Basic Italian Phrases to Know When Travelling to Italy

Basic Italian Phrases to Know when Travelling to Italy


Did you know that the oldest operating university is situated in Italy? Università di Bologna was founded in 1088, and since then has been accepting students for various study programs – from medicine to information engineering. Furthermore, the University of Bologna offers international students to take free Italian classes online and in person. And that kind of hospitality is an integral part of the Italian mentality.

Travelling to Italy will allow you to see firsthand the world cultural heritage, enjoy excellent Mediterranean cuisine, meet affable people, and capture the most picturesque views of Italian landscapes.

It is clear that any journey or vacation requires careful preparation well in advance. This applies not only to acquiring required travel documents such as visas, but also to planning your own perfect personalized itinerary and packing for your journey. Even though you’re not obliged to know Italian perfectly ( English is pretty welcomed in Italy), it would be nice to learn basic Italian phrases in order to get a more authentic experience.

Here is an essential package of Italian phrases that will help make your tour to Italy more comfortable and pleasant.


 Basic Italian Phrase Package for your Tour to Italy


Basic Italian Phrases for Greeting People

To make a good first impression is always valuable, and Italians honor this rule like no other. To introduce yourself as a well-mannered person, it is necessary to learn some essential Italian greetings. You’ve possibly already heard the words ciao (informal ‘hi’ and ‘bye’) and arrivederci (formal ‘goodbye’) several times, but mastering a few more phrases will turn you into a welcome guest in any Italian city.

  • Hello, how are you? – Salve, come va? / come stai?
  • I’m fine, thanks. And you? – Bene grazie. E tu?
  • Good morning – Buongiorno
  • Good afternoon – Buon pomeriggio
  • Good evening – Buonasera
  • Good night – Buonanotte
  • Come si chiama? – What’s your name?
  • My name is… – Mi chiamo…
  • I’m (name)… – Sono (nome)…
  • Pleased to meet you. – Piacere.
  • Have a nice day! – Buona giornata!
  • Please – Per favore
  • Thank you. – Grazie.
  • You are welcome. – Prego.

Italians are warm and emotional people. Introductions usually involve shaking hands and kissing each other on both cheeks. When communicating, Italians often gesture with their hands and vividly express their feelings.

Basic Italian Phrases for Shopping

Italy could be mistaken as a synonym for fashion. It is home to a great number of world-famous talented designers including Versace, Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, and Valentino. Shopping when on tour to Italy is definitely a must!

Whether you plan to visit a mercato (‘market’) or go to a luxurious boutique, it will benefit you to learn this basic Italian phrase package in order to aid you in your purchases of memorable souvenirs.

  • Excuse me, how much does it cost? – Mi scusi, quanto costa?
  • I can’t see the price; how much is it? – Non riesco a vedere il prezzo, quanto viene?
  • Can I pay with a card? – Posso pagare con la carta?
  • Can you do me a discount? – Può farmi uno sconto?
  • Do you have… – Ha…
  • What size is it? – Che taglia e?
  • I’d like to try it on. – Vorrei provarlo.
  • Where are the changing rooms? – Dove sono I camerini?

Browsing the markets as opposed to the stores will allow you to find stylish clothes and accessories at more affordable prices.

Basic Italian Phrases for Dining in Restaurants

The exquisite cuisine is another hallmark of Italy. This southern European country is rich in fine wines, cheeses, and of course pasta. You then have the legendary Italian gelato (‘ice-cream’) and authentic traditional pizza which was first created in Naples. Here are some helpful phrases for when you decide to enjoy a delicious dinner or simply pop into a cafe for an espresso or cappuccino with a piece of Italian crostata.

  • A table for one / two, please. – Un tavolo per una / due persona, per favore.
  • Can we wait (for a table)? – Possiamo aspettare (per un tavolo)?
  • Can we sit over there? – Possiamo sederci laggiù?
  • May I see the menu? – Potrei vedere il menu?
  • What’s your most popular dish? – Qual è la specialità della casa?
  • What would you recommend? – Cosa ci consiglia?
  • I’m vegetarian. – Sono vegetariano.
  • Have a good meal. – Bon appetite.
  • May I have the check, please. – Può portarci il conto, per favore?
  • Is the tip included? – Il servizio e incluso?

In order to enjoy a taste of genuine Italian dishes, pay attention mostly to small restaurants with a more condensed menu and look for ones frequented by locals rather than tourists. This will allow you to not only taste authentic Italian cuisine, but also hear and practice your Italian.

Basic Italian Phrases for Asking for Directions

It’s easy to get lost on a tour to Italy, especially with its charming narrow streets and abundant hidden places. Undeniably, those hidden architectural treasures are worth visiting, but it may be a challenge to find an English-speaking person who can help you with directions. The following basic Italian phrase package will aid you for when you need to find a notable landmark or simply when you need to make your way back to your hotel

  • Excuse me, could I ask you something? – Mi scusi, posso farle una domanda?
  • I’m lost. – Mi sono perso.
  • Where is…? – Dov’è…?
  • How can I get there? – Come posso arrivarci?
  • I want to go to… – Vorrei andare a…
  • I want to go here… – Vorrei andare qui…
  • Can you show me on the map? – Potrebbe indicarmelo sulla carta?
  • Is it this way? – È di qua?
  • Take me to this address, please. – Mi porti a questo indirizzo, per favore.
  • Go that way. – Si va in quella direzione.
  • Go straight ahead. – Si va diritto.
  • Go back. – Si va indietro.
  • Turn right. – Si gira a destra.
  • Turn left. – Si gira a sinistra.

Whether you are trying to find a museum, restaurant, or park; having some basic knowledge of the local language will save you a lot of hassle.

Going on a tour to Italy will no doubt become one of the brightest experiences of your life. Make it even more enjoyable and leave a good impression by taking the time to really learn the Italian language. Each of the 299 skillful certified Italian tutors are eager to meet you at and to assist you while you’re plunging into the atmosphere of this passionate language. Join the army of 173 646 students, choose your own learning program, and start the preparations for your tour to Italy right away. In bocca al lupo!

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Author: Michael Jerrard

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