Italian travel phrases for your trip to Italy – A carefully curated list of the most important Italian words and phrases to know for your visit. I’ve used 20 years of experience living and guiding travelers in Italy to create this list.
You’re going to visit Italy! I’ve been helping visitors see and experience Italy since 2004, and in that time, I’ve noticed one thing that connects people to Italy more than anything – speaking the language!
More than any visit to a museum, decadent dish of pasta, or view of the Colosseum at night, interactions with the friendly Italian people are the best memories of a trip to Italy. With some simple Italian travel phrases, you’ll be able to order your coffee from the barista, chat with the little old man on the bench, or purchase the beautiful Italian scarf on display at the market in Florence.
While many Italians in tourist destinations speak English, it’s respectful and fun to speak Italian with your hosts.
Don’t speak any Italian yet? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! You don’t need to take a class or memorize loads of Italian travel phrases. Below you’ll find the most useful Italian travel phrases for your trip to Italy.
One last word of advice – don’t be shy! Italians are patient and happy to help you with your Italian. You’ll also find Italians who are eager to practice their English with you, which can also be a great cultural experience.
Now, for the essential Italian travel phrases – andiamo (let’s go!)
Basic and Commonly Used Italian Phrases
If you only learn a few phrases, make these the ones you learn! You’ll use most of them daily and in many situations – at hotels, in restaurants, and out walking around in the city.
Si – Yes
No – No
Per favore – Please
Grazie – Thank You
Prego – You’re Welcome; Go ahead (for example, if someone opens the door for you or a waiter asks for your order)
Chi / Cosa / Quando / Dove / Perchè / Come – Who / What / When / Where / Why / How
Scusi – Excuse me (pardon me)
Permesso – Excuse me (I need to pass by)
Parla Italiano? – Do you speak Italian?
Non ho capito – I didn’t understand
Un’altra volta, per favore – Once more, please
Non parlo italiano – I don’t speak Italian
Mi dispiace – I’m sorry (literally, it displeases me)
Mi piace… – I like… (literally, it pleases me)
Andiamo! – Let’s go!
Dov’è il bagno? – Where is the bathroom / toilet?
Important Italian Greetings
These are important Italian greetings to learn. While you’ll notice Italians don’t say hello to everyone they see on the street, it’s polite to greet shop owners and others when entering a shop or restaurant. You’ll also want to be able to introduce yourself to tour guides and Italians you meet during your travels.
Buongiorno – Good morning / good day
Good To Know: Only use buongiorno until lunchtime or just after. In the afternoon and evening, use buonasera.
Buonasera – Good evening Learn more about How to Say Good Evening in Italian.
Buonanotte – Good night
Good To Know: Only use buonanotte when you’re going to bed (not as a greeting at night).
Salve – Hello / goodbye
Ciao – Hello / goodbye (to friends and close acquaintances) Learn more about When to Use the Word Ciao.
Arrivederci – Goodbye (formal)
Come sta / stai? – How are you (formal / informal)?
Sto bene, grazie – I’m well, thanks
Mi chiamo… – My name is…
Come si chiama / come ti chiami – What’s your name (formal / informal)?
Vengo da… (gli stati uniti) – I am from… (the United States)
Piacere – Pleased to meet you.
Good To Know: Buon pomeriggio (good afternoon) is not really used. Instead, opt for a friendly buongiorno or buonasera.
Good To Know: If you want to wish someone a good day or a good evening (common to do when you’re parting ways), you can say buona giornata (have a good day) or buona serata (have a good evening).
Numbers in Italian
Knowing a few numbers is helpful in many travel situations in Italy – how much your produce costs at the market, your hotel room number, the phone number for the museum, how many people to make a dinner reservation for, and more.
Here are the numbers 1 – 24, which are helpful for telling time in Italy (remember, Italy uses military time). If you need to write or say larger numbers, you can always write or say them one by one. For example, €310 becomes 3-1-0 euro or tre-uno-zero euro.
0 – zero
1 – uno
2 – due
3 – tre
4 – quattro
5 – cinque
6 – sei
7 – sette
8 – otto
9 – nove
10 – dieci
11 – undici
12 – dodici
13 – tredici
14 – quattordici
15 – quindici
16 – sedici
17 – diciassette
18 – diciotto
19 – diciannove
20 – venti
21 – ventuno
22 – ventidue
23 – ventitré
24 – ventiquattro
Helpful Phrases for Getting Directions in Italy
Whether you’re walking down the street in Venice or on a road trip in the countryside of Le Marche, you’ll want to be able to ask for an understand basic directions.
Dov’è…? – Where Is…?
Destra – Right
Sinistra – Left
Dritto – Straight ahead
Dietro – Behind
Dietro l’angolo – Around the corner
Quanti metri / kilometri? – How many meters / kilometers?
Fra 100 metri – In 100 meters…
Good To Know: Often, when you’re asking how far away a nearby destination is, you’ll get a response of ‘100 metri.’ Take that with a grain of salt.
