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Tipping Private Tour Guides

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New York
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Tipping Private Tour Guides

I have hired a private tour guide to show my husband and I around Florence. Are you supposed to tip private tours guides and, if so, what is considered an appropriate tip?

Thanks!

Madison, Wisconsin...
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1. Re: Tipping Private Tour Guides

I don't think you should feel an obligation to do so, but if you enjoy your tour, feel free to do so. We enjoyed a tour we were on that was 90 euro pp, we gave her a flat 100 each and she seemed terribly flattered and insisted it wasn't necessary. That said, you may encounter someone who may even hold their hand out at the end... in the end, it is your choice

Greve in Chianti...
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2. Re: Tipping Private Tour Guides

I agree with KRSTWO. Tipping is always optional but I always like to err on the side of generosity. After all, what's wrong with recognizing a job very well done with a tip!

Florence, Italy
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3. Re: Tipping Private Tour Guides

Totally optional - more and more people that work in the tourism industry here seem to expect tips from foreigners but it's not something that is actually part of Italian culture (ie. Italians don't tip!). That said, I agree with imprimatur that if something's been really great and someone has gone out of their way to make sure you had a great time, I would personally leave a little something.

Greve in Chianti...
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4. Re: Tipping Private Tour Guides

Hi hapagirl! I have to say that in my 31 years of being here and living with my aquired Italian family, the "Italians don't tip" thing is an urban myth. Fact is, they do. Not as splendidly as Americans perhaps, and certainly not as frequently. But it's certainly not unheard of, especially in the service industries. So like I said before - better always to 'fare una bella figura' and not come off as a cheapskate when someone's gone an extra mile for you!

Florence, Italy
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5. Re: Tipping Private Tour Guides

@imprimatur - interesting. Good to hear different points of view! In my experience I have never known any locals to tip ever - not only from when we go out to eat with other Italian friends (and tipping isn't even mentioned) but also the other way around, my husband and several friends work in hospitality as well and never get tipped except by foreigners, so this subject is something that comes up in conversation often!

I don't think that anyone's being stingy and it's not that anyone even cares about doing a "brutta figura" if they don't tip, it just doesn't even come into the equation! It's just truly (to us anyway) that it's not part of the culture. That almost guilty feeling (or worrying about looking cheap) if you don't tip doesn't even come into play. Or maybe it's just me and my friends & family!! Boh!

Greve in Chianti...
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6. Re: Tipping Private Tour Guides

@hapagirl_italy - the Age of Twitter is upon us! Haha!

I think that now that we live in a more mobile world in which everyone travels a lot and often, it's not so unusual anymore to see local customs mingle with other local customs. In the case of tipping, when I first came to Italy in the late 70's tipping was absolutely unknown. But now, when many Italians their vacation a flop unless they spend it outside the country, I see more and more people tipping. Maybe it was a brush with their own brutta figura all'estero that prompts them to tip at home? Anyway, in my family tipping isn't considered necessary if one is served by the owner of an establisment or a memeber of his family. Everyone else gets tipped, usually about 10%. People who really do something special get tipped as much as 15, even 20%.

In any case, I've never met anyone in the service industries who doesn't appreciate a tip, especially when they've done an extra special job. And since most of the people who ask this question here are from a place where tipping is the norm --- why not do the right thing! You get special karma points AND a bella figura!

7. Re: Tipping Private Tour Guides

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8. Re: Tipping Private Tour Guides

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Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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9. Re: Tipping Private Tour Guides

We also tip if the guide is good. .. tipping is definitely optional & only tip what you can afford.

Florence, Italy
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10. Re: Tipping Private Tour Guides

Mr./Ms. travelwo,

No one is obliged to feel satisfied with the value of anyone or anything, in any case. That said, I do not believe that you have ever toured with me. I have not, in the recent or distant past, toured with anyone from London or anyone near that city.

Regarding documentation and form of payment, in Italy it is not required to provide any type of receipt for guided tours, and cash is still considered legal tender.

As for the matter of tipping, this is called a 'gratuity' which means that it is up to your discretion. If you feel that leaving a tip is not called for, you are free to not leave one. The "absurd amount of money" you refer to should not have come as a suprise to you had you really toured with me, as my rates are clearly posted on my website and exhaustively discussed in my pre-tour correspondence.

I will thank you to please writing lies. Once you have actually corresponded and toured with me, you are welcome to write whatever you like.

Thank you.