Tipping in Italy Guide | When and How Much to Tip in Italy

Visiting a new country leaves you with so many questions, and if you’re planning to visit Italy, there are some essential customs you might need to know. Do you tip in Italy, and how much to tip in Italy? These are just some of the questions you’re bound to ask. 

Tipping in Italy is an art influenced by tradition, regional nuances and local customs. The country is celebrated for its rich history, captivating art, and delectable cuisine. It also boasts a unique and sometimes bewildering tipping culture. 

Now, if you find yourself exploring the bustling streets of Rome, savouring a leisurely meal in Florence, or taking a gondola ride in Venice, understanding the intricacies of tipping is essential.

There are no set rules for tipping in Italy. However, there are certain tipping etiquette that you would need to follow to help you enjoy your visit to the country without disrespecting any local culture and tradition. 

Riva del Garda aerial panoramic view. Riva is a town at the northern tip of the Lake Garda in the Trentino Alto Adige region in Italy.

Italy’s diverse regions exhibit unique flair, and tipping customs vary considerably. While the country maintains certain common principles, tipping norms can fluctuate between the North and South.

In this guide, I will share a comprehensive overview of tipping practices in Italy and emphasise the importance of etiquette and respect for the service industry. You’ll discover how to acknowledge exceptional service without overstepping cultural boundaries or inadvertently offending those who work hard to make your visit memorable.

So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller to the land of La Dolce Vita, this guide is your key to understanding and mastering the art of tipping in Italy.

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Are you expected to tip in Italy?

Do I need to tip in Italy? Tipping in Italy is neither mandatory nor expected, but it is a gesture that indicates that you appreciate the service provided to you. Generally, tips here aren’t automatically given, unlike in the United States, where it’s already included in the bill.

You might even come across a few posts about Italy that they don’t do tips, and tipping isn’t part of their culture (at least, for the locals). This does not mean you cannot leave gratuities for them. 

Instead, you can limit tipping and only give when the service is exceptional. So how to tip in Italy? For example, if you’re staying at a hotel in Rome (for example) and the concierge helps you with your tour bookings and recommends good restaurants, tipping them (even in small amounts) is appreciated and a sign of your gratitude. 

Just be aware of regional variations and individual preferences to avoid looking rude to the locals. 

RIVA DEL GARDA, ITALY - Riva del Garda is a town at the northern tip of the Lake Garda in the Trentino Alto Adige region in Italy.

What’s the easiest way to give a tip in Italy?

First off, the most basic and easiest way to give a tip in Italy is by cash. In restaurants, cafes and bars, It’s usually not an option to tip on the credit card slip when paying your bill. While you can add it, it’s unlikely to reach the server. So, it’s highly suggested that you hand the cash over directly to the servers. 

There are also other ways top tip in Italy, and among them are: 

  • Use small Changes: When dining in a restaurant, having small bills on hand makes it more convenient to leave a tip. However, it might seem rude to leave a few pennies, so make sure you have enough to give.
  • Let them keep the change: Another option for you is to round up your bill to the nearest convenient amount. For example, if your bill is €37, you can leave €40, and the change will serve as a tip.
  • Tipping Jars: In places like local coffee shops or Italian gelaterias, you might find small tipping jars or containers at the counter. Drop your spare change here, or a small Euro bill as a tip to the whole staff.
  • Use Cash Envelopes: Since tipping in Italy is not a customary practice, it’s suggested that you be discreet about it. You can use cash envelopes to put money inside and have it with you throughout your travel. This way, you can be discreet about it when you hand it to the person providing the service. 
Empty cup of black coffee and 5 euro bank note on a table of outdoor cafe in Paris, France

When and How Much to Tip in Italy?

Basic Italy tipping etiquette is easier than you think. If you ask the locals, “Why do you not tip in Italy?” they will explain that they are already well-compensated with their jobs, especially in the hospitality industry.

Still, this does not mean that you cannot give them tips. Instead, they consider gratuities as a bonus for their exceptional service. But when should you list, and how much should you give the service providers in Italy?

There are cases when leaving a tip is appropriate and expected. Below, I’ll be sharing a few of these instances: 

  • If you stay at a luxurious hotel in Italy, you are expected to tip a few hotel staff, including the housekeeping, concierge and hotel porter. At least €3 to €4 is enough to give them as needed.
  • You are expected to tip your tour guides on a day tour or excursion in Italy. But while you are on time, you will also meet a few locals who can make your day trip more enjoyable – street performers, shop owners, cruise staff, parking attendants and more. You can also tip them €1 or €2 each if they provide exceptional service.
  • When you go to bars in Italy, an aperitivo (Italian aperitif) is a must-try. You can ask the local bartender to make you one, or even ask them to customise your drink how you want it to. After getting your drink, it would be a kind gesture to tip them €2 or €3 per drink.
  • While you are not expected to tip in restaurants and cafes, you can always give a little gratuity to friendly and accommodating wait staff during your stay. You can leave the tip at the table or also hand it over directly to the one you want to give it to. At least 5% to 10% of the total bill is enough since most restaurants already have a service charge. 
Colosseum at sunset in Rome, Italy with italian ice cream gelato in hands. World famous landmark in Italy

Can I tip in USD in Italy?

