This past month, I have had an onslaught of visitors blowing through Rome on their way in, out and in between. Which signifies a lot of meals out or evenings on the town. And all the joviality and fun ends when the bill comes - and not because, as one visitor observed, the prices were so much higher than back home. Americans take a big, huge guilt trip and start trying to figure out just what to leave by way of tips. Which leads me to interject, 'How about nothing? Or how about, very little? [and here, I'm thinking like an Italian in the way of a coin or two]. So, on a 100 euro bill, Americans turn ashen asking, 'Well, is €25 too little?'. I hotly retort, it's way too much.
And this is because of the bread.
|Picture from UrbisMedia|
Americans cannot let this rest and just leave with a smile like the rest of us.
Wait staff are not going to pipe up and decline, although, on occasion in Bell'Italia I have actually had waiters refuse a tip [arguably, and due to my accent, it could have been I was offering too little...].
Ditto on taxi rides.
Just pay what's on the meter. Okay?
You're already paying top dollar, getting taken for a ride, and generally it's costing a fortune.
If people won't read the fine print in their guidebooks, please pass this on:
Taxes and Tips are already in your bill. That's why the numbers when you purchase anything are so nice & tidy and round.
So, keep the change. You'll seriously be needing it.