There are 101 essential travel phrases in Italian that you should know before visiting the country.

If you have plans to travel to Italy, it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the language by learning some essential phrases, words, and sentences. In this travel guide to simple Italian phrases, we will walk you through the most effective ways to communicate with locals and other tourists while you are in Italy. After all, the Italian language is a significant component of Italian culture, and you want to experience the culture in its entirety, am I right?

During your trip to Italy, you should make an effort to understand and speak Italian. This is not just a matter of respect, although we do believe that showing respect is very important. When you communicate with people in their native tongue, they show appreciation for the effort, and you are able to have experiences that you would not have had access to if you had only spoken English.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's get started with some common Italian phrases and words that you will find most helpful on your travels.

Basic expressions in Italian

These are the most common words and phrases you'll need to know if you want to give the impression that you've made an effort to communicate in Italy's language while you're there. During your trip, it will be much easier for you to communicate with a wide variety of people if you have a working knowledge of these helpful Italian words.

Please take note that following the Italian translation of each word is a phonetic guide that will assist you in pronouncing the word correctly. It is recommended that you do some additional studying if you really want to get the accent right. At the end of this article, you'll find some helpful resources that can assist you in learning Italian travel phrases that will come in handy during your trip.

  • Yes – Si – See

  • No – No – Noh

  • Please – Per favore – Pehr fah-voh-reh

  • Thank you – Grazie – Grah-tsee-eh

  • Thank you very much – Prego – Preh-goh

  • Cheers (Here's to your health!) Salute – Sah-loo-tay

  • I beg your pardon (and attention) – Scusi – Skooh–zee

  • Please excuse me (as I walk by) – Permesso – Pehr-mehs-soh

  • Do you communicate in English? – Parla Inglese – Parh-la een-glay-zeh

  • I don't understand – Non capisco – Non kah-pee-skoh

  • My apologies – Mi dispiace – Mee dees-pyah-cheh

Traditional greetings spoken in Italian

Differences in cultural norms and practices are something that we really enjoy experiencing when we travel to Italy. In Italy, greeting someone with "good morning" is more than just a casual greeting. Always make an effort to smile and say hello to people you encounter, whether you're in a store, a restaurant, a hotel, on public transportation, or at a historical or cultural site. It is the behavior that is anticipated of you.

A cordial "buon giorno" greeting A happy attitude can take you a very long way. Therefore, in order to ensure that you use them correctly, here are some of the most common Italian greetings, along with their appropriate settings. Formal language is appropriate to use when conversing with strangers, particularly those of an advanced age. The informal form is used when speaking amongst close friends.

  • A formal greeting for the morning: Buon giorno – Bwohn-johr-noh

  • A formal greeting for the afternoon: Buona sera – Bwoh-nah-seh-rah

  • (in the formal sense): good night Buona notte – Bwoh–nah–noh–teh

  • (informal) hello and good-bye – Ciao – Chow 

  • Formal expression of "good bye" Arrivederci – Ahr-ree-veh-dehr-chee

  • Hello, my name is... – Mi chiamo – Mee kyah-moh

  • Where do I find out your name? – Come si chiama – Koh-meh see kyah-mah

  • It's a pleasure to finally meet you. Piacere – Pyah-cheh-reh

  • How have you been? (correct usage) – Come sta – Koh-meh stah

  • Good thank you – Bene grazie – Beh-neh grah-tsee-eh

You can learn the Italian you need for your trip in just two weeks with the help of a super quick method developed by our friends at the Intrepid Guide > for more information, click here.

Learn how to count to ten in Italian!

You don't need to be able to count all the way up to 100, but having a solid understanding of numbers up to 12 (at the very least) will serve you well. After all, when you're ordering food at a restaurant, you need specifics like "one pizza, please." (a pizza please )

  • One – Uno – Oo-noh

  • Two – Due – Doo-eh

  • Three – Tre – Treh

  • Four – Quattro – Kwah-troh

  • Five – Cinque – Cheen-kweh

  • Six – Sei  – Say

  • Seven – Sette – Seht-tey

  • Eight – Otto – Oh-toh

  • Nine – Nove – Noh-veh

  • Ten – Dieci – Dee-EH-chee

  • Eleven – Undici – Oon–dee-chee

  • Twelve – Dodici – Doh-dee-chee

Please visit this link for further information on counting in Italian.