While there are no strict rules for tipping in Italy, you should remember that the answer to the question “Can you tip in US dollars in Italy?” is no. In Itlay, they do not accept US Dollars for tips. Make sure to always carry with you small amounts of Euros, just in case you want to give a gratuity to someone. 

While tips are not generally recommended, many businesses and service providers prefer to receive them in their local currency. If you attempt to tip in USD, you may encounter difficulties and inconveniences since it will require conversion. This also applies when you pay cash for food, products and services.

It would be more convenient for you and the recipient to tip in Euros since it’s widely accepted and recognised in Europe. Upon arrival at the airport, you can exchange some of your currency for Euros. You can also visit banks or withdraw from ATMs. 

Hands of man in blue t-shirt counting US Dollar bills or paying in cash on money background. Concept of investment, success, financial prospects or career advancement

What Is A Reasonable Tip In Italy? 

A small tip shows appreciation for exceptional service and is generally well, so there is no fixed rule on how much you should Tip in Italy. This will always depend on your preference, especially if you think it’s unnecessary to tip the service providers. 

However, tips of at least 5% to 10% of your total bill are reasonable. Unlike in the US, the standard tipping amount is 15% to 20%. Below, I also created a more detailed guideline for reasonable tipping in Italy: 

Taxi & Uber Drivers

Are you wondering do you tip taxi drivers in Italy? Taxi drivers in Italy do not expect any kind of gratuity from you, as do Uber drivers. It’s not even common to tip them as in some other countries. However, there are certain situations in which you might want to tip them accordingly. 

Here’s what you can consider for tipping taxi and Uber drivers in Italy:

  • When it comes to tipping taxi drivers in Italy, you can just simply round up the fare. For example, when your ride costs €16, you can pay your taxi driver around €20 and let them have the change.
  • If you’re coming from the airport and the taxi driver helps you load your luggage, you can at least tip them for €3.
  • Taxi drivers in Italy are known to be friendly, so if they ensure you are comfortable throughout the ride, you can also give them a small tip. At least €2 is enough.
  • Uber Drivers can accept tips on the app, but it would be better to give them cash instead. This way, they don’t have to wait for days before the money gets released.
  • Be wary of drivers who would ask that you take a long route. While this is okay with a heavy traffic jam, they would sometimes do this to increase your meter fare. 
PALERMO, ITALY - Tourist taxi or tricycle taxi in street in Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Tour Guides & Operators

In Italy, one of the most notable exceptions to the “no tipping” are tour guides and operators. Like in any other country, it’s customary to tip tour guides, regardless of whether the tour is free or paid. This is because gratuities are a significant part of their income. 

Depending on the tour situation and the group joining the tour, the number of tipping tour guides in Italy will vary. 

  • When tipping private tour guides in Italy, the suggested tip is 10% of the total cost of the tour. This is because you enjoy your trip with full attention from your tour guide and exclusive passes at different locations.
  • You can pitch in with other joiners when joining an extensive group tour. At least €5 per person is enough to cover a half-day tour tip, while €10 is appropriate for a full-day tour.
  • If you visit wineries, gelaterias or small shops producing local products, you will come across other locals who will share their livelihood. You can also leave a few tips for them.
  • In some cases, you will have interactions with your tour operators. They are the ones who organise your trip. While not mandatory, you can also tip them for their assistance and service. An amount of €5 to €10 is usually reasonable for tour operators.
View of the inside of Colosseum in Rome Italy. 
Rome, Italy. Inside view of the Colosseum in Rome Italy April 22, 2015. Group of people in the foreground. 
Wide view of the Colosseum.

Spa & Wellness Places

Tipping at spa and wellness places in Italy is a way to show appreciation for the services provided and the quality of your experience. This is another exception to the no mandatory tipping rule in Italy. 

  • Tipping around 10% of the total cost for massages and individual spa treatments is common. If you received exceptional service or if the spa experience was outstanding, you can choose to tip more.
  • The tip amount will vary, especially if you’ve booked a full-day spa package with multiple treatments and services; you can consider tipping between 10% and 15% of the total package cost.
  • If you decide to get a haircut in Italy, it’s safe to let them keep the change when you round off the bill. For example, if your total bill is €18, you can pay €20 and let them have the change as a tip.
  • The hotel usually has in-house spa and wellness centres. If you are with friends or family, check if a service charge or gratuity has already been included in the group rate. If not, you can collectively pool your tips based on the total bill, with 10%  being a reasonable range.
  • While tipping is a sign of your appreciation, it’s also best to check Spa Policies. Some spa and wellness facilities may have specific policies regarding tipping, so be aware of those, too. 
spa in jacuzzi. people are relaxing at the poolside. relaxing in swimming pool spa. people is relaxing in the pool.Relax spa.

Hotel Staff

Tipping in Italy hotel staff is a way to show appreciation for their services during your stay. This practice is commonly appreciated in luxury hotels. Meanwhile, tipping is not expected in smaller hotels, pensions, inns and B&Bs.

