In many cafes in Italy there are glass goblets with coins in liquid on the counter. What is their purpose? Is it for tips or some local tradition (for luck or fortune or whatever else)? If for tips - should I throw my tips in this goblet?

glass goblet with coins

  • 2
    I wonder if the liquid helps dissuade thieves from reaching in and stealing some coins. May 20, 2017 at 21:19
  • 1
    Tipping in Italian bars is typically pretty meagre. If someone has a coffee they might tip 10c or so occasionally. Putting the tips in a glass is probably to help prevent them oxidising too much before there's enough to pay for a beer for the bartenders :)
    – Berwyn
    May 20, 2017 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


You guessed it right: the purpose of the goblet is to collect tips in an original way. You get curious, you ask about it and you hopefully leave a tip. This practice is common in other countries, especially in those where tipping is not expected (as opposed to the USA for example).

  • Well, I'm relieved now - I can leave my tips on the counter as usual and will not be plagued by la peste for that :)
    – Neusser
    May 21, 2017 at 8:26

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