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.
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.
“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”
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 setsin 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.
(Usually said until 4PM)
(Usually said after 4PM)
(Used only to say goodnight before leaving or going to bed)
Benvenuto (to a male)/Benvenuta (to a woman)
How are you?
My name is
What is your name?
Come si chiama?
Pleased to meet you
A more formal “hello”
A nice way to say “Goodbye” meaning “until we see each other again”
Many thanks or Thank you very much
My name is… You may also say “Sono….”
Mi chiamo… You may also say “Sono…”
I don’t speak Italian
Non parlo italiano
Do you speak English?
How much does it cost?
Where is the bathroom/toilet?
Dov’è il bagno or Dov’è la toilette?
Do you speak English?
Do you understand?
I don’t understand
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)
Excuse me (to get past someone)
Speak slowly, please.
Parli piano, per favore.
Ripeta, per favore.
Trattoria or Bar
Bus(in the city)
Bus (coach traveling out of town)
How can I go to…
Come posso andare a…
I would like to reserve…
a table for two
una tavola per due
per le otto
I would like
un pó (di)
I am vegetarian
side dish (veggies usually come seperately)
…a glass of
un bicchiere di
…a bottle of
una bottiglia di
…a half-liter of
mezzo litro di
Il conto, per favore
Other popular Italian phrases
A transition between sentences, usually meaning “and then…”
A exclamation used for “come on!” or “Really?”
Enjoy your meal. Almost always said when a meal is served.
Have a nice trip
I am allergic to…
Sono allergico a…
I would like something to eat
Vorrei qualcosa da mangiare
I would like something to drink
Vorrei qualcosa da bere
Time, Dates and Numbers
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.
A video on pronounciation
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