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how much to tip staff in hotels in Italy, France etc

how much to tip staff in hotels in Italy, France etc

Feb 17th, 2007, 09:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 305
First of all, we almost always pay cash in restaurants. In some restaurants, the diners are supposed to go the "cassa" or cash register to pay the bill (which is usually the owner sitting behind a desk). In this case they obviously give us back all the change, even if it is 1 euro. And I'm not talking about McDonald's... nice restaurants have you pay at the cassa sometimes too. My favorite restaurant La Cugna outside of Florence is this way, and it's a lovely restaurant.

In many circumstances, restaurants will "round down" the bill if it makes it easier for them to give us the change or if they don't want to deal with having to give change at all. If it's 38 euro, then they'll say they will give us a discount and for us to pay 35 euro instead. This actually happens a lot believe it or not.

If it's the type of restaurant where they bring the check and we pay the waiter directly and the bill is 38 euro. We usually have so many coins that we have exact change. But if we only have two 20's, we wait for the 2 euro.

Unfortunately if you're in Milan having lunch and the waiter hears you speak and knows you're not Italian, chances are he's going to be offended that you didn't let him keep the 2 euro. Unfair double standard, but true.

Regarding the hotel thing, I always feel uncomfortable when the bellhop brings my bags up to my room. Such an awkward moment, especially in Italy. In America, the bellhop knows he has a tip coming. In Italy, I feel like I should give him a couple euro, but then the bellhop seems uncomfortable that I have given him the tip. Again, when I was tourist alone in Italy, it was less awkward because I think the bellhop knew he was going to get a tip from me being an American. But when I'm with my husband who's been chatting with him in Italian, the bellhop seems a bit embarrassed/uncomfortable when I give him a tip. (Maybe because he knows that we probably make no more money than he does.) My husband refuses to tip the bellhop because he feels uncomfortable doing so. But he doesn't mind me doing so if it's not a lot of money! If I wanted to tip the housekeeping, he would think I was absolutely crazy!!
amy_zena is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 134
Every time we've been in Italy we have tipped the porter, maids and waiters. Normally, we know who cleans our room and try to see her on our last evening.
auldyins is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 10:33 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,904
Thanks, Amy, for the detailed response. I will relate your comments to my usual travel partner who is sure to feel smug since he is of the "no tipping in a restaurant" contingent.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,203
I learned the "art" of tipping from a friend of mine we used to call Danny the Greaser. Not because of his hair but because he couldn't resist "greasing" someone with a tip. I can't help myself, I always tip.
buongiorno is offline  

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