gondolas-in-venice-italy

170+ Key Italian Travel Phrases

About to go on that Italian trip of a lifetime? Don’t forget to take some key Italian travel phrases with you before you set off on your adventure!

Even if you haven’t planned a trip to Italy, these travel phrases will be useful for any Italian learner looking to add more words and phrases to their vocabulary!

This post will show you more than 170 of the most common Italian travel phrases, words and questions to help you prepare for any situation you might find yourself in while traveling.

Contents

1. Essential Italian Phrases

couples-on-gondolas-in-venice-italy

There are some basic words every Italian learner should learn as soon as possible. Here are some Italian essentials to remember!

ItalianEnglish
Yes
No No
Forse Maybe
Non lo so I don't know
Penso di no I don't think so
Ma certo! Definitely!/Of course!
Per favore Please
Grazie Thank you
Prego You're welcome
Scusa Excuse me (informal)
Mi scusi Excuse me (formal)
Mi dispiace I'm sorry
Non parlo italiano I don't speak Italian
Parli inglese? Do you speak English? (Informal)
Parla inglese? Do you speak English? (Formal)
Non capisco I don't understand
Parli lentamente, per favore Please speak slowly
Ripeta, per favore Please repeat
Le presento... This is ... (introduction)
Aspetta! Wait!
Tranquilla/Tranquillo Don't worry

2. Italian Greetings and Goodbyes 

italian phrases

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!”

ItalianEnglish
Buongiorno Hello/Good morning
Buon pomeriggio Good afternoon
Buonasera Good evening
Buonanotte Good night
Salve Hello (formal)
Ciao Hello/Bye (informal)
Arrivederci Goodbye/Until we meet again (informal)
Arrivederla Goodbye/Until we meet again (formal)
A più tardi See you later
A presto See you soon
RiguardatiTake care
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
Ready; Hello (used when answering the phone)

Pronto, chi parla? Hello, who's speaking?

With these phrases you’ll be able to greet and converse with any Italian you may meet!

Check out this video to see 10 essential phrases used by Italians everyday.

3. Making Small Talk in Italian

people-meeting-and-shaking-hands

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.

ItalianEnglish
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)
Bene Fine
Molto bene, grazie Very well, thank you
Così così So-so
Dove abiti? Where do you live?
Abito a... I live in...
Sono di... I'm from...
Che lavoro fai? What's your job?
Allora So...
Davvero Really?

4. Asking for Directions in Italian

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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:

ItalianEnglish
Mi sono perso/persa I'm lost
Dove? Where?
Dov'è... Where is...
Il bagno The bathroom
Il museo The museum
Il teatro The theater
Il supermercato The supermarket
La stazione The train station
L'aeroporto The airport
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
Vai indietro Go back
Vicino Near
Lontano Far
Fermi qui, per favore Please stop here

5. Italian Question Words

question-mark

Some of the most important sentences you will hear are those that ask a question. Here are Italian question words that prefix Italian queries:

ItalianEnglish
Chi? Who?
Che? What?
Quando? When?
Dove? Where?
Quale? Which?
Come? How?
Perché? Why?
Quanto? How much?

6. Italian Words for Shopping

italian phrases

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:

ItalianEnglish
Cerca qualcosa? Are you looking for something?
Posso aiutarla Can I help you?
Cosa sta cercando? What are you looking for?
Posso dare un'occhiata? May I take a look?
Dove sono i camerini? Where are the changing rooms?
Quanto vuole per questo? 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 so cheap
C'è uno sconto? Is there a discount?
Lo compro I'll take it/I'll buy it
Altro? Anything else?
Nient'altro, grazie Nothing else, thank you

7. Italian Phrases for Eating Out

couple-eating-pasta-in-an-italian-restaurant

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.

ItalianEnglish
Quanti? How many?
Posso prenotare un tavolo per due? Can I book a table for two?
Cosa vuoi che facciamo? What do you want us to make?
Antipasto Appetizer
Primo Main course
Secondo Second course
Contorno Side dish
Insalata Salad
Il dolce Dessert
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 / È squisito It's delicious
Sono allergico/allergica... I am allergic...
... alle noci. ...to nuts.
... al pesce. ...to fish/seafood.
... al glutine. ...to gluten.
... ai latticini. ...to dairy products.
Sono vegetariano/vegetariana I'm a vegetarian.
Sono vegano/vegana I'm a vegan.
Il conto, per favore The check, please
Posso pagare con... Can I pay by...
... la carta (di credito)? ...credit card?
... la carta di debito/il bancomat? ...debit card?
Posso pagare in contanti? Can I pay by cash?

To learn more essential restaurant phrases and see them used in context by a native Italian speaker with Italian and English subtitles, check out this video.

