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Italy - how does one get these lovely discounts people refer to?

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Hello Fodorites

We hope the New Year is treating everyone well. Only 122 days until our great Italian caper gets underway, hurrah!

I've read several trip reports where posters refer to receiving a discount for paying in cash (seems to be restaurants and lodgings). Can someone please fill me on the etiquette here?

Is there a specific Italian phrase I should use?
Are there any particular places where this is a big no-no?

Thanks again for all the fantastic help.

Lovener1

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