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

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!”

BuongiornoHello/Good morning
Buon pomeriggioGood afternoon
BuonaseraGood evening
Buona notteGood night
SalveHello (formal)
CiaoHello/Bye (informal)
ArrivederciUntil we meet again (informal)
ArrivederlaUntil we meet again (formal)
A più tardiSee you later
A prestoSee you soon
RiguardatiTake care
Ci vediamoSee you
A dopoSee you later (today)
Alla prossimaUntil next time
Buona giornataHave a good day
Buona serataHave a good evening

Pronto, chi parla?
Ready; Hello (used when answering the phone)

Hello, who's speaking?

Essential Vocabulary

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

Può darsiMaybe
Non lo soI don't know
Penso di noI don't think so
Ma certoDefinitely/Of course
Per favorePlease
GrazieThank you
Molte grazieMany thanks
Grazie milleThanks a lot
PregoYou're welcome
ScusaExcuse me (informal)
Mi scusiExcuse me (formal)
Mi dispiaceI'm sorry
Non parlo italianoI don't speak Italian
Parla inglese?Do you speak English?
Non capiscoI don't understand
Parli lentamente, per favorePlease speak slowly
Ripeta, per favorePlease repeat
Le presento ___This is ___ (introduction)
Tranquilla/oDon't worry

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 conoscertiNice to meet you
Come va?How's it going?
Come sta?How are you? (formal)
Come stai?How are you? (informal)
Molto bene, grazieVery well, thank you
Così cosìSo-so
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 persoI'm lost
Dov'è...Where is...
Il bagnoThe bathroom
Il museoThe museum
Il teatroThe theater
Il supermercatoThe supermarket
La stazioneThe train station
L'aeroportoThe airport
La stazione di poliziaThe police station
Il parcoThe park
Il centroThe town center
Gira a destraTurn right
Gira a sinistraTurn left
Vai dirittoGo straight
Vai in quella direzioneGo that way
Va indietroGo back
Fermi qui, per favorePlease stop here

Vocabulary for Your Shopping Trip

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:

Cerca qualcosa?What would you like?
Posso aiutarlaCan 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 caroThat's too expensive
È così economicoThat's cheap
C'è uno sconto?Is there a discount?
Lo comproI'll take it
Altro?Anything else?
Nient'altro, grazieNothing 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.

Quanti?How many?
Posso prenotare un tavolo per due?Can I book a table for two?
Che facciamo?What do you want us to make?
PrimoMain course
SecondoSecond course
ContornoSide dish
Il dolceDessert
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 dolceI would like to order dessert
Preferisco la bistecca al sangue/cotta al punto giusto/ben cottaI like my steak rare/medium/well-done
Un altro, per favoreAnother one, please
È deliziosoIt's delicious
Il conto, per favoreThe 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 incidenteThere's been an accident
Chiamate un'ambulanzaCall 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 poliziaCall the police
Sono stato assalitoI've been mugged
Ho perso il mio passaportoI 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:

Quanto?How much?

Italian Words for Love

italian phrases

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 amoI love you
Sei bellissima/oYou're beautiful/handsome
Pazza/o di teCrazy for you
Solo tuOnly you
Per sempreForever
SposamiMarry me

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!

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