We’re always here to help anyone coming to Italy, so hopefully this list of Italian Phrases for Travelers can help you in your travels.  And if you do come to Italy, please stop by for a cup of espresso or a glass of our homemade wine.

 

Pronunciation

Having even just a basic just a basic understanding can go a long way to helping you when traveling in Italy. Whether you’re using this post and it’s handy PDF download, or your own guidebook, even just knowing how to correctly pronounce a town or tourist site can help you in your travels.

When talking about this, I’m always reminded of a friend who was traveling to Italy. When they landed in Rome, the sweet older couple nearby asked her how to use the word see-o-a. She finally realized they were saying “Ciao” which is pronounced “Chow.” I have a feeling those people were in for a long, confusing trip.

First, as a general rule pronounce every letter.

Second, the stress falls on the second-to-last syllable.

 

Vowels

“a” is pronounced like the “a” in “father”

“i” like a hard “e” like in “pizza”

“e” is usually a short “e” as in “pen”

“o” is usually like the “o” in “Rome” (or Roma in Italy)

“u” is like the “u” in “rude”

 

Consonants

They sound like their English equivalent with minor exceptions.

The letter “c” before “i” or “e” is pronounced like a “ch,”

“g” before an “i” or “e” is pronounced like a j sound like the “g” in “general”

“h” is always silent

“z” is like the “ts” in sets in all other cases

“ch” sounds like a hard “c” like in “car”

“gli” sounds like the “ll” in million

“sc” before i and e sounds like the “sh” in “shark” and like “sk” in “skip” in all other cases

If you’d like even more info on this, there is a YouTube video at the bottom of this post.

Do NOT let this seem overwhelming or scary, like you have to suddenly memorize all of this. Honestly, 90% of the time if you are CLOSE to getting it correct, Italians will understand you as they’ll know generally what tourist are looking for.

Note, there is also a handy PDF download at the bottom of this post.

Greetings

Good morningBuon giorno(Usually said until 4PM)Phrases for Italian Travelers
Good eveningBouna sera(Usually said after 4PM)
Good nightBouna notte(Used only to say goodnight before leaving or going to bed)
Thank YouGrazie
Your WelcomePrego
Hello/GoodbyeCiao
Goodbye (formal)Arrivederci
WelcomeBenvenuto (to a male)/Benvenuta (to a woman)
How are you?Come Sta?
My name isMi chiamo
What is your name?Come si chiama?
Excuse meMi Scusi
Pleased to meet youPiacere
A more formal “hello”Salve
A nice way to say “Goodbye” meaning “until we see each other again”Arrivederci

Common Phrases/Questions

PleasePer favore
Thank youGrazie
Many thanks or Thank you very muchGrazie Millie
Where is?Dov’è
Very wellMolto bene
PleasePer favore
You’re welcomePrego
My name is… You may also say “Sono….”Mi chiamo… You may also say “Sono…”
I don’t speak ItalianNon parlo italiano
Do you speak English?Parla inglese?
Yes
NoNo
OKOK
Fine/OKVa bene
Who?Chi?
When?Quando?
What?Cosa?
Why?Perché
How much does it cost?Quanto costa? Phrases for Italian Travelers
How many?Quanti?
Where is the bathroom/toilet?Dov’è il bagno or Dov’è la toilette?
Do you speak English?Parla Inglese?
Do you understand?Capisce?
I don’t understandNon capisco
Can you help me?Mi potete aiutare?
When is it open?Quando é aperto?
When does it close?Quando si chiude?
Excuse me (to get someone’s attention)Scusi
Excuse me (to get past someone)Permesso
Speak slowly, please.Parli piano, per favore.
Repeat, please.Ripeta, per favore.
I’m sorryMi dispiace

Traveling/Getting Around

AirportAeroporto
Train stationStazione
PharmacyFarmacia
TicketBiglietto
MuseumMuseo
ChurchChiesa
HelpAiuto
FineBenissimo
TaxiTaxi
HotelAlbergo
B&BBnB
RestaurantRistorante Phrases for Italian Travelers
Cafe/DinerTrattoria or Bar
Store/ShopNegozio
PolicePolizia/Carabinieri
DoctorMedico
WaterAcqua
MetropolitanaSubway
TrenoTreno
TrackBinario
DeparturesPartenze
ArrivalsArrivi
DelayedInritardo
CarMacchina
Bus(in the city)Autobus
Bus (coach traveling out of town)Pullman
BankBanca
ATM MachineBancomat
RightDestra
LeftSinistra
StraightDritto
CloseVicino
FarLontano
NorthNord
SouthSud
EastEst
WestOvest
InformationInformazione
How can I go to…Come posso andare a…

Eating

I would like to reserve…Vorrei prenotare…
a table for twouna tavola per due
…for 8pmper le otto
I would likeVorrei…
…some (of)un pó (di)
…thisquesto
…thatquello
chickenpollo
steakbistecca
vealvitello
fishpesce
meatcarne
vegetablesverdure
I am vegetarianSono vegetariano
side dish (veggies usually come seperately)cotorno
dessertdolce
ande
…a glass ofun bicchiere di
…a bottle ofuna bottiglia di
…a half-liter ofmezzo litro di
…fizzy wateracqua gassata
…still wateracqua naturale
…red winevino rosso Phrases for Italian Travelers5
…white winevino bianco
…beerbirra
Check, pleaseIl conto, per favore

Other popular Italian phrases

A transition between sentences, usually meaning “and then…”Allora
A exclamation used for “come on!” or “Really?”Dai
BeautifulBello
Enjoy your meal. Almost always said when a meal is served.Buon appetito
Have a nice tripBuon viaggio
I am allergic to…Sono allergico a…
I would like something to eatVorrei qualcosa da mangiare
I would like something to drinkVorrei qualcosa da bere

Time, Dates and Numbers

Sundaydomenica
Mondaylunedì
Tuesdaymartedì
Wednesdaymercoledì
Thursdaygiovedì
Fridayvenerdì
Saturdaysabato
1uno
2due
3tre
4quattro
5cinque
6sei
7sette
8otto
9nove
10dieci
20venti
30trenta
40quaranta
50cinquanta
60sessanta
70settanta
80otttanta
90novanta
100cento
YesterdayIeri
TodayOggi Phrases for Italian Travelers6
TomorrowDomani
Remember for dates, Italians write the day first, then the month then the year. So March 1, 2016 would be 1/3/16
In general, to say a number like 33, you just say the first word (30) then the second (tre)

 

So how’d we do?  Did we miss something?  Did this list help you?  Let us know in the comments.  And to get your free PDF of the 149 Phrases for Italian Travelers, just click below.

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A video on pronounciation

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