Uscita – Exit
Entrata – Entrance
Semaforo – Traffic light
Rotonda – Traffic circle
Incrocio – Intersection
Ponte – Bridge
Strada / Via – Road / Street
Senzo Unico – One-way
Senza Uscita – Dead end
Strisce [pedonali] – Crosswalk
Parcheggio – Parking
Piazza – Square
Zona Pedonale – Pedestrian-only zone
ZTL (zona traffico limitato) – Limited traffic zone (you can’t drive into the area without permission, or you’ll be fined)
Mi sono perso/a – I’m lost (male / female speaking)
Helpful Phrases for Telling Time in Italian
You’ll want to be able to make dinner reservations, know when your appointment is to enter the Ferrari Museum, and what time you need to drop off your rental car.
Italy uses military time, after 12:00pm (noon), just add 1 each hour (13:00 is 1:00pm, etc). After 23:59 (11:59pm), the clock resets to 00:00 (midnight).
Che ore sono? – What time is it? (literally, how many hours are there?)
Sono le… due, tre, tredici… – It’s 2:00am, 3:00am, 1:00pm…
Good To Know: The exception is 1:00am, when we say È l’una.
È mezzogiorno – It’s noon
È mezzanotte – It’s midnight
Quando inizia? – When does it begin?
Presto – Early
Tardi – Late
Italian Phrases for Transport
At some point on your trip, you’ll take a train, taxi, bus, plane, or boat – it’s inevitable! You’ll want to know basic vocabulary for buying tickets and finding your way to catch your mode of transport. Buon viaggio (have a good trip)!
Dov’è la stazione / il binario / la fermata? – Where is the station / track / stop?
Sto cercando… – I’m looking for…
Arrivo – Arrival
Partenza – Departure
Binario – Train track
Volo – Flight
Aeroporto – Airport
Stazione ferroviaria – Train station
Stazione degli autobus – Bus station
Posteggio taxi – Taxi stand
Traghetto – Ferry
Vorrei un biglietto… – I would like a ticket…
Di solo andata – One-way only
Andata e ritorno – Return-trip
Posto a sedere – Seat
È libero questo posto? – Is this seat free?
Libero – Free (not occupied)
Occupato – Occupied
Useful Italian Phrases For Visiting A Market, Grocery Store, or Shop
One of the great joys of an Italian vacation is wandering through the open-air markets, shopping for picnic supplies, or picking up a perfect souvenir. You’ll want to study these words and phrases!
Quanto costa? – How much does it cost?
Posso vedere…? – Can I see…?
Lo posso provare…? – Can I try it on?
Taglia – Size
Pago con carta / bancomat / contanti – I’ll pay with a credit card / an ATM card / cash
Quando apre / chiude? – When does it open / close?
Sto cercando… – I’m searching for…
Tax-free – Tax-free / VAT-free
Saldi – Sales
Mercato – Market
Centro commerciale – Shopping mall
Il resto – Change (given from payment)
Spiccioli – Coins
Si può spedire? – Can it be shipped?
Sto dando solo un’occhiata – I’m just looking
Helpful Phrases for Dining in Italy
No matter where you are in Italy, you’ll always find delicious food! From risotto alla milanese and prosciutto di Parma to cannoli and mozzarella, we guarantee you won’t go hungry. Enjoy your meals and snacks at restaurants, bars, markets, and cafes, or pick up some supplies at the grocery store and make your own picnic. Buon appetito!
Vorrei prenotare un tavolo per … persone – I would like to reserve a table for … people
Vorrei ordinare… – I would like to order…
Coperto – Cover charge
Servizio – Service charge
Mancia – Tip
Posso vedere il menu? – May I see the menu?
Posso avere il conto, per favore? – May I have the check/bill, please?
Qual’è la specialità della casa? – What is the house specialty?
Antipasto – Appetizer
Primo – First Course
Secondo – Second Course
Contorno – Vegetable
Dolce – Dessert
Caffè – Coffee
Aperitivo – Aperitif Learn more about Aperitivo – Italian Aperitif!
Digestivo – Digestif Learn more about Digestivi – Italy’s After-Dinner Drinks!
Acqua naturale / frizzante – Still water / sparkling water
Vino rosso / bianco – Red wine / white wine
Un bicchiere / una bottiglia – a glass / a bottle
Cameriere / cameriera – Waiter / waitress
Ho un’allergia a… glutine, lattosio, noci – I’m allergic to… gluten, lactose, nuts (noci are walnuts and also the general term for nuts)
Helpful Italian Phrases for Accommodation
Is there anything more frustrating than not being able to communicate with the reception about the rock-hard pillow in your room or what the WI-FI password is? Have no fear! These words and phrases will have you chatting away and solving all of your problems.
Camera – Room
Matrimoniale – Queen bed
Twin – Twin bed
Doccia – Shower
Vasca – Bathtub
Cuscino – Pillow
Coperta – Blanket
Piscina – Swimming pool
Passaporto – Passport
Numero della camera – Room number
Colazione – Breakfast
Servizio Lavanderia – Laundry service
Parcheggio – Parking
Wi-Fi – WI-FI
Fare il check-in / check-out – Check-out / Check-in
Qual’è l’indirizzo? – What is the address?
