131 Basic Italian Phrases for Travel and Everything That Comes With It
About to go on that Italian trip of a lifetime? Don’t forget to take some Italian travel phrases with you before you set off on your adventure!
This post will show you 131 of the most common Italian phrases to help you prepare for any situation you might find yourself in.
- Greetings and Goodbyes
- Essential Vocabulary
- Making Small Talk
- Asking for Directions in Italian
- Vocabulary for Your Shopping Trip
- Phrases for Eating Out in Italy
- Vocabulary for Emergency Situations
- Italian Question Words
- Italian Words for Love
- Tips for Learning Italian Phrases
Greetings and Goodbyes
It’s always polite to say hello and goodbye, no matter where in the world you are!
Remember these useful ways to say everything from “hi there” to “see you later!”
|Buon pomeriggio||Good afternoon|
|Buona notte||Good night|
|Arrivederci||Until we meet again (informal)|
|Arrivederla||Until we meet again (formal)|
|A più tardi||See you later|
|A presto||See you soon|
|Ci vediamo||See you|
|A dopo||See you later (today)|
|Alla prossima||Until next time|
|Buona giornata||Have a good day|
|Buona serata||Have a good evening|
Pronto, chi parla?
|Ready; Hello (used when answering the phone)
Hello, who's speaking?
There are some basic words every Italian learner should learn as soon as possible. Here are some Italian essentials to remember!
|Non lo so||I don't know|
|Penso di no||I don't think so|
|Ma certo||Definitely/Of course|
|Molte grazie||Many thanks|
|Grazie mille||Thanks a lot|
|Scusa||Excuse me (informal)|
|Mi scusi||Excuse me (formal)|
|Mi dispiace||I'm sorry|
|Non parlo italiano||I don't speak Italian|
|Parla inglese?||Do you speak English?|
|Non capisco||I don't understand|
|Parli lentamente, per favore||Please speak slowly|
|Ripeta, per favore||Please repeat|
|Le presento ___||This is ___ (introduction)|
Making Small Talk
It’s always good to have some small talk phrases under your belt. Here are some phrases that’ll help you carry on a simple, casual conversation when you meet someone new.
|Come ti chiami?||What's your name?|
|Mi chiamo...||My name is...|
|Piacere di conoscerti||Nice to meet you|
|Come va?||How's it going?|
|Come sta?||How are you? (formal)|
|Come stai?||How are you? (informal)|
|Molto bene, grazie||Very well, thank you|
|Dove abiti?||Where do you live?|
|Abito a...||I live in...|
|Sono di...||I'm from...|
|Che lavoro fai?||What's your job?|
Asking for Directions in Italian
No matter how long you prepare for your trip— sooner or later, you’ll find yourself asking for directions.
Asking for directions starts with you approaching the other person with a “Mi scusi,” asking your question, then hearing the directions to your destination.
Here are some phrases that could help you navigate this conversation:
|Mi sono perso||I'm lost|
|Il bagno||The bathroom|
|Il museo||The museum|
|Il teatro||The theater|
|Il supermercato||The supermarket|
|La stazione||The train station|
|La stazione di polizia||The police station|
|Il parco||The park|
|Il centro||The town center|
|Gira a destra||Turn right|
|Gira a sinistra||Turn left|
|Vai diritto||Go straight|
|Vai in quella direzione||Go that way|
|Va indietro||Go back|
|Fermi qui, per favore||Please stop here|
Vocabulary for Your Shopping Trip
Chances are that if you visit Italy, you’ll probably be doing some shopping. Here are some terms to know so you can get by:
|Cerca qualcosa?||What would you like?|
|Posso aiutarla||Can I help you?|
|Cosa sta cercando?||What are you looking for?|
|Posso guardare?||May I just look?|
|Dove sono i camerini?||Where are the changing rooms?|
|Quanto mi fa pagare?||How much do you want for this?|
|Quanto costa?||How much does it cost?|
|È troppo caro||That's too expensive|
|È così economico||That's cheap|
|C'è uno sconto?||Is there a discount?|
|Lo compro||I'll take it|
|Nient'altro, grazie||Nothing else, thank you|
Phrases for Eating Out in Italy
Italy is a land of good food and wine, so here are some words and phrases to help you have the best dining experience possible.
