people dining outside in Trastevere district at night
Food - Drink
The Restaurant Fee You Should Look Out For
In Italy
Dining out in foreign countries can be tricky territory if you aren't familiar with the landscape, so it's important to brush up on local customs and come prepared. Italy is one of the best and most popular countries for wining and dining, but be prepared to see an extra fee on your tab so you aren't taken by surprise.
"Coperto" is the name of a common charge in most Italian restaurants that is meant to cover the cost of what you used to eat: your cup, the cutlery, your plates, glasses, and even the tablecloth. Bread is sometimes included and sometimes not, so if you're craving bread, be sure to ask ahead if you don't want to pay extra.
Restaurant menus that charge coperto will state this charge upfront, though it may be hidden in fine print, and if you're just having drinks or coffee, coperto usually won't be added to your bill. You'll also be charged a "servizio" fee for service, and you can either add or omit a tip on top of that, since tipping isn't a requisite in Italy.