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Tourist information on tipping in Italy includes guidlines on tipping in Italy at restaurants, in hotels, and tourist guides as well as an overview to how Italians treat their service providers
Italians don't generally tip huge amounts, that's if they tip at all. In fact, a quick way to make friends in Italy is to leave a tip. I have heard a similar story from many of our clients in which they left a tip on a table as they left a restaurant only to be stopped a few seconds later by an out of breathe waiter waiving money at them - "Madam you left this on the table".
In many establishments they don't even give you the option to tip someone, thy already include in your bill in the form of service and cover charges that can increase the cost of your meal by 20% or more. Some people think that the service charge goes to the people who wait your table, unfortunately in the majority of cases it goes straight to the owner. We recommend that you only tip when you receive good service and below we have listed some rough guidelines.
In sit-down restaurants it's customary to leave a 10 - 15% tip. For Taxi Drivers a tip of around 5-10% would be ideal, although this depends on the city. A water-taxi in Venice is already so expensive that a 10% tip would b more than a taxi ride would cost in other parts of Italy. In hotels if the concierge has been of assistance to you and made your stay a pleasant one a tip of 10 - 20 € is customary, while the chambermaids are happy with a 1 or 2€. For tour guides it depends on the kind of service provided, but again typical 5 - 10% is sufficient.