Tips for Tipping in Italy
Updated: Nov 18, 2021
Tipping is not as common in Italy as it is in the States when in local establishments. But in touristy areas, tipping for services is becoming more expected due to more and more tourists tipping. Basically, since so many Americans in the past decade or so have been leaving tips, the local servers have now come to expect it. This makes tipping, or not tipping, or how much to tip a stressful conversation. On the group tours I host, tipping is included in the tour price so there is no need to worry. When on your own, the following guidelines should put you at ease:
TAXIS & UBERS (where available): 10% of the fare. You can round up to the nearest 5euor for short drives and 10 euros for farther distances.
PORTERS: 1 - 2 euro. More, if you have several bags. Personally, I do 2 euros for each bag the porter handles, but I usually never have more than one bag.
CONCIERGE: 1-2 euros if the service exceeds your expectations, but not necessary for standard recommendations.
RESTAURANTS: A 15% service charge is sometimes added; look for "servizio" or "servizio compresso" on the bill. No need to tip if that is on your bill. If not, leaving a few euros extra for casual meals and 10% for finer dining will be appreciated. If it’s easier for you you can round up to the next 5 euro or 10 euro of the total dinner bill. For casual lunch or aperitivo, a 2 euro coin is perfectly fine to leave on the table at the end of your meal. I always recommend if you leave a tip, leave cash as the server may not get the tip if it’s left on a credit card. Recently I have noticed the credit card payment has to match the receipt, so the tip has to be given in cash
COFFEE & BARS: When ordering your coffee or snack from the bar and standing at the bar to consume (like the locals) a tip isn’t necessary, but leaving your change from the bill is always nice. For instance, if your coffee is 1,50 euro and you give them 2 euro coin, leaving the change 50c is more than good. Generally, locals do not tip for coffee at the bar. If you chose to sit at a table for coffee, 1-2 euros for exceptional service.
HAIR STYLIST & SPA SERVICE PROVIDERS: For exceptional service, tip up to 10% of the final bill. Like the U.S., if the owner is providing the service it is not necessary to leave a tip.
TOUR GUIDES: If you hired a private guide tip 10% of the tour or more if he/she was exceptional. If you are part of a larger group, you can tip 2 euros for a ½ day tour and 5 euros for a full day tour per person. If it was a free tour (especially by a student), tip 10% collectively what a standard tour would cost. For example, if you were on a free two-hour walking tour and it was only your group on the tour, could tip together 20 euros. Regardless of the tip of the tour, your tip should be based on your relationship with your guide through your experience. If you really didn't connect, tip a couple of euros per person. If you feel really connected to a place after your tour, tip more.
When in doubt, if it makes you feel better to leave a tip, definitely do it, and then don't give it another thought. In the end, this is your adventure, and making it stress-free and enjoyable is what it is all about.