  • If you are staying in a luxurious hotel, you are expected to tip the staff higher than those working in small hotels. You can leave around €2 to €10, depending on who you’ll give it to.
  • Housekeeping staff cleans your room daily, so leaving a tip €2 per day is customary for them. You can leave the tip on your pillow or in your room. Some travellers prefer to leave a single tip at the end of their stay, but daily suggestions are appreciated and ensure that different staff members receive their share.
  • Tipping the concierge is discretionary and often depends on their service level. Usually, they are the ones you can ask to assist you with dinner reservations, recommendations, or other tasks. You can consider tipping €2 to €10 or more for exceptional service.
  • If a porter helps you with your luggage, a tip of €1 or €2 per bag is always appreciated. This tip is typically given at the time of service. You can hand it to them directly.
  • If you order room service, it’s not required you give tip to them. Usually, there is a cover charge already included in the bill. But if not, you can give them 5% to 10% of the total bill. 
Support by Lorenzo Quinn. Gigantic hands rise from water to support the Ca' Sagredo Hotel, a statement of the impact of climate change and rising sea levels.

Cafes, Restaurants & Bars

While you may hear the argument, “Italian waiters don’t need to be tipped,” there are still instances where you can give gratuities to wait staff.

In most cases, servers in high-end and Michelin-starred restaurants are the ones who expect tips. This is because they are usually on-call and are assigned to one table so they can assist you with care. 

  • In Italy, you will be seeing lots of local cafes and gelaterias. Usually, they have tipping jars at the counter where you can leave your tip for the staff. These small cafes only have one or two employees, sometimes the owners themselves. You can go €3 to €5 for them if they are welcoming and friendly to you.
  • Italian restaurants usually include a service charge in the bill, ranging from 10% to 15%, so you don’t need to leave them a tip. However, if you feel like showing appreciation to the staff, tipping in Italy restaurants is still appreciated. For example, if your bill is €48 you can pay €50 and let them keep the €2.
  • The polite way to leave a tip for your waiter is to leave the cash on the table before you get up. You don’t have to hand it over directly; instead, you can tell them that you’re leaving it for them in advance.
  • Restaurants in Italy charge two different charges: the coperto or the cover charge, often used to cover the table you will be sitting at. This is usually €2 to €4. Meanwhile, the service charge or servizio is added when you are a large group of diners or in an area with many tourists. If you are charged with the servizio, leaving a tip is unnecessary. 
Unidentified people eating traditional italian food in outdoor restaurant in Trastevere district in Rome, Italy.

Food Delivery

In Italy, it’s easy to get food delivered to your doorstep or hotel lobby with the help of food delivery apps. But when you order food, it’s your discretion whether to give them tips. Here are a few scenarios where you might want to consider tipping them: 

  • If the weather is not good – heavy rain or thunderstorm- you can consider giving the food delivery rider some tips, especially if they’re only on their motorcycle or bicycle.  The reasonable amount of tip to give is €2 to €4.
  • Feel free to adjust your small tip to a higher amount if you had large orders delivered. Of course, you should also consider the quality of service and the prompt delivery.
 A worker from Glovo, home delivery company for food and drink. It is easy to notice them: the showy yellow duffel bag with the typical green logo.

Street Vendors & Markets 

Just like in other countries, tipping street vendors and at markets in Italy is not a common practice. In these settings, the price you negotiate or agree upon with the vendor is typically the final amount, and additional tipping is not expected. 

Instead, you can haggle with prices and ask for a discount when buying in bulk. However, if you had an exceptional experience, received excellent assistance, or simply want to show appreciation, you can round up the final price as a small gesture of gratitude. 

For instance, if your purchase amounts to  €18, rounding it up to  €20 is a simple and reasonable way to show appreciation. 

VERONA ITALY -street market on Piazza delle Erbe (Market's square) in Verona Italy. The square was the town's forum during the time of the Roman Empire.

Airport Porters

Aside from hotel staff and tour guides, another exception to the no mandatory tipping rule in Italy is airport porters. It is customary to tip the porters as a way to show your appreciation for their assistance with your luggage. 

A reasonable tip for airport porters typically ranges from  €1 to  €2 per bag. You can consider increasing it if your luggage is heavier than other bags. This is why you must already have small euro denominations as soon as you leave the airport.

BERGAMO ITALY - Travelers hurry in the airport terminal on in Bergamo Italy.

Final Thoughts: italy tipping guide

Tipping in Italy is uncommon, but you can still tip and appreciate hardworking staff and workers during your visit. This is why it’s only fitting that you know the do’s and don’ts when tipping in Italy, which I have provided above. 

Tipping practices may differ from the cafes and restaurants of Rome to the artisan markets of Florence and the canals of Venice to the spa retreats of Tuscany. Yet, the sentiment remains the same: acknowledging and rewarding excellent service. 

So whether you’re a first-time visitor to Italy or a returning traveller, you can use this tipping guide for Italy to help you navigate the overwhelming tipping culture in Italy and, at the same time, help contribute positively to the travel experience, both for you and those who work diligently to make your journey unforgettable.

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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