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10 Basic Italian Phrases for Kids – From a Mom in Italy

Updated on December 21, 2023

Are you taking a family vacation to Italy?

Or perhaps you’re learning Italian at home and your child wants to learn some too!

No matter what – if you’ve got little ones who want to learn some Italian, you’ll want to check out these 10 Basic Italian Phrases for Kids. 

It can be overwhelming to learn a language, but you’d be surprised how much you can converse and interact in Italy with just this handful of phrases.

For each word or phrase, you’ll find:

  • The English translation
  • How to pronounce it
  • Audio of the pronunciation
  • How to use it
  • An example conversation

At the end, you’ll find a printable chart that you can bring with you on your trip – just in case you haven’t memorized them all yet! 

And, if you’re itching for more Italian words and phrases, check out our 100+ Useful Italian Phrases!

Are you ready? Andiamo – let’s go!

Per Favore

Boys looking at the view of the countryside from Orvieto, Italy

Per favore is Italian for ‘please.’

It’s pronounced pehr fah-VOH-reh.

Listen to my son pronounce it here:

Per favore is used just like you use it in your home country. For example, if you’re having dinner and you’d like someone to pass the pepper. It’s a magic word in Italy too!

Cameriere: Vuoi una pizza con salsiccia?
You: Si, per favore!

Waiter: Would you like a pizza with sausage?
You: Yes, please!


Grazie is Italian for ‘thank you.’

It’s pronounced GRAH-tsee-eh.

Listen to my son pronounce it here:

Just like prego, grazie is an important word for children (and adults) to know and use. You can use it exactly like you would in your home country – any time you want to thank someone for something.

Barista: Ecco la tua cioccolata calda!
You: Grazie!

Barman: Here’s your hot chocolate!
You: Thanks!

Extra Credit: If you’re extra thankful, you can say grazie mille – literally, a thousand thanks!


Prego has a few meanings, but you’ll hear it mostly as ‘you’re welcome’ or ‘go ahead.’

It’s pronounced PREH-goh.

Listen to my son pronounce it here:

You’ll hear it most often when people say ‘you’re welcome’ in response to a thank you. But, you’ll also hear it as ‘go ahead.’ This can be as a gesture (like holding the door open in the example below), or it could be a waiter telling you to go ahead and tell him your order. Or, an employee at the deli telling you go ahead and let him/her know what you’d like to purchase.

Nonna: Grazie per avermi fatto passare avanti.
You: Prego.

Grandmother: Thank you for letting me go ahead.
You: You’re welcome.


You (holding the door open for your mom): Prego.

You (holding the door open for your mom): Go ahead.


Vorrei is Italian for ‘I would like…’.

It’s pronounced voh-REH.

Listen to my son pronounce it here:

Vorrei is the polite way to say ‘I want…’ You’ll use it whenever you’re ordering food at a restaurant, gelateria, or bar. You can also use it in any situation you ‘want’ something, but you want to say it in a more polite way.

You (ordering gelato in Rome): Vorrei un cono con due gusti – stracciatella e fragola.

You: I would like a cone with two flavors – chocolate chip and strawberry.


Man cycling with a baby trailer on a path in the Dolomites, Italy.

Buongiorno is Italian for ‘good morning’ or ‘good day.’ 

It’s pronounced bwohn-JOHR-noh.

Listen to my son pronounce it here:

Buongiorno is used as a greeting or friendly ‘hello’ in the daytime. For example, to greet a shopkeeper when you enter a shop. Or, to say hello to someone who wishes you a buongiorno.

Hotel Receptionist: Buongiorno! Benvenuti al nostro albergo!
You: Buongiorno, grazie!

Hotel Receptionist: Hello! Welcome to our hotel!
You: Hello, thanks!

Good To Know:  There are no set hours when you can or can’t use Buongiorno.  Depending on where you are, you may hear buongiornos earlier or later in the afternoon.

