50+ Common Italian Phrases: A Painless Guide

Ever heard someone say Buon Giorno, and you do not know how to respond? When it comes to traveling to Italy, learning the most common Italian phrases will give you the chance to authentically express who you are, connect with the locals, and ask for help when needed. In today’s post, we will you through the basic Italian phrases you need to master so that you won’t ever feel overwhelmed during your travel.

If you have ever been to another country before, then we bet that you understand how scary it feels when someone comes up to you and talks in their native language. Now, imagine if someone suddenly tells you In bocca al lupo and pats your back while you are in Italy… what could that mean, right?

A quick trip to Italy is perhaps one of the highlights in everyone’s bucket lists. Aside from the rich Italian culture, the country is best known for its fashion, cuisine, and World Heritage Sites, making it an ideal travel destination. One way you can truly understand the country, connect with the locals (since not everyone speaks English), and show respect is by making an effort to learn at least a little Italian language.

Luckily, learning how to speak Italian proves to be easy, especially if your first language is English. Moreover, since it is a Romance language, it is also related to other similar languages in the family (like Spanish and French). In fact, the FSI notes Italian as a category one language which means that you only need less than 800 class hours to master it alone!

Get started in the language learning journey today by focusing on the basic phrases and words in this post.


25 Most Basic Italian Phrases

Immerse yourself with the culture by speaking the language of the masses

If there is one important set of phrases that you must learn in Italian, that would be the greetings. Aside from speaking the basic ones, you also have to take note that the locals love giving hugs or kisses on both cheeks regardless of gender. So speak Italian like a pro by using the phrases below.

Italian Meaning
Ciao Hi/ Bye
Salve Hello
Buon giorno Good morning
Buon pomeriggio Good afternoon
Una buona giornata Have a good day
Buona serata Have good evening
Buona notte Good night
Buonasera Good evening
Arrivederci Goodbye
Si Yes
No No
Grazie Thank you
Per favore Please
Prego / Grazie mille You are welcome
Mi scusi / Permesso Excuse me
Mi dispiace I’m sorry
Non capisco I do not understand 
Parla Inglese Do you speak English?
Mi chiamo My name is
Sono americano I am an American
Piacere Nice to meet you
A presto See you soon
A dopo See you later
Come sta / come va How are you
Sto bene grazie I am good, thank you for asking

Now that you know the essential Italian phrases let’s focus on the more specific aspects you need to learn. You can also check out our guide regarding the most common Italian insults, which you might hear the locals say casually.


25 Common Italian Phrases For Traveling

25 Common Italian Phrases For Traveling
You can easily ask locals the exact directions when you know how to speak Italian

Learning at least the basic common Italian phrases and words allows you to have an easier time navigating Italian streets. Check out the expressions that you can use to get around and avoid being branded as “the lost tourist.”

Italian Meaning
Dove sono?  Where are…
Dov’è… Where is…
Bagno Toilet
L’aeroporto Airport
La fermata dell’autobus  Bus stop
La stazione Train station
Un taxi Taxi
A destera To the right
A sinistra To the left
Uscitaa Exit
Entrata Entrance
Dritto Straight ahead
Avanti Forward
Dietro Back
Dove si trova la stazione del treno?  Where is the train station?
Dov’è la stazione degli autobus? Where is the bus stop?
Quanto dista il Colosseo? How far is the colosseum?
Posso pagare con la carta? Can I pay with card? (for busses)
Aereo Airplane
Pilota Pilot
Assistente di volo Flight attendant
Ho prenotato I have a reservation
Quanto costa il biglietto? How much is the ticket?
Quando passa l’autobus? When does the bus come?
Posso pagare con carta di credito? Can I pay with a credit card?


16 Essential Italian Phrases For Emergencies

16 Essential Italian Phrases For Emergencies
Learning the local language allows you to immediately seek help when you don’t feel well

In order to ask for help in case of an emergency, it is better if you try to communicate using the local language since not all Italians know (and are comfortable) in speaking English.

Italian Meaning
Mi aiuti per favore Please help me
Mi sento male I feel ill
Mi fa male qui I feel pain in this part
Mi sento molto male I feel very sick
Attento Lookout
Aiuto Help
Emergenza Emergency
Ho bisogno di un medico I need a doctor
Chiamate la polizia Call the police
Dov’è l’ospedale? Where is the hospital?
Sono stato assalito I have been robbed
Ho perso il mio passaporto I lost my passport
C’è stato un incidente  There’s an accident
C’é un incendio There’s fire
La stazione di polizia Police station
Al ladro Stop, thief!


25 Must-know Italian Phrases For Shopping And Dining

25 Must-know Italian Phrases For Shopping And Dining
Shopping and dining is easier when you know how to express yourself and haggle like a local

As part of the travel adventure, it is wise to check out the local Italian markets (also known as mercato) and purchase locally-made items. Some of the top things you should not miss are bags, accessories, shoes, and local snacks. Read on below to find out more about the common Italian phrases for shopping and for ordering food.

Italian Meaning
Possiamo ordinare? Can we order?
Siamo pronti e vorremmo ordinare We are ready to order
Vorrei il menu, per favore I’d like to see the menu please
C’è una specialità locale? What is the specialty here?
Mi piacerebbe questo I’d like that one…
Che cosa mi consiglia? What do you recommend?
Il conto per favore The bill, please
Che cos’è What is this?
Cosa vuole dire? What does that mean?
Quanto costa questo? How much is this?
Non capisco I do not understand
Quando si apri? When are you open?
Dove posso comprare i biglietti?  Where can I purchase tickets?
Dov’è la guardaroba? Where is the cloakroom?
Sono allergica/o a… I am allergic to…
Vino rosso Red wine
 Una bicchiere  A glass
Una bottiglia  A bottle
Antipasto Appetizer
Primo First course
Secondo Second course
Dolci Dessert
Posso pagare con la carta? Can I pay by card?
Mi scusi, quanto costa? Excuse me, how much does this cost?
C’è uno sconto?  Is there a discount?


Ready To Learn Italian?

Learn Languages Ling App

Planning a trip to Italy or to say I love you with your special someone? Well, worry no more because speaking Italian is not as hard as it seems! Get your language learning journey started on the right foot by using Ling App to learn Italian today! By using this FREE platform, you’d be able to unlock comprehensive lessons for over 60+ languages from across the world! Aside from teaching the essential vocabulary words and phrases, it also gives you the chance to master Italian expressions as well as grammatical structure.

Download it today and discover a new type of learning that is motivating and fun!

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