By seeing these phrases used in context, you’ll quickly pick up on when and how to use them in your own conversations. 

8. Italian Words for Emergency Situations

vehicle-blue-emergency-light-turned-on

Vacations can be unpredictable, so it’s good to know how to ask for help and communicate that there’s an emergency:

ItalianEnglish
Aiuto! Help!
C'è stato un incidente There's been an accident
Chiamate un'ambulanza Call an ambulance
Ospedale Hospital
Farmacia Pharmacy
Danno Injury
Ferita Wound
Dolore Pain
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?

9. Numbers, Time and Days of the Week in Italian

picture-of-an-alarm-clock

If you’re learning Italian or planning on visiting Italy, then these words will be essential!

ItalianEnglish
Uno One
Due Two
Tre Three
Quattro Four
Cinque Five
Sei Six
Sette Seven
Otto Eight
Nove Nine
Dieci Ten
Che ora è? What's the time?
A che ora? At what time?
Sono le... It's...
Sono le quattro It's 4 o'clock.
Sono le dieci It's 10 o'clock.
È l'una *It's one o'clock.
Sono le...e mezza It's half past...
Sono le...e un quarto It's quarter past...
Sono le...e quarantacinque / Sono le...e tre quarti / Sono le...meno un quarto It's 45 minutes past.../Quarter to...
Sono le...meno dieci/cinque It's ten minutes/five minutes to...
Di mattina In the morning
Del pomeriggio In the afternoon
Di sera In the evening
Di notte At night
Mezzogiorno Midday/noon
Mezzanotte Midnight
Che giorno è oggi? What day is it today?
Lunedì Monday
Martedì Tuesday
Mercoledì Wednesday
Giovedì Thursday
Venerdì Friday
Sabato Saturday
Domenica Sunday
Il weekend / Il fine settimana The weekend

*The only time in Italian that uses the singular “è…” is one o’clock. For example: “È l’una” (It’s one o’clock) but all the other times use the plural form “Sono le…” in Italian. Check out this post for a more in-depth guide to telling the time in Italian.

As you can see, knowing how to count and say numbers in Italian is useful for many different situations. To learn more numbers in Italian, you can read about them in this post

10. Transport Words and Phrases in Italian

metro-station-naples-italy

If you’re traveling in Italy, it’s likely you’ll have to travel in il taxi or il treno at least once! 

Take a look at these phrases below to learn different ways of traveling and how to buy and book a ticket in Italian.

ItalianEnglish
La macchina Car
L'autobus Bus
Il treno Train
La metropolitana Metro
Il taxi Taxi/Cab
Un biglietto A ticket
Un biglietto di solo andata One-way ticket
Un biglietto di andata e ritorno Round-trip ticket
Dove posso comprare un biglietto? Where can I buy a ticket?
Vorrei comprare un biglietto per... I would like to buy a ticket to...
Qual è la prossima fermata? What is the next stop?

Now that you know these phrases for transport in Italian, you’re ready to travel!

But before you go, make sure you watch this video for travel tips for your trip to Italy.

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. Hearing yourself say these phrases is an essential step to learning them.

2. Role-play them in different contexts.

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 helps you remember them more and playing both sides doubles your practice time. 

3. 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 using FluentU to learn Italian phrases and vocabulary in context.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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4. Practice with a native speaker.

Having a language exchange partner will give you the opportunity to practice the basic Italian phrases that you know and receive feedback on how you’re doing from a native speaker.

If you don’t know any native speakers personally, you can quickly find a conversation partner online on a site like Easy Language Exchange, HelloTalk or Tandem.

5. Use them in your everyday conversations.

Try to find as many opportunities as possible to use basic Italian phrases in your daily routines.

A great way to practice without having to find a language partner is by thinking or narrating what you’re doing in Italian. 

6. Use 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 are several apps available to make them with your phone such as those listed in this post.

 

Now you have everything you need to navigate basic situations in Italian! 

Buon viaggio! (Safe journey!)

And One More Thing...

If you're as busy as most of us, you don't always have time for lengthy language lessons. The solution? FluentU!

Learn Italian with funny commericals, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:

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FluentU helps you get comfortable with everyday Italian by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with interactive subtitles. Tap on any word to instantly see an image, in-context definition, example sentences and other videos in which the word is used.

learn-italian-with-captioned-videos

Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and review words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.

learn-conversational-italian-with-subtitled-dialogue

Once you've watched a video, you can use FluentU's quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

practice-italian-with-adaptive-quizzes

FluentU will even keep track of all the Italian words you’re learning, and give you extra practice with difficult words. Plus, it'll tell you exactly when it's time for review. Now that's a 100% personalized experience!

The best part? You can try FluentU for free with a trial.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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