Italy: Tipping Rules.. Please clarify.

Old Jun 16th, 2006, 06:03 AM
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Italy: Tipping Rules.. Please clarify.

I posted before but forget to mention that I'm referring to Italy.

Okay, I've done my research and am still confused. If a service charge is added to a restaurant bill, is it necessary for a tip and how much?
For a tour guide that you are spending 300 euros for a day trip, are you supposed to tip and how much?
For the porter who takes your bags to the room.. tip? how much?
For the housekeeper, tip? how much?

It seems that many fodorites have different views? What's the way to go? Thanks, Lisamarc


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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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As in many European countries, its not common to tip in Italy, certainly Italians don't. Restaurants generally have a service charge added, you could leave a few euro if you felt service was exceptional, your tour guide probably expects a small gratuity only if he/she has been used to Americans who are notorious for feeling they must tip, I never has a porter at anywhere I stayed so couldn't tell you, I suppose that they might expect a few euro, and the housekeeper, well it is uncommon to tip here, if not unheard about. Fodors has a article somewhere on the site about tipping in diffrent countries, but rule of thumb in Italy is don't.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 06:33 AM
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ira
 
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Hi L,

In general, tips are not expected (except if you are an American).

A Service Charge pays for the waiter's salary. One need only round off to the nearest Euro. Leave the change on the table. If you put it on your cc, it goes to the owner, not the waiter.

Drivers and tour guides should be tipped about 5E only if they have exceeded your expectations.

Bellhops don't expect, and in one case refused, tips.

Housekeepers don't expect tips, bar tenders don't expect tips, bus drivers don't expect tips, and you needn't tip the pilot.

Have a nice visit.



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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 07:32 AM
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ira, thanks for mentioning about bellhops refusing tips. It happened to me more than once in Italy.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Although I wouldn't `round off to the nearest Euro.' I recommend rounding up to the higher Euro.

;-)
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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Thanks everyone! Had no idea about the bellhop and great point about rounding up for waiters and leaving it on table rather than on cc. I love Fodors. Thanks again, Lisamarc
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Old Jun 17th, 2006, 06:56 AM
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As I see it, if you pay your restaurant bill by CC, there is nothing to round up.
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Old Jun 17th, 2006, 07:58 AM
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On our many trips to Italy, we have always tipped the maid, porter and waiter after lunch and dinner. Even when we just have an o.j., beer or coffee we leave 1 euro.

Maid - 20 euro
Waiter - 5 - 10 euro
Porter - 5 euro
Driver - hired for the day - 20 euro

No tip has ever been refused. Drivers earn only 1,000 euro per month and work for eight months in Sorrento. Perhaps northern Italy is different.

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Old Jun 17th, 2006, 08:07 AM
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"only 1000 euros per month"
auldyins, that's not a bad salary. Certainly, not very good but pretty average. Yes, northern Italy is different but everything is more expensive also. I know a lot of people here in Spain that has a salary around 800 euros a month.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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An in depth study of Italian households and their income reported that for a family of two a monthly income of 1850€ put a family in Italy at the poverty level.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 02:05 PM
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Agree with all that's been said. Pay the service charge, and only if you've had exceptional service leave some money on the table, or wherever.
The exception to this was after a week-long stay in hotel on Lake Garda - we left E20 for the chambermaid, who had been great- very friendly and smiley, despite the language barrier.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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I am Italian and this is what I think is expected from us: in Rome a 10c tip handed over with your scontrino when you order anything at the bar shows you are a local. This is not customary as far as I know north of Rome. 10% at least is customary in restaurants if service charge has not been added. Round up if it has been added and you are happy with the service. I give a 4-5 euro tip to the person who carries my luggage up to the room. I don't leave tips for hotel housekeepers. Tip 50c to the guy who cleans your car window at the gas station. The farther north you go the less you tip. Even more Confused?
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 04:43 PM
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Hi L,

If there is a service charge,which is always the case, one normally leaves the change on the table - bill is 28.5E, leave 30E.

Do not put a tip on your CC. It goes to the owner, not the waiter.

In the event of extra special, really top notch service, you may leave more.

Tour guides are charging you what they think is a fair price for their services, no tip is necessary.

In the event of extra special, really top notch service, you may leave more.

No tip is necessary for a porter. Two times, I tried to give them a tip andthey refused - indignantly.

For the housekeeper, 1-2E/day.


Disregard anyone else's posts.

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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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LOL, ira!

On our recent trip (Greece not Italy), we tipped the hotel maid on our last day as she did a truly exceptional job, leaving us homemade cookies one day and and turning down the beds every night. The 20€ earned us both a rib-crunching bear hug and kiss on both cheeks. She was a sweetie.

I've never tipped the hotel maids in Italy as we normally don't stay in the caliber of hotels where the service is exceptional or personal

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