Extra Credit: If you want to tell someone ‘have a good day!’ you can say buona giornata!


Buonasera is Italian for ‘good afternoon’ or ‘good evening.’

It’s pronounced bwon-ah-SEH-rah.

Listen to my son pronounce it here:

Buonasera is used as a greeting or friendly ‘hello’ in the afternoon and evening. You use it just like buongiorno, but later in the day.

Guida Turistica: Buonasera! Siete pronti per il tour?
You: Buonasera! Si, siamo pronti!

Tour Guide: Good afternoon! Are you ready for the tour?
You: Good afternoon! Yes, we’re ready!

Extra Credit: If you want to say ‘good night,’ as in you’re going to bed, you can say buonanotte.


Boy running on a small lane in Monopoli, in Puglia, Italy.

Arrivederci is the polite way to say ‘goodbye’ in Italian.

It’s pronounced ah-ree-veh-DEHR-chee.

Listen to my son pronounce it here:

Arrivederci is used to say ‘goodbye’ to people you don’t know well (for example, someone you’ve just met, a shopkeeper, or the staff at the trattoria you just ate at).

Cassiere: Ecco il suo resto, grazie ed arrivederci!
You: Grazie, arrivederci!

Cashier: Here is your change, thanks and goodbye!
You: Thanks, goodbye!

Good To Know: If you know the person/people well, you can say ciao instead of arrivederci.

Quanto Costa?

Quanto costa? is the way we ask how much something costs in Italian.

It’s pronounced KWAHN-toh COHS-tah?

Listen to my son pronounce it here:

You can use this just like you would in your home country, whenever you want to know how much something costs, whether it’s a pair of leather boots or a granita.

You: Scusi signora, quanto costa questa maglietta?
Commessa: Solo 10€.

You: Excuse me ma’am, how much does this t-shirt cost?
Saleswoman: Only 10€.


Boy running in the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy.

Dov’è? is a contraction of dove and è. Dove is Italian for ‘where’ and ‘è’ is Italian for ‘is.’ So, when you ask someone dov’è…? , you’re asking them where something is.

Dov’è ? is pronounced doh-VEH?

Listen to my son pronounce it here:

You can use dov’è when you want to know where something in particular is. For example, when you want to know where the bathroom is. Or, if someone’s talking about something (like a great playground), you can ask where it is.

You: Scusi, dov’è il bagno?
Cameriere: Dopo la cucina, sulla destra.

You: Excuse me, where is the bathroom?
Waiter: After the kitchen, on the right.


Bambino nella piazza: È un parco giochi ganzissimo!
You: Dov’è?
Bambino nella piazza: È a cento metri. Venite con noi!

Boy in the piazza: It’s a super cool playground!
You: Where is it?
Boy in the piazza: 100 meters from here. Come with us!

Mi Piace

Two boys riding bikes on a wide paved path on the walls of Lucca, Italy.

Mi piace is Italian for ‘I like.’ It literally means ‘it pleases me.’

It’s pronounced mee pee-AH-cheh.

Listen to my son pronounce it here:

You can use mi piace whenever you like something! It’s a great, positive phrase to have in your arsenal.

You: Mi piace Firenze a Natale!

You: I like Florence at Christmas-time!

Printable List of 10 Basic Italian Phrases for Kids

To print the free list of Italian phrases for kids, just click on the image and a high-quality PDF will open up in a new tab. Then, save to your computer or print it directly.

Black and white sheet of Italian phrases for kids.  10 simple phrases.  There are also graphics of a vespa, gondola, gelato cone, the Colosseum, and a bowl of pasta with fork.

There you go!  With just these 10 phrases, you’ve got a good start for dining at restaurants, getting gelato, looking for landmarks, and shopping at grocery stores, shops, or markets.

Remember, if you want to learn more, you can check out our 100+ Useful Italian Travel Phrases.  You may also want to take a look at our Language section.

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