Do I tip you?

Sep 6th, 2013, 05:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 541
Do I tip you?

Hi everyone. I am hoping the Italy regulars will be willing to chime in here. I think i have basic tipping cleared up. If service is included, you can leave a few extra euros, round up for cabs. What about hotel staff? We also have a driver all day on one day. How much of a tip is appropriate? We don't want to over tip unless we are truly wowed, but don't want to make the mistake of not tipping when we should. A little heads up, so we aren't ugly Americans would be lovely.
Cjar is offline  
Sep 6th, 2013, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,288
Tipping culture in Europe is not like the US. Santa Susanna, the American church in Rome, has info on their website about various tipping situations.

From Santa Susanna:

You can not always flag down a taxi like you do in New York. You have to go to a Taxi stand and take the first in line. Taxis are relatively cheap and a 5% tip is in order. At the train station or airport, ALWAYS GO TO THE TAXI STAND AND WAIT. These are the legitimate people. Do not use a taxi offered by someone approaching you in the terminal as they will rip you off – charging double or triple. See also the Public Transportation section.

Il Conto, Per Favore. Getting the bill sometimes requires asking for it two or three times (Faccia il conto, per favore). Don't get upset -- remember you're on vacation. Breath deeply three times. Waiters can be very nice, but if they're busy, they can also be forgetful. If something's missing, ask for it. Most restaurants take credit cards, but check the door to make sure. A few only take cash. There's a small cover charge (for the bread, etc) and a tax. Tip LESS than you do in the states. About 5% to 10% unless you're in a real fancy place and the service is extraordinary, but even then, don't overdo it. However, please note that Fr. Greg tips 10 to 15% because he feels guilty and that the waiters have come to expect it from Americans! Also, please always Take Your Bill of Fare with you. Always.****

I've found many people from other countries don't tip at all.
kybourbon is online now  
Sep 6th, 2013, 08:02 PM
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Thank you. So helpful as always. I will look at Santa Susanna's website. Perhaps they will mention long term engagements i.e the driver for the day. Fodorites are a new traveler's best resource for information and reassurance.
Cjar is offline  
Sep 6th, 2013, 08:26 PM
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Cjar tipping a private guide or driver depends on this.. are they self employed,,, therefore earning the entire fee you pay them less expenses,, or whether they are employed by an agency or company , therefore earning only a fraction of what you pay.

I do not feel the need to tip owner/operators.. seems silly,, but would tip an employee.
justineparis is online now  
Sep 6th, 2013, 11:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 33,303
Do I tip you????

Did I do something that YOU didn't WANT to do like drive you around all day and offer commentary?

Did I carry your bags somewhere?

Did I clean your toilet and hotel room?

Does what I make in salary have anything at ALL to do with the quality of those services I provided for you?
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 7th, 2013, 02:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,411
Great questions and good debate, If I spent a whole day with a person showing me stuff then I'd tip them. Knowing stuff and sharing it with you in an interesting way is a skill and doing a great show is worth a tip. I would not worry about percentages but I guess euro 5, 10 or 20. Depending on quality. If it is dull then 0.
bilboburgler is offline  
Sep 11th, 2013, 05:59 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Thank you. I suspect we will want to tip our driver from Hills and Roads, but wasn't sure if it was either appropriate or expected. With drivers, hotel staff etc. There does seem to be some controversy regarding when, whom and how much.I gues a good rule of thumb might be ... Yes, tip if you feel it is warranted, but don't be excessive? We will use our best judgment based on the info received here. Thanks all.
Kybourbon- The Santa Susanna site had a lot of great information, though not much more than what you offered regarding tips. As always thanks for the detailed information.

Dukey1- I understand your point, but also feel that only good service deserves additional tips especially if it is not the custom to tip. I just wanted be aware of any cultural differences as far as percentages, where and in what circumstances.
Cjar is offline  
Sep 11th, 2013, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 278
Cjar, this is an interesting subject. Living in Rome, at the end of the meal everyone tossed in money until we reached the bill total. As an American, I would then add "a tip."

All my younger Italian friends would often chide me about "giving money away" as they did not tip. They would actually reach in and take my "tip money" out of the pot. So I found that when I was with them I tipped far less for services - that was their perspective.

But when I was by myself, or out with just my wife... and the staff knew we were American, they sometimes expected a tip! So it seemed our culture difference was actually working against us!

As we were regulars at a few neighborhood restaurants, some owners - who we knew quite well - would give us a tip back, or simply bring out an "extra." After a period of time, maybe a year, we also never paid the fill menu price... and if we did, we always got a free antipasta or free dessert, etc.

If I got TERRIBLE service I did not tip... and if I got STELLAR service I would discretely tip my waiter directly.

So it's different (sort of). I think kybourbon gives excellent advice. Do what you're comfortable doing.
rineurope is offline  
Sep 11th, 2013, 10:32 PM
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Rineurope- thanks for the" heads up". I had a sneakin' suspicion Americans are in a strange kind of Catch 22 situation with tipping. We'll take all of the advice and hopefully not embarrass our fellow countrymen with our distinctly American habits and behaviour. : )
Cjar is offline  
Sep 15th, 2013, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Cjar, we have used Hills and Roads at least half a dozen times and have always been very happy. We did tip Luca as he was both a great driver and a very good guide and we very much enjoyed our days with him.
kfusto is offline  
Sep 25th, 2013, 01:35 AM
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Kfusto- Thank you. We have heard nothing but good things about them, and are looking forward to a great time. We'll be sure to have some cash on hand.
Cjar is offline  

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