Asking for the bill at the ristorante

trattoria il pozzo sant angelo

Above: The Trattoria Il Pozzo in Sant’Angelo in Colle (Montalcino) is one of Mazzoni winemaker Alessandro Bindocci’s favorite restaurants. Click here to see some food photos from the restaurant.

As you are traveling throughout Italy this summer, you will undoubtedly experience the pleasures Italian dining. Mealtime is sacred, revered. It is a time to linger and enjoy lively conversation with friends and family. There are just a few things to remember about il conto (“the bill”) when dining out in Italy that can make your meal time even better.

1. Bringing the check: It is considered rude in Italy to bring il conto to a table who hasn’t requested it. Even if the floor is being swept and all the diners have gone but you, your bill will not arrive until you ask for it. Speak up when you want to pay!

2. Pane e coperto: This is a charge you will see any time you sit down for a meal. The translation is “bread and cover,” and it’s an automatic charge for bread and service. You will pay this whether you eat the bread or not. It’s usually no more than a few Euro.

3. Tipping: Service and tax are usually included in the menu price, so there is no custom of tipping an extra set percentage. If you want to leave some change, it is not expected but certainly will be appreciated.

Buon appetito!

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