Do You Tip in Italy After Service?

Tipping Culture in Italy

Many ask, do you tip in Italy? Tipping in Italy is a customary expression of gratitude for received services, commonly observed in cafes and restaurants. However, this practice is not as prevalent as in the United States. 

Navigating the nuances of tipping can be challenging. This guide addresses all your questions about tipping in Italy.

Do You Tip in Italy?

Yes, you tip in Italy. However, it is not as ingrained in the culture as in some other countries. While it’s not obligatory to tip, leaving a small token of appreciation for good service is customary.

Waving Italy Flag

Are There Tipping Rules in Italy?

Tips in Italy are not as rule-bound as in some other countries, but there are certain customs to be aware of. Many people ask, how do you tip in Italy? Here are some general guidelines:

  • Service charge (coperto): Many people wonder, do you tip at restaurants in Italy? Many restaurants in Italy include a service charge, or “coperto,” in the bill. This is a fixed amount per person that covers the service. Check the menu or ask the staff to confirm if the bill includes coperto.
  • Rounding up: It’s common to round up the bill or leave small changes as a gesture of appreciation, especially in restaurants and cafes. For example, if your bill is €48, you might leave €50.
  • Exceptional service: If you receive exceptional service, you can leave a larger tip, but it’s not customary to tip a percentage of the total bill.
  • Coffee and bars: In cafes and bars, rounding the bill or leaving small change is advisable. For instance, if your coffee costs €2.20, you might leave €2.50.
  • Taxi drivers: Many ask, do you tip taxi drivers in Italy? Tipping taxi drivers usually involves rounding up the fare or leaving a small tip, particularly if they provide good service.
  • No obligation: Tipping is not obligatory, and the amount left is often a matter of personal discretion. Italians generally view good service as part of the overall experience, and tipping is a gesture of gratitude rather than an obligation.

It’s important to note that tipping practices vary by region, and some establishments may have their norms. Always check the bill for service charges, and when in doubt, you can inquire with locals or the staff about tipping customs in a particular area.

How Much Do You Tip in Italy?

LocationIs Tipping Common?How Much to TipHow to Do it
Hotel housekeepingNoCommonly €1 per dayCash
Hotel portersYes€1-5 per bagCash
HairdresserAvailable for the junior staff only€5Give cash to the person directly or at the reception desk
Taxi drivers (short trips)NoRound up the charge Cash or ask the driver to keep the change
Tour guides (paid tours)Yes €5Cash
Tour guides (free tours)YesAny appropriate amountCash
BrunchYes€1-2Cash on the table 
RestaurantYes10% of the billCash on the table

When Not to Tip in Italy

You may wonder, why do you not tip in Italy in some cases? In Italy, it’s customary not to tip a business owner. For instance, when at the hairdresser’s, it’s acceptable to leave a tip for the junior staff member responsible for your styling, but it’s not customary to tip the owner, whose name is on the salon door. 

This practice extends to small business owners like those running guesthouses or family restaurants (though exceptions may apply to the latter, as explained below). Tipping is generally not expected for gelato or street food, though it’s considerate to tip for food delivery to your home.

If you’re dissatisfied with the service, there’s no obligation to leave a tip. The payment for the service covers the worker’s salary, and anything extra is a voluntary expression of appreciation for exceptional service. 

To avoid appearing rude or condescending, refrain from leaving a handful of 1 or 2 Eurocent coins, and exercise moderation with large notes for small services. While you may consider €20 or €50 notes generous and a voluntary contribution for a free tour, they are typically too much as a regular gratuity.

Italy collage

More Tipping Tips for Italy

Tipping in a large restaurant with a large group differs slightly from tipping for smaller parties. Here are some tips for tipping in a restaurant with a large group:

  • Gratuity: Many restaurants add an automatic gratuity to the bill for parties of six or more, often set at 18%. This is because large groups tend to tip less, and the gratuity helps ensure that the restaurant’s support staff receives a fair share of the tips.
  • Base your tip on the bill: You should base your tipping on the total bill, including tax. If the bill includes a gratuity, you can tip another 5-15% on top of it.
  • Consider the service: The quality of service can affect the tip. If the service is exceptional, you can tip more than 15-20%. Discussing the service with the manager before tipping is better if the service is poor.
  • Share the tip: Sometimes, you can ask the restaurant to add the tip to the final bill so each person pays their share. This can be a convenient way to handle tipping in a large group, as it ensures that everyone contributes to the tip based on their consumption.
  • Discuss tipping in advance: If you’re concerned about tipping in a large group, discussing the tipping policy with the restaurant is a good idea. This can help you plan your tipping budget and ensure you’re tipping appropriately.
Italy map


Should you tip in Italy? Giving a tip isn’t a strict cultural rule in Italy. Instead, it’s a way of saying thanks. Understanding how much and when to tip depends on where you are and any service charges. If you get good service, it’s a nice gesture to leave a small tip, whether you’re having a relaxed meal at a cozy restaurant or enjoying coffee at a historic café. 

Doing this can make your whole experience better.