Should you tip? Should you not tip? How much should you tip? Find out the where, when, and how much of tipping in Florence.
Depending on your home country, tipping can be expected and is often a gesture of appreciation for excellent service–but that’s not always the case everywhere you go! There is a rumor that tipping in Italy is viewed as rude, but this isn’t true. However, there are differences in the culture of tipping in Florence compared to other places.
“But what are those differences,” you ask? We here at Devour Tours have compiled some common questions about tipping in Florence. The Mediterranean sun will already have you breaking a sweat, so there’s no need to stress over tipping in Florence!
To tip or not to tip in Florence?
That is the question indeed. Across the board, tipping is not expected in Italy, but it is appreciated.
Tourist destinations like Florence have become accustomed to visitors tipping, so a service provider might ask if you would like to leave a tip before swiping your card. Don’t feel pressured though! Tipping in Florence is not an expectation, and it’s okay to decline.
Tipping is not mandatory in Florence, but feel free to leave something extra when you receive truly exceptional service.
Where should you be tipping in Florence?
If you’ve experienced excellent service in a restaurant, bar, café, or your hotel, tipping is very much appreciated.
But what about your taxi driver? Nope, don’t worry about leaving a tip. You can round up the fare by €0.10-€0.50 cents if it makes the change easier.
After enjoying a guided tour around Florence, especially if your guide provided a great experience, a tip is appreciated. If they decline, don’t insist on leaving them a tip.
How much should you be tipping in Florence?
Where 20% is customary in American restaurants, that would be too much to tip in Florence. Instead, a fair tip would be €1-€2 per person. To make things a little easier, consider rounding up the bill. For example, if the meal was €45, then you can pay €50 and tell them to keep the change.
As always, only leave a tip if you feel you received awesome service. If the service was poor, just pay what’s on the bill.
In a bar or café, you might see a tip jar by the cash register. Feel free to drop your change or an extra €1 in there if you enjoyed your service. However, don’t unload your small denomination copper coins (€0.01, €0.02, and €0.05), as this might be seen as dumping your unwanted change.
When in a hotel, if your porter carried your bags up five flights of stairs, then a small tip would be very kind. However, in this case you might want to slip them a €5 note instead of trying to discreetly drop heavy coins into their hand.
How do you tip when paying with a card?
Paying with a credit or debit card is totally normal in Florence, especially when at a restaurant and charging a larger amount. When paying with a card, you’ll either go up to the main cash register, or the waiter will bring a portable POS device to your table. It’s simple enough to leave some coins or a bit of cash for a tip if you pay for the rest of the meal with a card.
If you’re out of cash, it’s not impossible to leave a tip. The best thing would be to get ahead of it and say at the beginning of the transaction that you would like to leave a tip (or mancia, in Italian). That way, if the POS device allows you to input a number you may do so, or you may tell the waiter how much you would like to give.
A drawback to leaving a tip with a credit card is that you don’t always know if the mancia will go to the waiter or to the owner, so it doesn’t feel like you’re rewarding the good service. Remember that tipping isn’t required, so if you skip you won’t be offending anyone.
Verity Pryor-Harden is a freelancer of many talents living in the historical Tuscan city of Arezzo while studying Visual Communications in Florence. She’s a sucker for a cold spritz in a piazza on a hot day, enjoys making bizarre wine pairings, and is a Tuscan street food enthusiast. Follow along on Instagram @verityeph.