One of the first conversations fellow travellers have in Italy is usually how much to tip their waiter, taxi driver, hotel porter or tour guide. Leave too much and it’s unnecessary spending, leave too little and you risk offence. But with our simple guide to tipping in Italy, you can eat, drink, stay and travel with confidence.
In Italy, people who work in the tourism sector are paid a living wage and receive paid holidays, pension contributions and medical cover, so don’t rely on tips to top up their salaries. Working in the Italian service industry is regarded as a respectable profession and people will often stay in the same job for their entire lives, so tipping in Italy isn’t regarded as an essential part of the working day. That said, adding a few extra euros to your bill or leaving the change is always appreciated. Read on to discover who to tip – and how much.
A gratuity of 10-20% in Italian restaurants is often added to the bill, so check that you’re not already paying the tip before you add more to your payment. If it’s not, a tip of 10-15% is encouraged. Remember to leave your tip in cash rather than add it to your credit card payment to make sure the money goes to the restaurant staff.
Tipping isn’t required in hotels in Italy but it’s always appreciated. If a porter carries your bags to your room, €5 is a reasonable amount, while €1-2 is fine for a concierge who has provided good service. For a maid or housekeeper, think about leaving between €0.50-1.50 per day, and €0.50 for room service. Doormen generally don’t expect more than a polite ‘Grazie’ when they open the door for you, but if they have helped you hail a cab or carried your luggage then a euro is appreciated.
Taxi drivers in Italy don’t expect tips but they will always appreciate one. If your taxi journey is short then round your fare up to the nearest euro, and for a longer journey, round it up to the nearest €10. Always remember to agree a price before you begin your journey.
If you have had good service and enjoyed your espresso, it’s considered good manners to round your change up to the nearest euro, but the café staff won’t be offended if the change ends up in your pocket.
As with cafés, the bartender will appreciate you rounding your change up to the nearest euro each time you get a drink. If you do, they may even serve you first next time!
Drivers moving you between airports don’t expect a tip, but if they have been helpful loading and unloading your bags then consider giving them €1 per bag.
If you have enjoyed your tour and your guide was particularly informative and entertaining, then feel free to tip around €5 for a half day or €10 for a full day per person. It’s not expected but your tour guide will be grateful for the gesture.
Planning a trip to Italy? Make sure you're insured by taking out travel insurance with Post Office.