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EL Sep 5th, 2002 06:24 PM

Tipping at resturants
What is the rule for tipping at resturants in Italy. I am leaving on Sunday! I know in France you don't tip but I am not sure about Italy. I will be in Rome, Florence & Venice. Also if you take a gondola do you tip?

Chet Sep 5th, 2002 09:23 PM

High EL:<BR><BR>In most cases "service" at about 15% is included in your bill. If so, it will be noted "servizio Compris" on the menu and listed as a separate item on the check. However, most waiters will tell you they do not get all of this "service" charge; the owner takes his cut. I have made many trips to Italy and, DEPENDING ON THE LEVEL OF SERVICE, will usually leave an extra 5 to 10% in cash (not on the credit card bill) for the wait staff. In all my trips to Venice, I have never taken a gondola, but I would expect to tip the gondolier abot 10% if he gave you a pleasant trip and had a passable voice. Hope this helps.<BR>Ciao, Chet

xxx Sep 5th, 2002 09:29 PM

the service is so bad that in most instances a tip of 0.0% will be perfect.

Alice Twain Sep 6th, 2002 04:57 AM

In italy no tip us due nor service is included in the bill with a specific note. Unlike in some other country, italian restaurant staff do not depend on the tips for their survival (they get regular and full paiment for their job) and therefore no tip is due. In most cases the bill includes a small "coperto" sum, that is supposed to be for th bread (it is alwais served free of further charge), for the cleaning of the dishes and other items used in the lunch or dinner and for other small things. You will be required to leave no tip at all, only if you get served to a level that goes beyond what the staff was supposed to do, than you can leave a small tip (no more than 5% of the bill,most usually we - the Italians - leave but the small change we receive). In any other case you will be neither required nor expected to leave a tip. I repeat: waers and waitresses are paid in full, unlike in the United States where they receive a smaller wage because they are supposed to collect the tips. Tips are not part of the italian culture, at least not at the restaurant. And this is true for everything, not only restaurants, but also taxi drivers and hotel staff. Tip only if they offer you something that goes beyond what the person you are going to tip is required to do.

Ken Sep 6th, 2002 06:45 AM

Alice,<BR><BR>Is it called "service" charge? We were in Florence last month and had a light lunch in a small restaurant. We (six of us) had pizza or pasta. The food was about 42 Euros and the service charge was 21 Euros. I questioned the waiter about the charge, he said that it was for the dish and cloth napkin cleaning.

x Sep 6th, 2002 06:50 AM

Ken went to a tourist trap

XX Sep 6th, 2002 08:17 AM


Alice Twain Sep 9th, 2002 11:15 AM

Ken:<BR><BR>I disagree, you didn't go to a tourist trap: 7 euro per person is not much for a single dish. But the 21 euro for "service" (actually it is called coperto) sounds far too much, with 6 people the coperto fee should not have exceded 9-12 euro. Are you really sure that you were given a regular "ricevuta fiscale" or was your bill scribbled on an anonimou piece of paper? If so the restaurant's personnel may have written whatever on the bill, while only regular "ricevuta fiscale" (three carbon copies with detailed information about the restaurant and the food you have eaten and a serial numner on the top) is a valid document and nust have all the right figures. In case you have received a regular "ricevuta fiscale", you will be able to check it out and will probably see that these 21 euro were not all on service. If you are not, you should contact Guardia di Finanza and denounce the restaurant for not paying its taxes (ricevuta fiscale is the document that allows italian Irs to check the taxes of one restaurant, if they do not write one the money you give them just goes into their pockets and they do not pay taxes on it).

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