Do You Tip in Florence? Understanding Local Tipping Etiquette

Written by Jim Belt in How Much To Tip

When visiting Florence, the question of whether to tip can be a bit puzzling, especially if you come from a culture where tipping is customary. In Florence, the tipping customs are more relaxed, and while not obligatory, tipping is often viewed as a gesture of appreciation for good service.

Tipping in Venice is not mandatory, as a service charge is often included in restaurant bills. However, for good service, it is customary to leave a small tip, such as rounding up the bill or adding an extra 5-10%.

Tipping Customs

Tipping not customary


  • Tipping in Florence is not mandatory, but a small gesture for good service is appreciated.
  • Service charges in restaurants may already be included in the bill; further tipping is discretionary.
  • While tipping isn't standard at hotels and for transportation or tour guides, exceptional service can be acknowledged with a modest tip.

Understanding Tipping Culture in Florence

When visiting Florence, grasping the nuances of tipping can make your dining and service experiences smoother. Delving into the historic angles and current customs will clear any doubts and ensure your gestures of thanks are well appropriate.

Service Fee and Coperto Explained

In many Florentine eateries, a 'coperto' or cover charge is included in your bill. This is not a tip but a service fee for bread and table settings. Remember to check your bill for 'servizio incluso' to see if service is already accounted for.

Local Customs and Etiquette

For locals in Florence, it's common to round up the bill or leave a few extra coins as a 'grazie' to the server. There's no set percentage, but small gestures are proper forms of appreciation.

Tipping at Restaurants and Bars

When you're dining out or enjoying drinks in Florence, understanding when and how to tip can enhance your experience. Here's a guide on tipping etiquette for various services you'll encounter.

Dining Experience Suggested Tip Additional Information
Sit-Down Restaurants 5-10% in cash If service exceeds expectations and no servizio included
Cafés and Counter Services Small change or round up Leave in tip jar or when paying the bill
Bars Small coins or round up Use tip jar or hand directly to bartender
Group Meals and Large Parties Around 10% in euros If no service charge or coperto is added

Sit-Down Restaurants Tipping Guide

At sit-down restaurants, tipping is a sign of gratitude for good service, though not obligatory. You'll often find a servizio (service charge) included in your bill. However, if the service surpasses your expectations, it's customary to leave a standard tip of about 5-10% in cash, as a voluntary gratuity.

Tipping at Cafés and Counter Services

For cafés and counter services, where you might find yourself served by a barista, it's common to leave small change in a tip jar, or to simply round up the bill. A few small coins are an appropriate tip at a café, indicating your appreciation for the service provided.

Understanding Bar Tipping

In bars, it's usually not necessary to tip, but it's polite to leave some small coins or round up the total if you're satisfied with the bartender's service. Some bars have a tip jar where you can drop your spare change, or you could hand it directly to the bartender.

Handling Group Meals and Large Parties

When dealing with group meals and large parties, a service fee may be automatically added to your bill. Check your receipt for a coperto (cover charge) or servizio. In the absence of a service charge, a tip of around 10%, given in euros, is a considerate way to acknowledge the extra effort of your waiter.

Hotels and Accommodation Tipping

When staying at a hotel in Florence, you may find that tipping is not expected but is always welcomed as a gesture of thanks for exceptional service.

Service Suggested Tip Additional Information
Hotel Porter €1-€2 per bag For luggage assistance
Concierge €1-€2 For booking tours or making reservations
Room Service 10% of the bill For prompt and courteous service
Housekeeping €1-€2 per day Left in room to acknowledge their work
Spa Therapist €5 to €10 Depending on treatment length and type

Tipping Hotel Staff

At hotels, while tipping isn't mandatory, a small sum for the hotel porter who assists with your luggage can show your gratitude. For a porter's service, it is customary to tip around €1-€2 per bag. For the concierge, if they provide valuable assistance, such as booking tours or making reservations, a tip of €1-€2 is often given as thanks.

Room Service and Housekeeping

If you order room service, a 10% gratuity of the bill is a kind gesture if you've received prompt and courteous service. In terms of housekeeping, they often go unnoticed but play a critical role in your comfort. Leaving €1-€2 per day in your room for the housekeeper is a polite way to acknowledge their hard work.

Spa and Wellness Center Gratuity

After receiving a relaxing massage or other treatments at a hotel spa, it is quite common to leave a tip for the therapist. Typically, this tip ranges from €5 to €10, depending on the length and type of treatment, to express appreciation for their skilled exceptional service.

