Essential Italian phrases to know before travelling to Italy

Amalfi colourful coastal townships of italy

Italy is one European country that is definitely on every wanderlust’s bucket list. While the Renaissance ambience, fresh food and warm culture can all feel welcoming, one little fact can become a hindrance in your otherwise perfect Italian vacation – the Italian Language. Though English is widely spoken, locals still prefer Italian language and really appreciate visitors speaking in to them in Italian. Also if you are venturing to explore the countryside, then Italian is spoken more than English. So it really helps if you have bit of knowledge on speaking basic Italian language for travellers  and use it during your Italy vacation. You don’t need to be fluent, just memorizing few Italian greetings, how to order food, get around the destination and practical questions which you can ask to locals are more than enough. Here are few basic Italian phrases that would help you a lot on your Italian vacation.

1. Basic Greetings and general Italian phrases for tourists:

Greetings in italy

Ciao –     Hi or hello, informal way to greet friends or someone you know very well
Salve –   Hi or goodbye. This is another way of greeting or saying goodbye.
Buongiorno! –    Hello or Good morning. This is a formal way of saying hello.
Buon pomeriggio –  Good afternoon
Buona sera –       Good evening
Buona note –      Good night
Arrivederci! –     Goodbye!
Ci vediamo  –      See you!
A più tardi –         See you later
Per favore –        Please
Grazie –                Thank you
Grazie mille –      Thanks a lot
Molte grazie –    Many thanks
Prego –                You are welcome
Non c’è di che –   You are welcome.
Mi scusi –             Excuse me (formal way)
Scusa –                  Excuse me (informal way)
Permesso  –        Excuse me (while passing through a crowded place)
Mi dispiace –       I am sorry
Riguardati –         Take care
Si –                          Yes
No –                       No
Va bene –            Ok
Non importa –    Never mind
Chi? –                    Who?
Cosa? –                 What?
Quando? –           When?
Dove? –                Where?
Perché? –             Why?
Come? –               How?
Quanto? –            How much?
Quanto costa? – How much?
Avete…? –           Do you have…?
I don’t know –    Non lo so
Non capisco. –    I don’t understand
Cosa vuole dire? – What does that mean?
Ripeta, per favore. – Please repeat.
Parli piano, per favore – Please speak slowly
Non parlo italiano molto bene – I don’t speak Italian very well

2. For Introductions:

Come si chiama? – What is your name?
Mi chiamo… –     My name is…
Parla inglese? –  Do you speak English?
Come sta? – How are you?
Bene, grazie – Fine, thank you
Piacere di conoscerti. – Nice to meet you.

3. For getting around:

Roaming in italy

The most basic question you would ask anywhere in Italy is –‘Where ?’ as in w’here is the airport ?’ This is how you ask this question in Italian:

Dov’è ….? – Where is the….?
il museo:  museum
Il teatro: theater
Il supermercato : Supermarket
L’aeroporto:  Airport
L’ospedale: Hospital
La stazione di polizia: Police station
Il parco:  Park
Il centro: Town center
Aeroporto: airport
la stazione? – station?

Vorrei andare a … – I want to go to …
Scusi, un informazione, per favore – Excuse me, I need some information, please.
1 biglietto / 2 biglietti per…., per favore – 1 ticket / 2 tickets to…. , please
Quando parte? – When does it leave?
Che ore sono adesso? – What time is it now?
Quanto dista il Colosseo? – How far is the Colosseum?
Come posso arrivarci? – How can I get there?
Dove si mangia il miglior gelato? -Where can you get the best ice cream?
Si gira a destra – Turn right
Si gira a sinistra – Turn left
Si va diritto – Go straight ahead
Si va in quella direzione – Go that way
Si va indietro – Go back
Vicino – Near
Lontano – Far
Fermi qui, per favore. – Please stop here.

4. For Lodging:

lodging in italy

Quanto costa…. ? – How much is a ….?
… un albergo? – a hotel?
un bed-and-breakfast – a B&B
un appartamento – an apartment for rent
una singola – a single room
una doppia con due letti – a twin room
una matrimoniale – a double room
una tripla – a triple room
con/senza bagno – with/without private bathroom
per una note – for one night
per due/tre notti – for two/three nights
Il prezzo include la colazione? – Does the price include breakfast?
C’è qualcosa di più economico? – Is there anything cheaper?
Qual è la password per il WiFi? – What is the WiFi password?

5. While Shopping:

Posso guardare? – May I just look?
Mi piace questo – I like this
Quanto mi fa pagare? – How much do you want for this?
È troppo caro! – That’s too expensive!
Mi fa uno sconto? – Can you give me a discount?
Lo compro! – I’ll take it!
Possiamo pagare con la carta di credito?

6. At a restaurant:

Restaurant in Italy
Un tavolo per uno / due, per favore – A table for one / two please
Un cappucccino, per favore. – A cappuccino, please.
Un bicchiere di acqua minerale per favore. – A glass of mineral water, please.
un bicchiere di vino rosso per favore. – A glass of red wine, please.
Scusi, dov’è il bagno? – Excuse me. Where is the bathroom?
Posso ordinare….? – Can I order the….?
Cos’è questo? – What’s this?
Cosa mi consiglia? – What do you recommend?
È delizioso. – It’s delicious
Un altro, per favore. – Another one, please.
Il conto, per favore, per favore?/Ci porta il conto?  – Would you bring us the bill please?

7. Getting help during emergencies:

Emergency in italy

Aiuto! -Help!
Emergenza! -Emergency!
C’è stato un incidente. – There’s been an accident
Chiamate un’ambulanza! – Call an ambulance!
Chiamate il pronto soccorso, per favore! – Call for first aid, please!
Ho bisogno di un medico. – I need a doctor.
Mi sento molto male. – I feel very sick.
Ladro! – Thief!
Chiamate la polizia! – Call the police!
Sono stato assalito. – I’ve been mugged.
Ho perso il mio passaporto. – I lost my passport.
Mi sono perso. – I’m lost.
Dov’è l’ambasciata? – Where is the embassy?

Learn Italian language for travelling to Italy and you will realize that it is a great way to warm up  the locals and mingle with them, Plus, watch their face light up and smiles cheerful when you converse in Italian. Those delighted moments make a memorable journey worth a lifetime!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *