Etiquette and tips in Italy

Traditions are very important for Italians, who are very sociable in principle. Certain degree of relationship exists between generations. It is appropriate to salute the same age or younger friends with the word Ciao (hello, can be used on arrival and on departure), the older ones you can welcome with a word Piacere (means Pleased to meet you), Buon Giorno (good morning, until lunch) or Buona Sera (good evening, using after lunch) and do not forget to say Arrideverci on your leaving (goodbye, to elders and respected people you can rather say ArridevederLa which is much more polite and formal version).

Italians tend to behave friendly to foreign visitors. When you enter the store or bar, it is customary to greet with universal buon giorno or buona sera, and the same applies on your leave (you can also say arrideverci). Sometimes you can use neutral Salve. Italians will also be happy to advise, if you do not know how to get somewhere or get lost. If you do not speak Italian, address someone on the street with a word Scusi (sorry) and then tell that person the name of the place or street where you wish to get. Then you can say thanks with a word Grazie, Italian usually responds Prego (you’re welcome).

Ristorante da Mimmo, Sicily, Italy
Ristorante da Mimmo, Sicily, Italy / Photo by Julius

Italians are very fashion-conscious and stand much upon dress. Their bold and unusual clothing attracts the attention of passers-by. Do not forget to wear appropriate clothing when entering the religious institutions which do have the strict rules prohibiting bare torso, shoulders and elbows. Unwritten tradition of Italian fashion is that clothes should cause costly. If two people are wearing the same clothes, it’s because Italians are conservative in fashion, as in many other aspects of daily life.

The restaurant, that does not includes a tip in the final bill (couvert, about 15%) expect some additional tip. In restaurants you should usually add about 10 percent, but waiters expect a further gratuity of 50 cents per person. Tips are not expected in any of the family restaurants. Taxi drivers should be rewarded by tipping according to the quality of service provided – usually 8 to 10% or 1 €. Tips for hotel staff ranging from 0.5 – 1 €, according to the hotel type. Usher at the cinema and theater expect a small gratuity for escort to the seats (however there are just few cinemas left in Italy with ushers).

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One comment

  • baccarat strategies

    I think the the Italian people have such great manners. It is true they are very about ettiquette and things being proper but it is in a kind way. Great people and great place to visit. Loved your article.

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