Wondering whether or not you tip in Rome?
You’ve come to the right article as I’ve visited Rome and I learnt about the tipping culture in Rome from locals while I was there.
Visiting Rome is one of the most exciting things you can do as a traveller– it’s on nearly every single person’s bucket list, right?
It’s important to be aware of the tipping culture when visiting a new country, in this case, Italy. This leads to the question “Do you tip in Rome?”
As a full-time traveller, I have seen how different tipping cultures can be across the world. After spending some time in Rome, I have created a perfect overview of tips for tipping in Rome!
So let’s jump right into it.
So, do you tip in Rome?
To sum it up in one sentence: it is not expected to leave a tip in Rome but it is much appreciated.
Servers and hospitality staff are paid adequately, without the need for tips. Tips do not make up the staff’s wages like in the US, they are bonuses on top of this.
Therefore, tips are greatly appreciated in Rome, but they are not required or expected. They will not be added to your bill automatically.
However, sometimes, a restaurant or cafe may add a “service fee“. This is another word for a tip.
Another way tip money is added to a bill is for charging for the basket of bread you receive at the beginning of a meal.
Some places charge for water too, even when you can drink tap water in Rome. In this case, I do not tip, as it has already been added.
Did you know: VAT is already included in Italy. So if something costs €10, it costs €10, the VAT has already been added, and will not be added afterwards.
Tips will be gratefully received in Rome and are a generous gesture, but do not feel like you MUST tip. It is not a requirement, and you should not feel guilty if you don’t tip.
You should tip if you think the service was extraordinary, your food was absolutely delicious or you just want to say a little thanks. But again, tipping is not assumed by the staff. They won’t think less of you if you don’t tip.
How much to tip in Rome
If you do wish to tip in Rome, you may be wondering how much is appropriate to tip. Again, it is not like the US or other countries in North America where 20% is assumed. Generally speaking, when tipping in Rome I just round up to the nearest round number.
For example: If your meal comes to €36.48, it would be appropriate to give €40, and the extra €3.52 is the tip.
It would be unusual to tip more than 10%. Another way to work it out is to tip one euro per person. So if you have a meal with 5 people, tip €5.
But don’t feel like you are in New York and you have to double the price of a meal for a tip. 10% is fine.
Rome is an averagely expensive city, so tips don’t need to be extortionately high, but as I’ve said, they’re appreciated nonetheless.
When to tip in Rome
It can be confusing juggling who to tip and who not to tip. I’ve created this table which shows clearly whether it is usual for locals and tourists to tip and how much people would commonly tip. If you wish to tip in Rome, here is when to do it:
|Service||Do people often tip?||How much to tip|
|Tour guides||Yes||A few €|
|Free tour guides||Yes||€5-10|
|Professions (e.g. massage, haircut, tattoo)||No||–|
As you can see, tips are significantly lower than in other places around the world. This is because the tip is more of a kind gesture and in gratitude for their service, rather than a payment towards their wage.
Furthermore, this means a tip is appreciated a lot more as it is not expected.
But everything in Rome is so amazing that you’ll probably want to give a tip more often than not. If you take one of the best Colosseum tours, for example, they’re such a great tour that the guides got the biggest tip I’ve given.
How to tip in Rome
Tipping in Rome is done almost exclusively in cash. Even when paying by card, it is normal to tip in cash. This is because the tip can go to the person you are tipping directly. Rather than going into a tipping fund for the whole restaurant.
It’s more personal too by handing something over to say thank you, as opposed to a digital payment that neither you nor they see in person.
Best places to eat in Rome
As with every city, it’s best to eat away from the most touristy areas of the city. Rome is no different, a 5 or 10-minute walk away from the tourist parts, and you will find much cheaper and more personal restaurants. Here are 3 amazing restaurants to try when visiting Rome for the first time.
- Tonnarello – the best pasta I had in Rome
- Ristorante Va. Do. – for a more modern restaurant but with the classic foods
- Mariuccia – the nicest pizza I had in Rome
Tipping in Rome: FAQ
Below are some questions related to “Do you tip in Rome?” along with my answers.
It’s not viewed as rude to not tip in Rome. Tipping isn’t expected in Rome the same way it is in the US. It’s always nice to give a tip for exceptional service, but you will not be seen as rude if you do not tip.
Tipping is somewhat normal in Rome. It’s not a mandatory payment the way it is in the US, but it’s still a nice gesture to appreciate exceptional service with a tip.
Most people leave a small tip in Rome restaurants. It’s not the same as the US where 20% is added automatically, but leaving a tip of some degree is becoming more common. It’s nice to appreciate good service with a tip, but it’s not rude if you choose not to tip.
Do you tip in Rome: Wrap Up
Well, there it is, a complete guide to tipping in Rome.
To summarise, tipping is not expected. It’s not mandatory. But it’s a nice way to appreciate exceptional service.
Hopefully, you leave feeling confident about who to tip in Rome and how much to tip.
It’s an extremely beautiful city with great people, and even though it’s not expected, the hospitality staff definitely deserve a tip.
So if you visit Rome, make sure to show your server how grateful you are, even if it is not through a monetary value.