Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio
What Are the Rules for Tipping in Italy?
One of the most popular conversations happening online with millennial and Gen-Z travelers is whether or not to tip. Some people tip every time they receive a service, especially at restaurants and bars. However, there are a select group of folks who don’t tip at all. But what do you do when tipping overseas?
One Reddit user chimed into the conversation after a waiter chased him down for a tip while visiting Italy. With European tipping customs being pretty common knowledge, many other users were confused by what happened to the traveler. Some even suggested they’d been lured into a tourist trap.
Tipping in Europe Is Different
The exact rules on tipping in Europe vary from country to country. However, in Italy, tipping sometimes depends on if the service charge is included in the total already. This can be confusing to American travelers since, in the U.S., tipping is expected despite a service.
Tourists in Italy are expected to tip if a service charge isn’t on the receipt. The respectable amount is 10% to 15%. Concierge services at hotels like housekeeping, valet, and butlers should be tipped one euro per night.
Many other European countries share these same tipping customs, despite everyone believing it’s simply uncustomary to tip. Places like Greece, Ireland, and Switzerland all encourage guests to tip as appropriate. However, it is never necessary. But why did the waiter flag down the Reddit user for their tip?
Beware of Tourist Traps
In the thread, one user pointed out that some European countries have unknown “tourist traps” designed to con Americans out of money. These places encourage tourists to pay more for tips than they are required.
Another user commented that when they were recently in Italy, tipping wasn’t even an option.
“I paid for virtually everything with a credit card and there is no option to leave a tip when using tap, nor did I see anyone leaving cash on the table,” they said.
While few people noted that tipping culture in Europe really is just “rounding up,” they also said that some places expect American tourists to tip.
“It’s also just more expected from tourists,” said another user. “ Like in Poland we’ve got a lot of Americans who tip pretty well and it is expected at this point. I don’t tip and I never got a side eye because of that. More tourists, more tipping.”
Regardless of the original user’s story, most users insisted that tipping in Italy “isn’t a thing” and that tourists should watch out for tourist traps looking to take their money.