Transportation and Tour Guides

In Florence, the etiquette for tipping in transportation and tour services is clear-cut, allowing you to show your appreciation for good service with ease.

Tipping Taxi and Ride-share Drivers

When you take a taxi or ride-share service, it's polite to tip your driver. The norm is to round up to the nearest euro. For instance, if the fare comes to €9.20, handing over €10 is a courteous way of saying thanks. Cash is often preferred, but if you're paying by credit card, you can ask the driver if it's possible to add a tip.

Guided Tours and Tipping Norms

The satisfaction of your experience on a guided tour often prompts the question of tipping. While not mandatory, if your tour guide in Florence offers an enriching experience, a tip of €5-10 per person is appreciated. This holds true particularly for walking tours and private excursions where the guide has given personalized services. Paying in cash directly to the guide is the usual practice.

Public Transport and Tipping

For public transport like buses and trams, tipping is not customary. Your tickets are usually bought at a fixed price, either from a machine or a register, and there's no service component where a tip would be appropriate. Simply purchase your ticket, validate it if needed, and enjoy your journey through Florence.

Handling Tipping at Other Services

When exploring Florence, you may encounter various services beyond restaurants and taxis. Let's navigate the tipping practices for hairdressers, live events, and public services to ensure you're always in the know.

Tipping Hairdressers, Barbers, and Beauty Services

Treating yourself to a grooming session? In Florence, hairdressers and barbers typically don't expect a tip, but it's appreciated if you offer one. For exceptional service, consider leaving a gratuity of a few euros. The same goes for beauty services; if you're pleased with the experience, a small tip in cash can convey your satisfaction.

Tipping at Live Performances and Events

Purchased tickets to a show or concert? While tipping at live performances isn't a standard practice, you might feel inclined to tip ushers if they provide exemplary service. However, be aware that this isn't customary and is purely at your discretion.

When to Leave a Tip for Public Services

While navigating public spaces and services, it's generally not expected to provide a tip for the assistance received. If someone goes above and beyond in their role, a small gratuity can be a kind gesture, but remember, this is not the norm and is not anticipated.

Practical Tipping Advice

Navigating tipping in Florence can be easier than you think. Here's a guide to help you manage your tips with tact and ease.

How to Tip With Cash and When

In Florence, it's customary to leave a tip for good service at restaurants. If paying in cash, consider rounding up the bill or leaving a few extra euros, typically between 5-10%. For instance, if a bill is €47, you could round up to €50. For smaller bills, leaving spare euro coins as a tip is a common practice among locals.

Credit Card Tipping Procedures

Not all establishments in Florence may allow you to add a tip through a credit card transaction. In these situations, it's wise to have a bit of cash on hand to leave as a tip. You can leave a small coin or two at the table or with the bill presenter.

Tipping on Budget: When Every Euro Counts

If you're on a tight budget, tipping is still possible without breaking the bank. Keep in mind that tipping is more of a kindness rather than an obligation in Florence. Express your gratitude by leaving spare change or rounding up the bill slightly.

Avoiding Over-tipping: Smart Budgeting Tips

Be aware that over-tipping can happen to travelers used to larger tips in their home country. In Florence, a modest tip is valued and smart budgeting means recognizing that service charges are often included in the bill. There's no need to match the 15-20% standard you might be used to; instead, use your euros wisely with a more conservative approach to tipping.

FAQs About Tipping in Florence

Navigating the customs around gratuities can be tricky for any traveler. This section answers common questions you might have about tipping in Florence, focusing on the expected social etiquette and how the locals view this practice.

Should You Always Tip in Florence?

No, you don't always need to tip in Florence. If you receive good service at a restaurant, a small tip is appreciated but not mandatory. A usual tip might be €1-€2 per person, or simply rounding up the bill to a whole number for convenience. For example, for a €45 meal, you might pay €50 and let them keep the change.

Is Tipping Expected for a Quick Coffee or Drink?

When you're stopping for a quick coffee or drink at a café or bar, tipping isn't a part of the routine. Italians might leave small change — maybe some coins — but it's not an expectation. So, if you decide to leave a small tip, it should be seen as a gesture of thanks rather than a social obligation.

How Is Tipping Viewed by Florence Locals?

Tipping in Florence is seen differently by locals than it is in many other countries. It's not an essential part of their income as service charges are often included in the bill. While not common, a tip is seen as a polite nod to exceptional service. If you do decide to leave a little extra, know that it's a sign of gratitude and is often received with much appreciation.

Published: 25-01-2024

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