Qual’è il numero di telefono? – What is the phone number? You may want to read about How People in Italy Answer the Phone.
Good To Know: It’s also really helpful to know the Italian alphabet. For example, if you’re making a reservation, you can spell your name using Italian letter pronunciation.
Days of the Week in Italian
Whether you’re making reservations for restaurants or museums, you’ll need to know the Italian days of the week.
Good To Know: The Italian week officially starts on Monday (so all calendars have Monday as the first day of the week).
Lunedì – Monday
Martedì – Tuesday
Mercoledì – Wednesday
Giovedì – Thursday
Venerdì – Friday
Sabato – Saturday
Domenica – Sunday
Oggi – Today
Domani – Tomorrow
Ieri – Yesterday
(Sabato) prossimo – Next (Saturday)
Essential Italian Phrases for Visiting Tourist Sites
Whether you’re entering a museum like the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, visiting a famous landmark like Pompeii near Naples, or climbing up to the top of the Torre del Mangia in Siena, you’ll want to know these basic phrases that will help buy tickets and organize your visit.
Un biglietto / due biglietti, per favore – 1 ticket / 2 tickets, please
Qual’è la tarriffa? – What is the price?
C’è un’audioguida? – Is there an audioguide?
Gratis – Free
Riduzioni – Price reductions / discounts
Quanto ci vuole per la visita? – How long does the visit take?
Posso entrare ora? – Can I enter now?
Health & Emergency Italian Phrases
Hopefully you won’t need to use any of these words and phrases, but it’s good to be prepared.
Aiuto – Help
Emergenza – Emergency
Chiamate un dottore – Call a doctor
Chiamate 112 – Call 112, the emergency number (like 911 in the US)
Medico di guardia – On-call doctor
Infermiere/a – Nurse (male/female)
Polizia – Police
Vigili del Fuoco – Fire Department
Ospedale – Hospital
Pronto soccorso – Emergency room
Ambulanza – Ambulance
Farmacia – Pharmacy
Medicina – Medicine
Ricetta – Prescription
Mascherina – Face mask
Vai via! – Go away!
Learn more about going to the Pharmacy in Italy.
Italian Phrases for Family Travel
Mamma and papà have extra phrases to learn! These will help you while you’re dining with kids in Italy, if you need to change a diaper or purchase baby supplies, and when you’re booking hotels and restaurants.
Dove posso cambiare un pannolino? – Where can I change a diaper?
Vendete…? – Do you sell…?
Pannolini – Diapers
Salviettine – Baby wipes
Crema per pannolini – Diaper cream
Latte di crescita / in polvere – baby formula
Omogeneizzato – baby food
Lo posso scaldare? – Can I warm this up?
C’è un menu per bambini? – Is there a children’s menu?
Mezza porzione – Half portion
C’è uno sconto per bambini? – Is there a child rate?
Avete un seggiolone? – Do you have a highchair?
C’è un lettino / seggiolino auto? – Is there a baby cot / car seat?
Lui / lei ha … anni – He / she is … years old
Pediatra – Pediatrician
Ciuccio / succhiotto – Pacifier
Biberon – Baby bottle
Passeggino – Stroller
Camere comunicanti – Adjoining rooms
Letto a castello – Bunk beds
You may also want to read more of our ITALY WITH KIDS posts.
Italian Weather Phrases
While we all hope for sunny skies on vacation, it’s helpful to know what the weather forecast is for the day or week. You can ask at hotel reception or check out local weather apps (I use Il Meteo).
Come sono le previsioni? – What is the forecast?
Pioggia – Rain
Neve – Snow
Nebbia – Fog
Vento – Wind
Temporale – Storm
Grandine – Hail
Ombrello – Umbrella
Italian Phrases for Holidays and Celebrations
If you happen to be visiting over a holiday, it feels great to be able to send happy wishes and greetings to others.
Buon Capodanno – Happy New Year Learn more about how to say Happy New Year in Italian!
Buon San Valentino – Happy Valentine’s Day Learn more about how to say Happy Valentine’s Day in Italian!
Buona Festa della Donna – Happy Women’s Day Learn more about La Festa della Donna in Italy!
Buon Ferragosto – Happy Ferragosto Learn more about the Ferragosto holiday in Italy!
Buon Natale – Merry Christmas Learn more about how to say Merry Christmas in Italian!
Cin cin / salute – Cheers Learn more about how to say cheers in Italian!
Buon compleanno – Happy Birthday Learn more about how to wish someone a Happy Birthday in Italian!
You may also want to read more of our LANGUAGE posts.
Free Printable Italian Travel Phrases Cheat Sheet
To print, just click on the image and a high-quality PDF will open in a new tab. From there you can download or print the cheat sheet.
How To Learn Even More Italian Before Your Trip
- Take an in-person Italian course
- Use language learning software
- Use an Italian language app
- Self-study with a book
- Watch Italian movies and YouTube videos
- Study an Italian phrasebook
- Participate in Italian meet ups or language exchanges