Chat Plus

Chat Plus: Tips for Tipping in Italy

Sunday, July 5, 2009

During our online chat (most Mondays at 2 p.m.), you ask and we answer your travel questions -- mostly. Here's one we couldn't get to last week.

I'm going to Italy for the first time. What's the rule of thumb when it comes to tipping cabdrivers, waiters, doormen, tour guides, etc.?

Searching the Web has brought mixed results, from "Yes, tip like you do here" to "Italians never tip anyone, so don't."

Here's a tip: The correct approach lies somewhere in between. In most cases, tipping isn't required, but there are times when small gratuities are appreciated. In restaurants, for example, the tip is usually included in the bill, but many people round up the total by a euro or two. If you really liked the food and service, tip 5 to 10 percent extra. Taxi drivers don't expect tips, but it's nice to round up the fare to the next euro. Give a euro to the bellman if he carries your luggage. Restroom attendants typically get 50 cents to a euro.

-- K.C.S.

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