13 Rules on Tipping in Italy (When & How Much)

Nadia Podrabinek Nadia Podrabinek

Written by Nadia Podrabinek

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Traveling to a new country can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to know what the customs are. When it comes to tipping in Italy, it is not as common as in North America, but still there are a few things to keep in mind. Do you tip in Rome and what is the Italian tipping culture in general? Read this complete guide on when and how much to tip in Italy.

Let’s begin with first important thing to know—you do not have to tip in Italy, and it’s all about common sense.

To me, this is one of the many satisfying things about this country. You can choose whether to leave some extra gratuity or not, and it’s very relieving. It also gives you some kind of security and control over the situation—it’s up to you to express your gratitude (otherwise, it shouldn’t be called a “tip” but a “service tax” because the gratitude couldn’t be prepaid, in my opinion).

Read also: Should I pay in Euros or Dollars?

There are a few things to keep in mind though—you can still face some awkward situations with tips while being a reasonable person. Therefore, follow this detailed guide on when and how much you should tip in Italy.

What people say on Reddit

Italian here. I’ve never tipped anyone in Italy in my entire life. Back in my university years I’ve worked as a waiter and although I obviously enjoyed being tipped on those extremely rare occasions, I’ve never expected to receive any sort of tip from anyone. Just don’t tip.


Tipping is (almost) never expected. Especially at restaurant, cafes, etc. I suggest that you round up to the closest 1, 5, 10 (depending on the bill) if the service is really (really) exceptional, which should be rare enough. That’s what a tip should be: an award for exceptional service, not the norm.


Just a side note. After coming back from Italy to the US, my tipping habits have changed. I did leave a few nice tips when we had great food and exceptional service. Here in the US they expect you to tip 15 to 20%, even at a place where you order the food at the counter and fill your own drinks. During Covid I was pretty generous, but now I only tip well for good service. I know people complain that you have to tip well because the severs are not getting a “living wage”, but maybe if they hustle a little more they will do Ok.


In rare cases where restaurant or hotel service is exceptional leaving a few 1 euro coins may be appropriate but tipping in general is not the custom. The exception would be a personal guide, or driver with whom you spend the better part of a day, where a proportional tip is an expected custom. As for those who commented on people leaving a large tip at a cooking school–a much more modest one would have sufficed–but it is not greed that is being displayed–it is Americans that give those large tips and those that receive them are not typically well compensated. It is not at all unusual for well educated Europeans in the tourist industry to hold down two or more jobs.


How much and where to tip in Italy

Here is the short 13-rule summary on tipping in Italy:

WhenHow much
Bar, Cafe, Coffee shop€0,1-0,50
Diningincluded in the bill, leave some € if you want
Housekeeper / Room service€1 per day
Hotel porter€1-3
Tour guide€10-15
Spa / Massage service / Barber shop0-5%
Delivery service€0-2
Car rentals€0
Сostumed characters / Cosplay people€1-3 (if you take a picture)
Night clubs€0
Gas station€0-2

At restaurants

The first important thing is that the tip is not expected at restaurants in Italy. Most of them add a service charge to the bill (servizio), but you can leave a small tip if the service was good.

You might also see a coperto—a kind of cover charge for the little things such as bread and silverware. You will also see it on the menu, around €1-4.

If you want to leave a tip for wait staff, I would not recommend putting the tip directly on a table and leaving the restaurant. You should pay the wait staff directly or go up to the cash register in the restaurant and pay there. If there is a tip jar, you can put it there. Otherwise, I would go right up to the wait staff and just give it to them at that moment. They’ll appreciate it.

Italian word for the "tip" is una mancha or la mancha.

To leave a tip with the card, ask the wait-staff about it before they bring the bill. It’s not always possible to tip with a card in Italy, so if the restaurant doesn’t accept tipping by card and you don’t have some extra cash, just let it go. Nobody will be offended.

Read also: Best Michelin star restaurants in Milan.

Useful vocabulary:

  • Tip — Mancha
  • Can I have the bill, please? — Posso avere il conto per favore?
    [poh-soh avereh eehl kohn-toh, pehr favore]
  • One beer please — Una birra, per favore
    ['oonah birrah, pehr favore]
  • A coffee please — Un caffè per favore
    [oon ca'feyh, pehr favore]
  • Can I pay with a credit card? — Posso pagare con carta di credito?
    [ˈpoh-soh paˈɣaɾeh kõn kartah dee credito]

At bars and cafes

It’s important to note that not every region in Italy has the custom of leaving a tip for the barista, and when it has, it could be as little as 10 cents (I’m not kidding). It can also be 20 cents or 50 cents.

It makes sense to give the barista a tip because they tend to give you water with your coffee, and they do that because they want you to drink the water before tasting only the coffee in your mouth. So your tip does pay for that glass of water, more or less.

Tipping taxi drivers

The concept is the same as with the restaurants. Leaving a tip is not expected in an Italian taxi. But you can give a taxi driver €1-2 (or whatever you want to give), and only if you’re satisfied with the service.

Being satisfied with the taxi service to me means a couple of different things:

  • if I have luggage, do they help me (although most of them usually do)
  • are they nice
  • do they choose a convenient route

Want to pay less for a taxi in Italy? Try these mobile apps:

Useful Italian vocabulary for a taxi ride:

  • Can I pay with a credit card? — Posso pagare con carta di credito?
    [ˈpoh-soh paˈɣaɾeh kõn kartah dee credito]

In barbershops

Another place where you could consider giving a tip is the barbershop. Granted, if you’re here on vacation, I don’t know if you will have a haircut here in Italy. But if you do, remember—tip if you want, but it’s not expected.

