Do You Tip in Italy? Sometimes—Here’s When and How Much to Give

Basic tipping etiquette in Italia should be as easy to grasp as learning to love vino, da Vinci, and Vespas.

A waiter carrying tray of cocktails outdoors

How much should you leave for that vino, cappuccino, or cab ride to the aeroporto?

Photo by Kate Townsend/Unsplash

If you ask locals “Do you tip in Italy?”, they’ll explain that while they sometimes leave a small tip, it’s generally not necessary. In Italy, gratuity (or una mancia, pronounced oo-nah MAN-chah) is considered a bonus for exceptional service. And it’s not often that you’ll find a tip jar at a register. (One firm exception: Always tip your tour guide, both for paid and free tours.) Unlike in the United States, leaving something extra for restaurant servers or hotel staff is not a quid pro quo requirement or a way to avoid looking like a cheapskate.

However, there are cases when leaving a gratuity is absolutely appropriate, expected, and appreciated. Whether for an aperitivo and snacks in Venice, the services of a hotel porter or concierge in Rome, or a taxi ride from the airport in Milan, this guide covers whether you should tip in Italy, and, if so, how much to leave.

Overview of tipping in Italy


Should you tip?

How much?

Meal at a sit-down restaurantOptional (not expected)10–15% for exceptional service; or change from the bill
Drinks at a caféOnly if you receive table serviceChange from the bill, up to 2–3 euros
Hotel housekeepingYes1–2 euros per night
Hotel conciergeYes5–10 euros
Hotel room serviceNoNothing
Hotel portersYes1 euro per bag
Tour guide (large groups)Yes5 euros per person for a half day; 10 euros for a full day
Tour guide (private tour)Yes10% of the cost
Spa treatments, massages, barbers, hairdressersOptional (not expected)10% of the cost for exceptional service

Tipping at restaurants and cafés depends on the service

When it comes to tipping at restaurants, Italians will tell you they only tip on truly exceptional service or when dining in the finest restaurants. Even then, they usually only tip an extra 10 to 15 percent, or often just the change left over from the bill.

Unlike the United States, waitstaff in Italy are paid a living wage, and tips do not make up the majority of their income. Go ahead and follow their custom or, if you think the service was great and you want to leave more, feel free to do so.

For more casual restaurants, such as table service for a gelato at a café, leave the change from the bill, up to a couple of euros, as a tip. But if you do as so many locals do and drink your espresso while standing at the counter, no tip is expected.

Make sure your bill doesn’t have a servizio incluso (tip included)

Read the check before deciding whether to tip. Many restaurants—especially those in touristy areas—will include the phrase servizio incluso on the bill. This means a service charge has already been factored into the total and you can pay the amount on the check, with no need to leave more. (The word coperto on the bill is a separate cover charge for services including bread, olives, and other extras that are automatically brought to the table.) To make things easy, ask your server about potential service fees to avoid any confusion.

Carry cash for tipping

If you want to tip but plan to pay with a credit card, carry a little cash. Italian credit card slips don’t have a line on which to add a tip, so bring some euros in your wallet to leave una mancia.

At bars, skip the tip—unless you received table service

You do not have to tip bartenders in Italy—it’s not a thing. When and if Italians tip for their Negroni or vino, they usually just round the tab up to the nearest euro. This makes drinking in Italian bars more affordable than in the United States.

If, however, you have received table service or ordered food at the bar, leaving two or three euros is recommended.

At hotels, a small tip is usually appreciated

Set tables for breakfast in the diningroom of Don Pasquale Restaurant at Hotel Maalot in Rome

There are a few instances where you’ll want to tip at hotels in Italy.

Courtesy of Hotel Maalot

While you don’t need to tip for most services at Italian hotels, there are a couple of circumstances when leaving a euro or two is considered polite.

Housekeeping: one euro per night

Tipping the housekeeping staff one euro per night is the custom in Italy. Leaving a tip every day ensures the gratuity gets to the person responsible for making the bed and bringing clean towels that day. If you prefer to wait until the end of your stay, leave the equivalent of a euro per day, either in your room or in an envelope at the front desk with a request that it be shared among the cleaning staff.

If you can tip housekeeping extra, please do: These hard-working people are often the least well-paid on staff.

Concierge: five to 10 euros, depending on service

The hotel concierge, who can secure restaurant reservations and share insider advice and travel tips, is a good friend to make. If you take advantage of the services, tip the concierge five to 10 euros. The amount depends on the type of service—how personal or difficult was your request? Leave less if it was answered without research or included information readily available to anyone with a map or guidebook. Leave more if it is solved by hunting down tickets to a sold-out opera or securing a hard-to-get table at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Room service waiters: not necessary, but a few coins won’t offend

Tipping for room service, while not necessary, will not offend the person who ferried that delicious espresso up to your room. Leave some coins on the tray and make their giorno.

Porters and bellhops: one euro per bag

If a porter or bellhop assists with getting your luggage to the room, give that person a tip of one euro per bag. If he or she needs to carry several suitcases, tip a max of five euros.

Doorman: one euro

When the hotel doorman hails you a cab, press a euro tip into his hand and murmur grazie in your best Mastroianni impersonation.

You don’t need to tip taxi drivers

Cab drivers in Italy never expect a tip, so if you give one to them, they may be surprised. If you’re using a car service like Uber or Free Now (formerly myTaxi), tipping is also not required. But if any driver goes out of his or her way to assist you, it’s OK to give a small tip.

But definitely tip your tour guide

There is one firm exception to the general no-tips-necessary-in-Italy practice: your tour guide. You should tip guides—no matter if it’s a free or a paid tour—because that money is their main source of income. How much you give them will depend on the size of the tour and its length.

If you’re part of a large group tour, then a tip of five euros for a half day or 10 euros for a full day, per person, is recommended. If you’re on a small or individual guided tour, then the tip should be 10 percent of the tour’s total cost.

Tips are not necessary for spas, massages, barbers, or hairdressers

Tipping is not expected for personal services like spa treatments, haircuts, or beauty salon services in Italy. As always, if the service is extraordinary, then leave a cash tip in the amount of 10 percent of the total cost.

This story was originally published in March 2019; it was most recently updated on April 25, 2023, with new information. Jessie Beck and Erika Owen contributed to the reporting of this story.

Becca Blond is an award-winning freelance travel writer based in Denver, Colorado. She is the author of more than 30 Lonely Planet guides across five continents and contributes content to publications like USA Today, the Guardian, Los Angeles Times, AFKTravel, Cadillac Magazine, and Jetsetter.
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