As in many European countries, tipping in Italy may be quite different from what you’re used to in North American. While it is not uncommon to tip your waiter at a restaurant, you are not expected to tip the person who serves you coffee while you ride the train. As a base rule, you don’t have to do much tipping in Italy but there are a few places where a tip is appreciated.
Tipping in Restaurants
Generally Italians do not tip in restaurants, but you might see a few charges on the bill that you want to be familiar with. Here’s what they mean:
The servizio is the one instance where there may be a tip included as part of your meal. It will be listed on the menu and is generally only for groups of eight or more who may be eating together. If a servizio is included, you’re already tipping, so there is no need for further tips.
You may see a charge on your bill called a coperto. Copertos should be clearly listed on the menu and can be from between 1 to 3 Euros per person. The coperto is not a tip, but rather a service charge for amenities such as bread, oil and salt during the meal.
If you do not see a service charge for a coperto, you are likely to see one for pane, which is the service charge for bread. This will usually be 1 to 1.50 Euro. If you don’t eat bread you can try to avoid the charge, but it may be awkward as bread is an essential part of Italian meals. Refusing the charge might be seen as impolite when it comes to Italian manners.
Any additional tipping would be for extraordinary service in Italian restaurant etiquette and would be at your discretion. One to 2 Euros would generally suffice; or you could round up a large bill to the nearest 10 Euros. If the service was anything less than excellent, feel no pressure to leave an additional tip.
Do I need to tip my taxi driver in Italy?
Tipping your taxi driver isn’t common practice in Italian culture. You can feel quite safe not tipping, though it’s a good idea to agree to a fare with the driver before beginning your journey.
Do I need to tip my tour guide in Italy?
Tour guides don’t expect tips in Italy. But if you really enjoyed the tour, it can be a nice way to support that individual guide. Five Euros for a half day or 10 Euros for a full day is a good baseline amount for a tip.
Do I need to tip the concierge in Italy?
As you may have guessed, tipping your concierge is appreciated, but again not required. If you’ve received some extraordinary Italy travel tips or got booked in some difficult reservations you may want to tip 1 or 2 Euro.
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