Tipping in Italy: Ambiguity rears its enigmatic head.


  1. Made lemonade out of dead battery lemons. My friend’s car battery died, canceling our planned outing, so I used the extra time to prepare for the interview. Okay, okay, I read a bit of “Watership Down,” too.
  2. Had fun finding five new blogs. One of my goals is to look at five new blogs each weekday, in order to glean good blog etiquette, gather ideas and inspiration, and make new friends.
  3. Ran. It was relaxing.
  4. Met new people while dining at a new restaurant with Dave and his colleagues. (Photos below)
  5. Recognized I made an error, admitted it and repaired the damage. Oops, sorry, yay!

Tipping. We all have a unique perspective on when and how we let go of our money, and differing philosophies can lead to tension and discomfort at the end of an otherwise enjoyable meal. Fortunately, inItaly there is often a “coperto” or cover charge, which removes some pressure. Then, the standard is to leave a little extra. Ack! Ambiguity rears its enigmatic head. What is a “little extra”? Guide books suggest 10%; locals either shrug or say that’s too much. So, as before, may your conscious be your guide. For me, a “little extra” means 10%, maybe even 11%.


We started with a lovely beer, produced and bottled at the restaurant, Donna Fortunata Pizzeria, in Motta Sant’Anastasia. The beer is unfiltered and fermented in the bottle. It had a nice medium body with a mild flavor that had mere hints of grass and floral flavors without interfering with the crisp finish. As my dad says all too often, it was quaffable.


I had the casarecci pasta dish with a sauce called “siciliana gratina” (sorry for the poor picture quality). “Casarecci” are the pasta, which were narrow rolls of pasta, almost tubes that were twisted a bit, too. The pasta was cooked perfectly with lots of texture but not too firm, and there were olives, a light tomato sauce and cheese baked into the pasta. Finally, it was finished with bread crumbs which offered nice texture without affecting the flavor. The dish had a mild flavor spiked with the salty goodness of the olives.


Dave had a “foccacia ripiena” or stuffed foccacia. Mmmmm…




Filed under 5-100, Food. Cibo.

2 responses to “Tipping in Italy: Ambiguity rears its enigmatic head.

  1. Yay for making lemons out of lemonade! Car is fixed; we’ll have to try again soon. Can’t wait to hear about your interview!

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