When in Rome

Having written about the tipping cultures of USA and Japan, we’re moving over to Europe to see how you tip ‘when in Rome’.

One of the most visited European tourist destinations, after only France and Spain, Italy is renowned for its history, food and wine. But how much should you tip when acquainting yourself with the home of pasta.

Firstly, tipping in Italy is not always mandatory due to tips occasionally being included in the bill (the servizio or coperto). So, check if this is the case before adding on any additional gratuity. Although any further tip will always be accepted and considered a bonus if you choose to do so.

Due to the tourism boom in cities such as Rome and Florence, waiting staff, taxi drivers and hotel porters often expect a tip, but only tip if you feel the service was deserving of one. In addition, the tip should reflect the level of service – there is not necessarily a rule you should follow.

As a guide, you can follow this advice on where to tip and how much (should you think it’s merited). 

tipping In an italian café:

Leave some change or round up the bill to the nearest Euro.

leaving a tip In a restaurant in italy:

First check to see if the ‘servizio incluso’ is on the bill. If it is you do not need to leave any further gratuity, but rounding up the bill to the nearest €10 is welcomed. If the servizio isn’t included then a tip of between 10-15% is recommended.

How much to tip In a bar in Italy:

Round up your bill to the nearest Euro or leave 50 cents to €1 per drink.

Leaving a gratuity In a taxi in Italy:

Whilst it’s becoming more common to tip in a taxi, it isn’t necessary. If the driver was friendly and the journey was pleasant then rounding up the bill to the nearest €1 (for short journeys) and €10 (for longer journeys) is recommended.

Tipping on the airport shuttle in Italy:

It’s not necessary to tip, but if the driver helps you with your bags then a tip of €1 per bag is more than acceptable.

Leaving a tip for an Italian Porter:

Tip €1-2 per bag, or €1 for hailing a taxi 

tipping hotel Housekeeping in Italy:

Tip €1-2 per day if you are happy with the cleanliness of your room.

how much to tip a Hairdresser/ Barber in Italy:

Whilst it’s not expected to tip, rounding your bill up to the nearest €10 is welcomed.

tipping In an Italian spa:

If the service merits a gratuity, a 10% tip is considered acceptable. 

Top tip: Tip in cash rather than on card to ensure your server receives the tip.