Handy Italian Words and Phrases

Posted on October 9, 2018 in Italy Holidays by Ian Davis Tags:

Freelance Travel Writer, Bibianna, has put together some of the best and most useful Italian phrases to use when on holiday there.

Yes, in most parts of the world English speakers will get away with communicating just in their own language. In Italy, the number of people who speak English is growing and probably after no more than a few attempts you will find someone who will understand you. However, it’s always useful to know even just a few basic words in the local language. Especially if you will be going to a smaller town or village, it will give you more chances to interact with locals.

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Clearly, this will not mean that you will be able to sustain a whole conversation in Italian, but that is not the point. It’s all about making the effort. People will appreciate that you are trying to say a few words in Italian, even if you are making mistakes!

Give it a go and remember: if there is good will on both sides, no language barrier will stop you from understanding each other!

Italian English Pronunciation
Ciao (informal) Hello Chow
Buongiorno Good morning Buh-on-jee-orno
Buonasera Good evening Buh-onah-say-rah
Buonanotte Good night Buh-onah-not- tay
Salve (formal) Hello Sal-veh
Arrivederci Goodbye Arri-vay-der-chee
Yes See
No No Noh
Grazie Thank you Grat-s-yeh
Prego You are welcome Pray-go
Per favore Please Per fa-vo-ray
Come sta?/Come stai? (formal/informal) How are you? Ko-may stah/sta-ee
Mi chiamo.. My name is.. Mee ky-a-mo…
Come si chiama/Come ti chiami


What’s your name? Komay see kee-ahma/Komay tee kee-ahmee?
Mi scusi Excuse me/I’m sorry Mee skoo-zee
Non capisco I don’t understand Non ka-peesko
Può ripetere? Can you repeat? Pu-oh ree-peh-teh-ray
Quanto costa? How much is this? Kwanto kosta?
Dov’è.. Where is.. Do-vay..
Stazione Station Stats-yonay
Ospedale Hospital Os-pe-dalay
Farmacia Pharmacy Pharma-chee-yah
Ristorante Restaurant Reesto-rantay
Menù Menu May-noo
Vino bianco White wine Veeno byanko
Vino rosso Red wine Veeno rosso
Birra Beer Beer-rah
Colazione Breakfast Kolats-yonay
Pranzo Lunch Prantso
Cena Dinner Chey-na
Acqua Water Akwa