Most Common Italian Phrases To Know For Your Trip To Italy

Whilst it is not necessary for you to know any Italian before you travel to Italy (you will find that English is spoken widely in the major cities), you may have difficulty finding English speakers in the smaller towns and villages that are rarely frequented by tourists. Therefore, it may make you feel more comfortable if you are familiar with some of the basics. This also will have the added benefit of making you feel like you’re more submerged in the Italian culture…even if it’s only a few words to the waiter…you will feel proud of that caffe macchiato you ordered and it will taste all the better!

Here are some of the most important words and phrases that will definitely come in handy…’ll thank us later!!!

Common Greetings

Ciao – you will hear this a lot. Informal ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’. You may even find

that you’re so used to saying by the end of your trip that when you get home you

will be greeting everyone with a ‘Ciao!!!’

Buongiorno – Good Morning. This is used until around 4pm.

Buonasera – Good Evening. Used after 4pm

Buonanotte – Good Night. This is usually used when going to bed or when

leaving someone after 9 or 10pm

Salve – Hello. More formal than Ciao, less formal than Buongiorno.

Arrivederci – Formal/polite Goodbye. Use this when you leave a shop or


Come stai? – How are you?

Sto bene, grazie – I’m good, thank you


Please, thank you and you’re welcome, are the most important phrases to have to

hand in any language. Even if that’s all you know, it will go a long way.

Per favore – Please

Grazie – Thank you.

Grazie Mille – Literally this translates as ‘a thousand thanks’ and is used

like ‘thanks a million’ in English.

Prego – You’re welcome. This is one of those words that has a few different

meanings and you will probably hear it quite a lot. You may hear it in a

restaurant or bar where the host will say ‘prego’ in this sense meaning ‘go

ahead…have a seat, a shop owner may say it in the sense of ‘welcome….come on

in…’, if someone opens a door for you they may say it in the sense of ‘after you’.

Mi scusi/ Mi scusa (formal) – Excuse me

Other useful phrases

Non parlo italiano – I don’t speak Italian

Parla inglese? – Do you (formal) speak English? This is a good follow up

question to non parlo italiano.

Parli inglese? – Do you (informal) speak English?

Si – Yes

No – No

Mi chiamo…. – My name is…..

Dove? – Where?

Dov’e…..? – Where is……. Use this when asking directions to a certain street or


Va bene? – You may hear people ask you this, meaning ‘how is it going…is it

going well….?’ To which you can reply ‘si…bene grazie’.

Mi piace – I like…

Non mi piace – I don’t like…

Vorrei – I would like…

Posso avere – Can I have…

Quanto costa? – How much does it cost?

Il conto per favore – The bill please

Bagno – Bathroom

Accettate carte di credito? – Do you accept credit cards?

To help you on your travels

Stazione – Train Station

Aeroporto – Airport

Fermata dell’autobus – Bus Stop

Albergo – Hotel

Ospedale – Hospital

Pronto Soccorso – Emergency Room

Farmacia – Pharmacy

Museo – Museum

Biglietteria – Ticket Office

Abbiamo una prenotazione – We have a booking

Aria condizionata – Air conditioning

Passaporto – passport

Biglietto – ticket

Prenotare – reservation

Valigia – suitcase

Zaino – backpack

Borsa – bag

Per favore, tre biglietti per Roma – Three tickets to Rome please

Andata e ritorno – Round-trip

Solo andata – One way

Quanto e il biglietto? – How much is the ticket?

Avete sconti per gli student? – Do you have a discount for students?

A che ora parte? – At what time does it leave?

Quale binario? – What track?

When travelling by train in Italy you must remember to validate your ticket

before boarding the train. Failure to do so may result in a fine.



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