy or you want to get a nice blow dry before going out, tipping the hairdresser, barber or person who washes your hair isn’t a normal habit. If you are very happy with the service and want to give something back then wait until you pay at the end and leave a €3 – €5 tip.
Tipping at your hotel:
While tipping is not necessary it is always appreciated in hotels, especially if they have gone out of their way to help you. For a Porter, you can tip anywhere from €1 to €5; for housekeeping, a €1 or less tip for each day of your stay, and for room service, €.50 to €1 is a good amount.
Tipping your tour guide:
While tipping your tour guide is optional, if you think that your tour guide went out of their way to give you a great personal experience then it is nice to leave a little tip. Normally for half day tours tips range from €10 to €20 and for full day tours they would be higher.