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 morning Buon giorno (Usually said until 4PM)Phrases for Italian Travelers
Good evening Bouna sera (Usually said after 4PM)
Good night Bouna notte (Used only to say goodnight before leaving or going to bed)
Thank You Grazie
Your Welcome Prego
Hello/Goodbye Ciao
Goodbye (formal) Arrivederci
Welcome Benvenuto (to a male)/Benvenuta (to a woman)
How are you? Come Sta?
My name is Mi chiamo
What is your name? Come si chiama?
Excuse me Mi Scusi
Pleased to meet you Piacere
A more formal “hello” Salve
A nice way to say “Goodbye” meaning “until we see each other again” Arrivederci

Common Phrases/Questions

Please Per favore
Thank you Grazie
Many thanks or Thank you very much Grazie Millie
Where is? Dov’è
Very well Molto bene
Please Per favore
You’re welcome Prego
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? Parla inglese?
Yes
No No
OK OK
Fine/OK Va 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 understand Non 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 sorry Mi dispiace

Traveling/Getting Around

Airport Aeroporto
Train station Stazione
Pharmacy Farmacia
Ticket Biglietto
Museum Museo
Church Chiesa
Help Aiuto
Fine Benissimo
Taxi Taxi
Hotel Albergo
B&B BnB
Restaurant Ristorante  Phrases for Italian Travelers
Cafe/Diner Trattoria or Bar
Store/Shop Negozio
Police Polizia/Carabinieri
Doctor Medico
Water Acqua
Metropolitana Subway
Treno Treno
Track Binario
Departures Partenze
Arrivals Arrivi
Delayed Inritardo
Car Macchina
Bus(in the city) Autobus
Bus (coach traveling out of town) Pullman
Bank Banca
ATM Machine Bancomat
Right Destra
Left Sinistra
Straight Dritto
Close Vicino
Far Lontano
North Nord
South Sud
East Est
West Ovest
Information Informazione
How can I go to… Come posso andare a…

Eating

I would like to reserve… Vorrei prenotare…
a table for two una tavola per due
…for 8pm per le otto
I would like Vorrei…
…some (of) un pó (di)
…this questo
…that quello
chicken pollo
steak bistecca
veal vitello
fish pesce
meat carne
vegetables verdure
I am vegetarian Sono vegetariano
side dish (veggies usually come seperately) cotorno
dessert dolce
and e
…a glass of un bicchiere di
…a bottle of una bottiglia di
…a half-liter of mezzo litro di
…fizzy water acqua gassata
…still water acqua naturale
…red wine vino rosso  Phrases for Italian Travelers5
…white wine vino bianco
…beer birra
Check, please Il 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
Beautiful Bello
Enjoy your meal. Almost always said when a meal is served. Buon appetito
Have a nice trip Buon viaggio
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

Sunday domenica
Monday lunedì
Tuesday martedì
Wednesday mercoledì
Thursday giovedì
Friday venerdì
Saturday sabato
1 uno
2 due
3 tre
4 quattro
5 cinque
6 sei
7 sette
8 otto
9 nove
10 dieci
20 venti
30 trenta
40 quaranta
50 cinquanta
60 sessanta
70 settanta
80 otttanta
90 novanta
100 cento
Yesterday Ieri
Today Oggi  Phrases for Italian Travelers6
Tomorrow Domani
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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You might think growing up in a small town in Texas wouldn't prepare you to live the Italian lifestyle. But in many ways — the family values, the small town culture, the love of food — is very similar to what you'll find in Italian culture. In fact, I expect it's pretty universal. Having been married to an Italian for 20 years, it's been fun to learn and explore the rich Italian culture and share it with you.

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