|Posso prenotare un tavolo per due?||Can I book a table for two?|
|Che facciamo?||What do you want us to make?|
|Posso ordinare...||Can I order...|
|Da bere?||What do you want to drink?|
|C'è una specialità locale?||Is there a local specialty?|
|Vorrei ordinare un dolce||I would like to order dessert|
|Preferisco la bistecca al sangue/cotta al punto giusto/ben cotta||I like my steak rare/medium/well-done|
|Un altro, per favore||Another one, please|
|È delizioso||It's delicious|
|Il conto, per favore||The check, please|
Vocabulary for Emergency Situations
Vacations can be unpredictable, so it’s good to know how to ask for help and communicate that there’s an 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!|
|Chiama Uno, Uno, Otto!||Call 1-1-8 (Italy's emergency number)|
|Chiamate la polizia||Call the police|
|Sono stato assalito||I've been mugged|
|Ho perso il mio passaporto||I lost my passport|
|Dov'è l'ambasciata americana?||Where is the American embassy?|
Italian Question Words
Some of the most important sentences you will hear are those that ask a question. Here are Italian question words that prefix Italian queries:
Italian Words for Love
Italians are some of the most passionate people you’re ever going to meet, so it makes sense to know some common romantic phrases:
|Ti amo||I love you|
|Sei bellissima/o||You're beautiful/handsome|
|Pazza/o di te||Crazy for you|
|Solo tu||Only you|
Tips for Learning Italian Phrases
1. Read them out loud.
The best way to master basic Italian phrases is by practicing them in actual conversation with others; however, you may not have access to an Italian speaking partner.
If this is the case, you can still get a bit of practice in saying these phrases by simply reading them out loud. Actually hearing yourself say these phrases is an essential step to learning them.
Also try sounding out the phrases using a variety of tones. For example, the word “sì”(yes) can be uttered in many different ways.
2. Role-play them in different contexts.
This is a natural expansion of the previous tip. In addition to saying the same words or phrases in different ways, you can role-play them in different contexts.
Try to write out a sample dialogue of a situation that would actually use some of these phrases. Then, you can read them aloud and practice being on both sides of the conversation.
Going through this process benefits you in two ways. First, writing lines yourself helps you remember them more. Second, playing both parts doubles your practice time.
3. Message and chat with a native speaker.
Italians are a warm and welcoming people. They’re really very willing to show you the ropes and show you their language and culture. Often, the only thing you need to do is ask.
If you don’t know any native speakers personally, you can quickly find a conversation partner online on a site like italki, Easy Language Exchange, HelloTalk or Tandem.
Having a language exchange partner will give you the platform to practice the basic Italian phrases that you know and receive feedback on how you’re doing from a native speaker.
4. Use them in your everyday conversations.
Try to find as many opportunities as possible to use basic Italian phrases in your daily routines.
Try thinking in Italian or narrating what you’re doing in Italian. This is an easy and passive way to get some practice in without having to seek out a conversational partner.
You could even try teaching your friends a few of these basic phrases that you’ve learned!
In reality, it’s all about finding what works for you. Try some different techniques for getting your Italian practice in and you’re sure to find something you enjoy!
5. Give your brain the gift of flashcards.
If you’re having difficulty memorizing Italian words, phrases and expressions, invest the time in making flashcards.
This classic method really does work and you can choose to do it the old-fashioned way by making your cards by hand or there’s several options out there that can allow you to make them with your phone.
6. Immerse yourself in Italian media
The more exposure to Italian you get, the quicker you’ll pick up on the language.
Try watching Italian movies, listening to Italian music or reading Italian books. All of these are sure to contain the phrases from these posts and much more.
You can also try FluentU, a language learning program that uses short, authentic video clips that native Italian speakers would actually watch to teach you the language.
These video clips come from everything from vlogs to movie scenes to interviews and are accompanied by interactive subtitles, flashcards and quizzes all meant to help you practice what you’ve learned.
You can find FluentU on iOS or Android.
Now you have everything you need to navigate basic situations in Italian! Safe travels!