Providing information regarding the time and the days of the week

The fundamentals of telling time in Italian, along with the days of the week and various other useful sentences for making reservations and planning are provided below. In general, Italians will use a 24-hour clock, but they are also able to comprehend a 12-hour clock if you specify morning and afternoon.

  • First thing in the morning – Di Mattina – Dee mah-teen-ah

  • When the afternoon has passed – Di pomeriggio – Dee poh-meh-reed-joh

  • When evening arrived – Di Sera – Dee seh–rah

  • Noon – Mezzogiorno – Mehd-dzoh-johr-noh

  • When exactly is it? – A che ora – Ah kay oar-ah  

  • It is currently nine o'clock in the morning. Le nove – Le noh-vay

  • Evening has fallen, and it is now eight o'clock. Le otto di sera / – Let's go over there and talk about it

  • Monday – Lunedì – Loo-neh-dee

  • Tuesday – Martedì – Mahr-teh-dee

  • Wednesday – Mercoledì – Mehr-koh-leh-dee

  • It's Thursday – Giovedì – Joh-veh-dee

  • Friday – Venerdì – Veh-nehr-dee

  • Saturday – Sabato – Sah-bah-toh

  • Sunday – Domenica – Doh-meh-nee-kah

  • Today – Oggi – Ohd-jee

  • Yesterday – Ieri – Yeh-ree

  • In the morning – Domani – Doh-mah-nee

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Useful phrases at restaurants

During your vacation in Italy, you will undoubtedly make plans to eat at a few different restaurants. And we can guarantee that placing an order for a couple of gelatos is also near the top of your to-do list. Let's get you prepared with these fundamental Italian phrases that you'll need for placing orders at restaurants or ordering food in general. It's possible that these are the times when you'll interact with Italians the most, so make sure you brush up on your greetings.

  • Could you please show me the menu? – Il menu, per favore – Eel men-oo, pehr fah-voh-reh

  • What would you advise someone to do? – Che cosa ci consiglia – Kay koh-za chee kon-seel-ya

  • I'm allergic to… – Sono allergica/o a – Son-oh ah-ler-gee-koh / kah ah

  • Gluten, Dairy, and Fish – Allergens Glutine / Lattecini / Pesce – Gloo-teen-ay / Lah-tay-cheen-ee / Pesh-ay

  • The house wine is... Vino della casa – Vee-noh del-lah car-sah

  • White wine / red wine – Vino rosso / bianco – Vee–noh ross-oh / bee-ahn-koh

  • A bottle or a piece of glass – Una bicchiere / una bottiglia – OO-nah beek-kyeh-reh / boht-tee-lyah

  • Appetizer – Antipasto – An-tee-pah-stoh Pronunciation:

  • First course – Primo – Pronounced:

  • Second course – Secondo – Sek-kon-doh

  • Dessert – Dolci – Doll-chee

  • Please, may I have two flavors? Due gusti, per favore – Doo-eh goo-stee, pehr fah-voh-reh

  • Where is the nearest restroom? – Dov'è il bagno – Doh-veh eel bahn-yoh

  • Please send the check (or the bill) – Il conto, per favore – Eel kon-toh, pehr fah-voh-reh

  • May I pay with a credit card? – Posso pagare con la carta – Pohs-soh pah-gah-reh kon la cahr-tah

Words that you should be familiar with if you plan on going to museums.

It is common for many itineraries in Italy to devote a significant amount of time to exploring various museums and attractions. Within this section, we have provided you with some helpful Italian phrases that will assist you in purchasing tickets and asking common questions.

  • When does it open / close – Quando si apri / chiude – Kwahn-doh see ah-pree / chee-oo-deh

  • Two adults / one child – Due adulti / un bambino – Doo-eh ah-dool-tee / oon bahm-bee-noh

  • One or two tickets, as applicable - Un / due biglietto/i – Oon beel-yet-toh / tee

  • One of the seniors — Un pensionato – Oon pen-seyoh-nah-toh

  • One student – Uno studente – Ooh-noh stoo-den-teh

  • Where can I find the baggage storage area or the cloakroom? – Dov'è la guardaroba – Doh-veh lah gard-ah-robe-ah

Inquiring about where something is located in Italian

These useful phrases in Italian will come in handy in the event that you get lost or require assistance in determining your location.

