Let's begin in Genoa, the illustrious maritime gateway of the Ligurian Sea, where evidence of its opulent past remains in its narrow alleyways and grand piazzas. Picture wandering through the city’s heart, the centro storico, which is like a living tapestry of medieval architecture, bustling cafes, and the aroma of fresh pesto – Genoa's gift to the culinary world. The city's splendid palaces, like the Rolli Palaces, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, offer a glimpse of the luxurious life of Genoese aristocrats.
When traveling abroad, one of the most perplexing aspects of a new culture can be proper etiquette for tipping. In Italy, the rules are somewhat different from the USA or other Western countries. Here, I'll discuss the best practices for tipping in Italy and how to make sure you are showing proper respect and gratitude to those who provide you with excellent service.
First, it is important to note that tipping in Italy is not mandatory; however, it is greatly appreciated. In general, it is customary to round up to the nearest euro or two at restaurants, cafes, and bars. For example, if your bill comes to €25, it is perfectly acceptable to leave €27 on the table as a thank you for good service. It is not necessary to tip more than that, and large tips are not generally expected.
BUT... there are certain situations in which more generous tipping is both expected and appreciated. For example, it is customary to tip porters and maids a few euros per bag or per day, respectively. Similarly, taxi drivers expect a small tip of a few euros on top of the fare. If you are taking a private car service or using a chauffeur, it is appropriate to tip them more generously, perhaps 10% or 15%, especially if they have given you excellent service or gone out of their way to make your trip more enjoyable.