In Italy, tipping customs are different compared to some other countries, such as the United States. Tipping in Italy is not as common or expected, especially in smaller establishments and more traditional areas. However, tipping in Italy has become more prevalent in larger cities and tourist destinations due to international influences. But how much do you tip, when, and to whom? Here are some general guidelines regarding tipping in Italy.
In Restaurants it is not obligatory to leave a tip, as a service charge is typically included in the bill, indicated as “servizio incluso” or “coperto.” However, if you’re satisfied with the service, you can leave some loose change or round up the bill as a gesture of appreciation.
Bars and Cafés
Tipping is not expected at bars or cafés, especially if you consume your beverages at the counter. However, if you sit at a table and receive table service, leaving a small amount as a tip is appreciated.
It is not customary to tip taxi drivers in Italy, but you can round up the fare to the nearest Euro or leave a small amount as a gesture of appreciation for exceptional service.
If you receive exceptional service from hotel staff, such as the concierge or porter, you can give a small tip, usually around 1-2 euros per service rendered.
Unlike other services, I like tipping the delivery guy when I receive my food at home. It seems their wage is not enough compared to what they do and the conditions they work with. They deliver food under the rain, sometimes riding from one side to another of the city, so I like giving them the 20% of the cost of the bill. Since sometimes they are not part of the restaurant preparing the food, I give them the cash amount when they arrive.
Generally, you might notice a tipping box on the cashier’s desk at the hairdresser’s. It is for the maid who assists the patron. Generally, these young ladies are beginning their careers cleaning the salon or washing the clients’ hair. They receive the minimum amount of money foreseen by law, so tipping is very much appreciated.
In general, tipping is not expected for other services like hairdressers, tour guides, or museum attendants. However, if you feel particularly satisfied with the service, you can give a small tip as a token of appreciation.
Remember that tipping in Italy is discretionary and not as prevalent as in some other countries. It’s always a good idea to be aware of local customs and follow the lead of the locals when it comes to tipping. So do not worry if you do not feel like leaving extra money for any reason.