  • Where are... – Dov’è… – Doh-veh …

  • Entrance – Entrata – En-trah-tah

  • Exit – Uscita – Ooh-shee-tah

  • Left – Sinistra – See–nee-stra

  • Right – Destra – Deh-stra

  • Directly in front of you – Dritto – Dree-toh Sound

  • Forward – Avanti – Ah-vahn-tee

  • Back – Dietro – Dee-et-roh

Words that are helpful when talking about traveling and getting around.

The vast majority of tourists who come to Italy will be required to take public transportation, such as a train, bus, or taxi. These phrases will come in handy in the event that you find yourself in a situation in which it is likely that you will need to ask for assistance in order to reach the appropriate platform or bus stop.

  • Where can I find the railroad station? – Dov'è la stazione – Doh-veh lah stah-tzee-oh-neh

  • Where is the terminal for the bus? – Dov'è la fermata – Doh-veh lah fur-mah-tah

  • One or two tickets, as applicable – Un / due biglietto/i – Oon beel-yet-toh / tee

  • One way – Andata – Ahn–dah-tah

  • Return – Ritorno – Ree-torn-oh [sound]

  • What sort of foundation is Rome? – Da quale binario per Roma – Dah kwah-lay bin-ah-rio pehr Roh-mah

  • Tickets for public transportation can be purchased at the newsstand. Tabacchi – Tah-back-kee

Words related to shopping in Italian

It's time to go do some shopping. Make sure you have these key phrases memorized and ready to go.

  • I would like… – Vorrei… – A vortex ray...

  • What is this item's price? – Quanto costa questo   – Kwahn-toh kohs-tah kwehs-toh

  • OK I'll take it – Va bene, lo prendo – Vah beh-neh, loh prehn-doh

  • I do not wish to have it – Non lo voglio – Nohn loh voh-lyoh

  • Are you able to ship to... – Puoi spedire a   – Boy, speed up your thinking!

What to say in Italian if you are in need of assistance

We sincerely hope that you will never be required to put any of these phrases into use, but it is in your best interest to be familiar with them "just in case."

  • Help – Aiuto – Ay-oo-toh

  • I need a doctor – Ho bisogno di un dottore   – Ho biz-ohn-nyo dee oon dot-tor-reh

  • Put in a call to the police – Chiami la polizia – Kee-ya-mee la po-lee-zee-ah

  • Look out – Attento - Ten to the hour

  • Go away – Vai via – Vy vee-ah

Do you want to go beyond the fundamental Italian travel phrases?

You can pick up Italian in this day and age thanks to the abundance of resources available. You can get started with helpful applications, books, and podcasts, and we have outlined some of the best of these options for you in this article.

But if you want to construct your own basic Italian sentences and perfect your accent, a systematic approach that makes use of a method that has been shown to be effective will help you make progress more quickly. After much experimentation, we've found that we like using Rocket Italian. This online course will quickly get you speaking Italian by combining lessons on spoken cultural situations with instruction on Italian grammar and vocabulary. The voice recognition exercises were also instrumental in significantly enhancing the improvement of my accent.

The fast track method is another option available to travelers who are interested in getting a head start on learning Italian in preparation for their trip. This method was developed by our good friends at Intrepid Italian. This intensive course is designed to get you speaking the essential phrases you need for your trip in Italian in just two weeks, and its focus is on getting you ready to travel with your Italian language skills > more info

We are passionate about both traveling in Italy and imparting our knowledge to others. Read through our Italy trip planning guide or sign up to become a member of our Italy trip planning community for FREE. Our 95,000 members are happy to answer any questions you have about your itinerary, including questions about the most convenient places to stay, the most entertaining activities, and the best ways to get from one location to another.

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Disclosure: Untold Italy provides its readers with recommendations for products and services that have been carefully selected in order to help make traveling easier and more enjoyable. If you click through and make a purchase on many of these items, we may earn a commission. Thank you in advance for your support! All of the opinions expressed here are entirely our own; for more information, kindly visit our disclosure page.
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