Tipping in Italy

Is tipping in Italy expected or considered rude in their culture? For example from what I know, tipping in Japan is considered an insult. So weird right? If I give Japanese waiter tips, it ends up as an insult in their culture.

So what about tipping in Italy? Well, it is complicated and I wish to highlight the different charges which people may misunderstand as tips. They are

  • Coperto or Cover Charge - This is common but actually, coperto isn't considered tipping. It is meant to cover the charge of the food you are using like bread, oil or salt. The rate is also per person and around 1-3 euros per person.
  • Pane or Bread Charge: Pane means bread and you are expected to pay 1 to 1.50 per person for bread. You can reject the bread if you really don’t want to pay this?

So if the above coperto and pane aren't tips, what is tips exactly?

Tipping in Italy

 

Tips are called Servizio and usually when you go to a restaurant in a group of 8 or more people. So if you see servizio, it is perfectly fine not to tip extra. What about cases where there is no servizio charge?

What is Standard tipping in Italy

Tipping in Italy is not compulsory but is necessary to appreciate a job well done either in kind or in cash. Be aware that in Italy, tipping is referred to as a bonus, so the amount always reflects the level of service render. There is no standard rule guiding tipping in Italy. You are solely responsible for what you want to give out per time in relation to the level of service offered to you.

If you are traveling on a budget, you can just reciprocate by giving a bright smile and thanking the person. If not, below are some guidelines on the tip amount I recommend in the different areas you need to tip in Italy.

Areas To Tip in Italy

There are several areas you can tip. Here are some of the areas and my personal recommendations:
  • Cafe Waiter/Waitress
  • Restaurant Waiter/Waitress
  • Taxis Drivers or Airport Transfer
  • Doorman
  • House Maintenance
  • Tour Guide

Cafe Waiter/Waitress

If you enjoy your awesome cappuccino or beverages, it is advisable to tip the nearest euro on the total bill. In other words, you leave some fraction of the euro for the service provider.

Restaurant Waiter/Waitress

Remember to check if Servizio / tips are already included. If not, I recommend tipping between 5 to 20 percent of your total expenditure (5% if it was only average). Even if services were bad, try to round your tip to the next available Euro.

Taxis Drivers or Airport Transfer 

It is easy to forget tipping the taxi driver or airport transfer. As you know a tip is not often expected, but it is well appreciated. It shows how grateful you are for services offered.

For example, helping to unload/load your heavy pieces of luggage and offering some local tips. When you enter a taxi or a cab or airport transfer, round the total fare to the nearest Euro to the driver and he will feel very grateful to you. It is the right and normal thing to do when you are satisfied.

Doorman

When a doorman in your hotel hails you, you can respond with just 1 euro tip. Just to let him you appreciate his job and greetings. Most of the time, they help to take your luggage to your choice of room or taxi.

House Maintenance

Depending on how well the cleaner maintains and clean your home. If he or she has done exceptionally well, you can appreciate their job by given tips. The tip does not have to be big, with 1 Euro too, they will be very happy that their job is acknowledged.

Tour Guide

I recommend not tipping tour guide or local guide since they probably understand. They usually don't expect it and will be perfectly fine to provide excellent services without the tip.

Conclusion

Remember that different countries have different cultures. Tipping in Italy is optional. A tip in Italy is not expected, but it is well appreciated in recognition of service render.

Tipping in Italy is just a form of thank you for a job well done by the person. Tipping everyone else if you can afford is a great way to stay awesome while enjoying your trip. Like your porter who helps you to carry your luggage, from the hotel to the cab and down to the airport. A tip should be within your means and can be a token amount like rounding up to nearest Euros. 

The above list is my personal opinions of the amount you might want to tip in Italy. If you have any tipping experience (good or bad), please share with us your experiences in the comments below.


Leave a comment


Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Author
Sky Hoon
Italy Lover. He travel to Europe a few times and loved Italy for its unique language and culture. He loved the idea of Italian food focusing on original taste of the ingredient.
Read His Personal Blog
Avoid a scooter accident in Italy - Don't Follow George Clooney
Differences Between Rome and Venice

More About Venice Life

Are There Differences Between Northern Italian And Southern Italian Culture?
When you look at Italy for the first time, it may seem like two separate countries. There are lots of differences bet...
Read More
How Venetian Blinds Are Made?
Blinds are created by cutting equal slabs length and punching the holes using the machine. For wooden and metal Venet...
Read More
What to Wear in Milan?
Milan is famous for its fashion and style culture. If you are planning to visit Milan, do you know what to wear in M...
Read More
Weight of Gondola and Weight Limit
The most traditional Venetian boat is known as ‘Gondola,’ and it weighs about 700 kg. The gondola is built using 280 ...
Read More
#1 Guide to A Safe Venice Gondola Ride
Did you know 2 tourists died at the crowded Venice waterway in 2018? Don't be worried as we are here to share some pr...
Read More
Common Italian Greetings You Must Know
If you consider visiting Italy, then knowing how to say hello or good morning in Italian is important. However, I hav...
Read More
13 Unbelievable Reasons to Visit Tuscany
There are lots of good reasons to visit Tuscany. Tuscany is famous for its attractive hilltop towns, the capital city...
Read More
Does Venetian Plaster Crack?
Venetian plaster walls are attractive and stronger than drywall material. But still, Venetian plaster cracks. Cracks...
Read More