At gas station

This is a situation that you may not encounter. But if you happen to be driving in Italy and need to stop for gas, consider tipping the guy who’s pumping your gas. It’s very often that these guys are non-Italian, and I have the impression that they really depend and live off the tips. At that point, I’m usually happy to give them €1-2.

Tipping in hotels in Italy

In a hotel, you are usually taken care of 24/7, with various services to make your stay comfortable and pleasant. Probably, it is the only place where commonly accepted rules of tipping apply. Therefore, leaving a tip in the hotel is welcome. 

How much to leave? It depends on the star rating of the hotel as well as the service. For a 3-4 star hotel you can follow these practices: 

  • Porters, ~€1 per bag
  • Room service / Housekeeper, €1-2 per day (leave in the room)
  • Concierge, €5-10 (only for exceptional service)
  • Doorman, €1-2 (if they help you with luggage)

At Spa centers

Spa-center is the place where you are expected to get a relaxed and pleasant stay, surrounded with care and attention. Therefore, you may leave some extra 5-10%, but again, it’s only up to you.

Tipping tour guides

Tour guides provide an important service, giving travelers a glimpse into the history and culture of a new place. In Italy, tour guides are generally not tipped, as their pay is included in the tour price. However, if you feel that your tour guide went above and beyond or provided an extra value, it is considered to leave a tip of €10-15. For example, if your tour guide took you to an insider’s spot that was not on the original excursion itinerary, leaving a tip is fair enough.

If you go with the group, consider talking to group members before expressing your gratitude—there might be other people to join you, so you can tip as a group.

At nightclubs

First, it is not customary to tip the staff members who work at the club, such as the bartenders or door staff. Second, if you plan to spend time in a VIP area, it is common to tip the host or hostess to take care of you. Finally, it is always appreciated if you leave a small tip for the DJ at the night’s end.

At other places

You’re probably asking yourself if there are any other places where you can give tips. You’re probably thinking, “What about the bartender? What about the guys at the airport?” etc.

The answer is no. The places mentioned in this article are where tips are more commonly given, and these are also places where I give tips.

Frequent questions about tipping rules in Italy

Can I tip in US dollars in Italy?

No, tipping with the American dollar is very annoying and impolite. Don’t do that, please. This rule also applies to all European countries.

Tipping in Rome, Milan, and Venice. Is there any difference?

No, absolutely not. The tipping culture is the same across Italy, even in Sardinia Island.

Tipping for other services in Italy, what are the rules?

Tipping etiquette in Italy is very simple — extra gratuity is never required, so don’t feel pressured by any means.

What is “coperto” in Italy?

In Italy, coperto is a small charge that restaurants add to your bill for the cost of bread and cover. Therefore, it is not a tip. It’s usually just a couple of euros, but it can be up to 10 euros in some popular places. And don’t be surprised if you see it listed as “coperti” on your bill, which means “covers.”


21 replies on “13 Rules on Tipping in Italy (When & How Much)”

I came across a cafe in Venice that had a ‘coperto’ charge. It’s good to be aware of these charges while tipping.

Absolutely, being aware of “coperto” charges in Venice is important when budgeting for dining. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Very informative article. I like how you’ve broken down when and how much to tip in different scenarios.

Thank you for sharing this! I read somewhere that tipping is also not common in bars, is that true? What has been your experience?

You’re welcome! 🙂 Tipping practices can vary, but generally, it’s customary to leave a small tip in bars, especially if you receive table service. My experience suggests it’s appreciated, but it’s not as substantial as in some other countries.

This is an excellent guide! Tipping can be a confusing topic, especially for first-time travelers to Italy

Thank you, Sandra! I’m glad you found the guide helpful. Tipping can indeed be a bit tricky, but it’s always good to be informed when traveling. 🙂

I found that learning a few phrases in Italian like ‘thank you’ really warmed the locals up, tipping or not.

Thanks for the tips! When in doubt, I always just round up to the nearest euro or leave small change. It’s simple and appreciated!

You’re welcome! Rounding up is a great practice and often appreciated by locals. Enjoy your travels! 🙂

Yes, it’s typically customary to tip the tour guide at the end of a food tour in Naples. Tipping around 10-15% of the tour cost is a good guideline, but adjust it based on the quality of the experience.

Thank you, Nadia. I’m traveling to Italy next month and this guide is really helpful. Does the tipping etiquette vary between different cities like Rome, Milan, or Florence?”

You’re welcome! 🙂 Tipping etiquette in Italy is generally consistent, but it’s always a good idea to follow local customs. In restaurants, rounding up the bill is common, and service charges may be included. Enjoy your trip to Italy!

Yes, it is! Tipping customs can vary significantly from one country to another.

Hi! I had an amazing experience at a small restaurant in Rome where the owner refused our tip but invited us for a complimentary espresso instead. Anyone else had similar experiences?

I remember being so confused about tipping on my first trip to Italy. This guide would have been a lifesaver!

Hi Anja. Tipping etiquette can be tricky, but I’m glad you found the guide helpful! If you have more questions in the future, feel free to ask. 🙂

I’m glad you talked that tipping as one way to show appreciation for their actions. This Sunday, my wife and I will celebrate our 2nd anniversary. I want to surprise her with a great dinner for our Italian delicacies cravings. Thanks for the tips about choosing Italian. I will be calling a few Italian restaurants to see if I can make a reservation.

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