Ask for the Bill and Tipping in Rome Restaurants

As Italians sometimes we take for granted the importance of the body language in our daily communication. For sure we cannot talk without moving our hands, and you’ll see your hands will prove to be necessary in Rome as well as in other Italian cities in many circumstances. In this post we will cover how to attract the attention of the waiter/waitress at restaurants, how to ask for the bill and eventually the policy about tipping.

Asking for for the check

To signal the waiter/waitress you are ready to go and want the bill you will have to use your hands and arms. There’s no other way the waiter will notice you otherwise. Unless you are eating in a touristic restaurant, the waiter/waitress will not come to you asking if he/she can bring the bill.

You will have to speak up and ask directly for it!

Indeed, in Italy it is consider rude “rushing” the guests with the payment. Italian guests could mistake the waiter’s question for a way of saying “are you done already?”.

Moreover, we Italians love spending very long time sitting at the table even if we have already finished our meal. Every meal provides a time for bonding and sharing. You can only imagine what happens during typical Italian weddings then!

Hence, how do you ask for the bill in an Italian restaurant?

First way is to raise your right arm. Make a hand gesture similar to signing. The waiter won’t even come to you and he will immediately understand you are asking for the bill. This custom originates from the act of signing cheques.

Alternatively, simply signal the waiter/waitress with your hand and ask “Il conto per favore”. The sentence is not that far from the Spanish expression “la cuenta, por favor!”

If you really don’t want to use your hands, just wait until the waiter/waitress approaches to your table and call him/her saying “Scusi!”, which translates as “Excuse me, sir/miss”.

Eventually, if not of these ways work because the restaurant is too crowded, just go to the cashier and ask for the bill.

About Tipping in Rome

First thing you should know is that all prices you will see in Italy are VAT and taxes included. This is also true for restaurant bills. Tips are not mandatory as in the United States for instance, but they are really appreciated and regarded as a sign of politeness. Even without being mandatory, we Italians are used to tip the waiter/waitress.

How much do we tip? Well, that depends on the number of people. As a general rule each guests leave between €1,00 and €2,00 each.

Urban Myths

We would like to end this brief guide about asking for the bill at Rome restaurants dispelling an urban myth. Some people believe that a way of asking for the bill is to put your jacket on and leave the table. This is not true and it is also pretty rude. The owner of the restaurant may think you are attempting an “eat and run”. So, avoid doing it!

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