How to tip around the world: Italy
Planning a trip to Italy? Fantastic choice. From marvelling at the Colosseum in Rome to taking a romantic gondola ride in Venice to wine tasting in the stunning Tuscany region, the possibilities of seeing how the ‘Bel Paese‘ (beautiful country) lives up to its nickname are endless.
But while you’re travelling in or around this fabulous country, what do you need to know about tipping etiquette?
To help you figure it out, we’ve created a series of guides for tipping in different places. Read on to find out where, when, and how to tip in Italy.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, remember to check current travel restrictions before booking travel.
Tipping isn’t expected in Italy. Service workers don’t rely on tips to subsidise their income. However, tipping is certainly appreciated, especially if the service is particularly good.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
If you’re wondering how to tip in Italian restaurants, the rule of thumb for showing your appreciation for good service is to leave 1 euro per diner or round up the bill. If you want to tip more, cap it at 10%.
For lousy or indifferent service, don’t feel guilty about leaving niente (nothing).
If you see the word coperto on the bill, it’s a cover charge for the bread, oil and olives that are brought to the table – it won’t go to your waiter.
Tip: If you’re paying by credit card, carry a little cash for la mancia (the tip) and hand it to the person who provided you with fab service.
Bars and pubs
If you’re having an espresso at the counter of a bar, it’s perfectly okay to leave pocket change as a tip (a 10c or 20c coin will suffice).
If you’re sitting at a table, you may be charged a service fee for table service. In that case, tipping is not necessary. If you want to tip anyway, a euro or two is ample.
If you’re wondering how much tip to leave in Italian hotels, we recommend:
- Porter: 1 euro per bag
- Housekeeper: 1 euro
- Valet and concierge: 1-2 euro
The etiquette here is to leave somewhere between nothing and a euro or two. If your driver offers to lug your heavy bags up the stairs, a couple of euros is standard.
Bear in mind, a surcharge may be added onto your fare, per piece of luggage, which is perfectly legal. If in doubt, ask before opening your wallet.
Tips are not required for tour guides, but it’s good manners. A couple of euros from each person in the group is fine.
Should you pay by cash or card?
Credit cards are widely accepted in Italy, but you can’t use them everywhere, so it’s a good idea to keep some cash on you.