Random Italy Tips and Info

Restaurants 

Most restaurant menu items in Italy are home made.  They are required to indicate on the menu if something is cooked from frozen instead of fresh ingredients.

Many restaurants charge for the basket of bread they bring to your table on arrival.  It is usually a couple of Euros PER PERSON.  If you are not a bread eater you should politely let your waiter know on arrival to avoid paying for something you don’t want.

The house wines tend to be from the local region and quite good.  They are often cheaper than the bottled water and can be ordered by the bottle or even by the half carafe if you don’t need an entire bottle.

When To Go

Much of the Amalfi Coast closes for the months of January and February.  Their high season is May- September.  To avoid the hottest weather, the highest prices and the biggest crowds, I recommend going in May or September.  Also, many shops and restaurants close in the big cities during the month of August when locals take their own vacations. 

Tipping

Americans tend to over tip.  Most Italians consider rounding up a restaurant check to the nearest dollar a significant gratuity.  10% is generous and 15 or 20% will remove any previous doubt in the servers mind that you are an American.  Cab drivers will be grateful for anything over what the meter reads especially since they probably drove you around the long route once they heard your American accent. Gratuity for private drivers and guides is at your discretion and certainly should depend on their quality, but 40 Euros for a full day is generous. Less depending on the length of the time you are with them.

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