top of page

A no-price menu, an embarrassing dining experience in Italy

Have you ever seen a menu without a price tag? In recent year, I traveled to Rapallo, Italy, and stayed in a 5-star hotel. The hotel was full of European guests, we were the only two guests from Asia. After checking in, we had lunch at the seaside reastaurant in the hotel. Unexpedtedly, I initially saw a no-price menu and had a very embressing dining experience there. I therefore would like to share this interesting and unforgettable memory with you.

I forgot the European etiquette,

it made me embarrassed

Following the guidance of the hotel staff, we went to the restaurant facing the sea. When I saw the beautiful, blue sky and sea, I was in a good mood. A well-trained waiter in a formal uniform greeted us and arranged a table for us. As I was completely attracted to the stunning scenery and did not realize that the waiter pulled up the chair to let me take a seat, I chose another seat and sat down by myself. I assume that the waiter should have never seen a female room guest who didn't follow the etiquette like me.

That's really embressing!!!

Living in Taiwan, it's easy to forget the European etiquette of waiters pulling chairs for ladies! Luckily, the waiter didn't know I came from Taiwan. I didn't want to let 23 million compatriots to lose face with me. I ordered a drink to quench my thirst. I drank the cool ice drink, looked at the boundless ocean, and looked forward to this lunch.

The no- price menu made me confused

Then the waiter brought us the menu, I turned from the front cover to the back and found that there was no price listed in the menu. I had visited many European countries and had never seen a menu without price. Thus, I was confused and thought suspiciously: "How can there be no price? What's the price tag?"

Since it is a restaurant of 5-star hotel, I thought the price should not be cheap! I really don't want to order without confirming the price! I therefore asked the waiter to clarify the case.

I asked the waiter: "Why there is no price shown on the menu?"

The waiter replied: "The price only shown on gentlemen's menu, madam"

I was puzzled why only male customers' menus were marked with prices, so I asked the waiter straight forward: "Why?"

The waiter answered very rigorously: "Because only gentlemen will pay the bill, madam"

I was embarrassed again! At that time, I really wanted to jump into the sea to hide myself.

Linda Chou's Lifestyle Blog| hotel restaurant in Rapallo

Marvel at the meticulous Italian good social customs

After listening to the waiter's answer, I felt regreatful and blamed myself about why I didn't check it with my family before calling the waiter to clarify it. This is obviously exposing myself was unkown about Italians' good social customs. It turns out that Italians treat women with such a great courtesy! I wonder whether Italian men are always paying for bills?? So the restaurant only gives menus marked with prices to male guests?? I was too embarrassed to ask the waiter to find out more. However, I believe what I experiened at the 5-star hotel could be a well-established social custom in Italy!

Linda Chou's Lifestyle Blog| hotel restaurant in Rapallo

The details hide the intentions of the 5-star hotel

& the Italian gentleman's standard

I thus speculate that the menu has hidden meaning behind the price tag:

When a hotel receive a man and a woman guest, the menu with a price tag is only given to the male guests, because the hotel assumes that the two guest are dating and the man should pay the bill, so the lady does not need to know the price.

Linda Chou's Lifestyle Blog| hotel restaurant in Rapallo

On the other hand, the hotel might be secretly helping the male guest, so that the female guest would not know how much the man paid for the meal. It is also possible to speculate with the heart of a villain that the hotel wants female guests to order the most expensive dishes without seeing the price to increase business.

Sorry! I screwed up Italian romance again!

  • Doubt if all Italian treats women like this, men pay for meal?? Or only 5 star hotels do this, if anyone knows please let me know.

I was ignorant of customs repeatedly

and didn't follow the customs

If the menu for female guests is not marked with the price is the ingenuity of this 5-star hotel, then I have to praise the meticulous and attentive service of this hotel, but if this is really the good social customs of Italy, I will be speechless. As I come from Taiwan with very different social customs, "Brothers have to settle accounts." Even though I already knew the good intentions of the hotel, I still paid the cash after dividing the bill after the lunch, hoping that the waiter didn't see what we did, otherwise we'd be another eye-opener for him. Thankfully, he didn't ask where we came from.

I hope that Taiwanese restaurants and hotels

will reflect on and improve

If you have never seen a menu without a price tag when you travel, I hope this article is helpful to you, and I also hope that Taiwanese restaurants can learn from this Italian 5-star hotel and improve service quality to benefit Taiwanese women. At least Mar. 8 Women's Day / Valentine's Day / Mother's Day and other festivals can show love to female guests.

The picture below is the window view of my room when I stayed at this hotel. I also published a post to share my stay experience. For those who haven't seen it, please click the link below to read it.



From Author Linda


During the pandemic of COVID-19, I occasionally started up this blog to fill in the regret of not being able to take a vacation. When writing posts, I often recalled the beautiful memories of past travels. I am glad that I grasped the present and visited many countries. My blog shares my travel experience and introduce the stories and history of attractions, restaurants, and cafes and in-depth introduction. I even made reference to the first-hand information obtained from many relevant websites. Each post took a long time, and I did my best because I hope that the Linda Chou's Lifestyle Blog presents high-quality blog content. If you agree with my philosophy and think my blog matches your liking, please subscribe to the free Linda Lifestyle Blog e-Newsletter or follow me on Facebook. Please press the love sign in the lower right corner of the end of each post to let me know which type of posts you like. The encouragement of readers is the motivation for me to continue writing, thank you all!


Subscribe to the Newsletter


Stay Updated on New Posts, Events and Information, Please Subscribe,

Thank You!!


Follow Us on Facebook


This is a blog that looks forward to sharing life moments with you, hoping to spark sparks with friends. Blog content covers travel, study and life in Vientiane. The Facebook fan page of the Linda Lifestyle Blog contains all the content on this blog. You can keep up with new posts by following our fan pages below according to your interests. Hope my blog adds fun & color to your life.




bottom of page