This could really be answered in one sentence – “It is not necessary to tip for anything in Italy”. Done.
However, it seems that it’s necessary to expand on this. In restaurants, at the bar (where you order your espresso) it is not necessary to leave a tip. If (and that’s a big IF) you feel the service was extraordinary you could just round up (ie, your total comes to, say, 24.20 Euros, leave 25 Euros) you do not need to leave 10, 15, 20 percent!
Unfortunately, many tourists have never bothered to read up on local customs and have introduced tipping to Italy. This in turn, has conditioned many service workers in touristy places to expect a tip, perhaps even suggest to the tourist that they should leave one. Don’t fall for it, they would never attempt that on a local.
Same goes for taxi drivers, hotel chambermaids, porters etc.. NO TIPPING NECESSARY!
Here is a copy of a restaurant bill, I’ve highlighted the “servizio” charge
Also, note the 3rd item “cestino pane” – what’s this, you wonder? This is the bread charge, if they put a basket of bread in front of you, EAT IT, or send it back. Otherwise you will be charged for it.
So enjoy your meals, drinks, gelato and don’t worry about leaving a tip!
Any questions? Feel free to shoot me a message, I’m more than happy to help you out.