Everyone traveling to a new city should attempt to learn a couple easy phrases in that language. It shows how bad we are at speaking other languages, and locals like that you are trying. Here are a few fun and helpful Italian phrases to get you through. 


The most important words and phrases to learn in any language are greetings and pleasantries. Saying hello, thank you, excuse me, and other pleasantries in the native tongue will demonstrate respect for the culture and its language, even if you cannot speak or understand any other Italian. The locals tend to look at tourists more fondly when they at least attempt to speak some of the language. You are probably familiar with one of the most common greetings in Italian: ciao. Ciao is often used as both hello and goodbye. If you are looking for more ways to say hello or goodbye, you could try some of these varieties:

  • Caio: Hello/ Goodbye
  • Buongiorno: Good morning
  • Buonasera: Good evening
  • Arrivederci: Goodbye
  • Buona giornata: Have a nice day!


In addition to saying hello and goodbye, you will want to be able to say some other simple phrases that express gratitude and other pleasantries. Many of these simple phrases provide the opportunity to make small talk, introduce yourself, and show interest in those you meet. With these simple phrases, you might just find yourself making an Italian friend to show you the must-see sites of the area.

  • Grazie: Thank you
  • Prego: You’re welcome
  • Come stai?: How are you?
  • Sto bene: I’m fine
  • Bene grazie. E tu?: I’m fine, thanks. And you?
  • Come ti chiami?: What is your name?
  • Mi chiamo…: My name is…
  • Sono (nome): I’m (name)
  • Per favore: Please
  • Si: Yes
  • No: No
  • Mi scusi: Excuse Me/Pardon Me
  • Mi dispiace: I’m sorry
  • Piacere: Pleased to meet you
  • Non capisco: I don’t understand
  • Non parlo italiano: I don’t speak Italian
  • Non parlo molto bene italiano: I don’t speak Italian very well
  • Parla inglese?: Do you speak English?

Dining in Restaurants

A visit to Italy would not be complete without indulging in Italian food. Although you might think you know Italian food, you have not truly had the delight until you have eaten the fair in the country itself. Although tourists often expect to find the same Italian food throughout the country, the different parts of Italy often specialize in different dishes. Be sure to ask around and have the specialty of the area you visit.

Pasta, pizza, cannoli, gelato, cappuccino, espresso, and more await your palate as you make your way through the cities of Italy. You can prepare your palate and stomach by learning to cook Italian food yourself with Udemy’s online course. To help you with your dining in country, you should know these simple phrases, which you can practice while you cook and enjoy Italian at home:

  • Bon appetito: Have a good meal
  • Il servizio e incluso?: Is the tip included?
  • Potrei vedere il menu?: May I see the menu?
  • Un tavolo per una/due/quattro persona, per favore: A table for one/two/four, please.
  • Sono vegetariana: I’m vegetarian.
  • Un litro di vino della casa, per favore: A liter of house red, please.
  • Cosa ci consiglia?: What would you recommend?
  • Cameriere/cameriera: waiter/waitress
  • Può portarci il conto, per favore? May we have the check, please.


Italy is one of the fashion capitals of the world. Therefore, you will probably find yourself shopping while in Italy, especially if you make Milan one of your destinations. Many of the most well known fashion designers began in Italy, making it the destination for fashionistas around the world. Whether you are shopping for the latest in fabulous fashion, browsing through well known designers like Prada and Dolce and Gabbana, or just looking for a fun souvenir to bring home, you will want to know these phrases to help you while shopping:

  • Quanto costa?: How much is this?
  • Pagherà tutto questo signore (signora): This gentleman/lady will pay for everything
  • Sto cercando…: I’m looking for…
  • Ha…: do you have…
  • Che taglia e?: What size is it?
  • Vorrei provarlo: I’d like to try it on
  • Dove sono I camerini?: Where are the changing rooms?


Whether you are trying to just find your hotel, an ancient ruin, a museum, or the hottest club, you will want to understand a few basic words of direction in Italian. With so much to see, especially with fabulous art from pre-history to the Renaissance and beyond in Italy, you might just find yourself running from one site to the next. Although getting lost might just lead you to an unexpected surprise, you will want to be able to find your way once more with these phrases:

  • Dov’e la bagno?: where is the bathroom?
  • Dove?: Where
  • Si va diritto: Go straight ahead
  • Si va in quella direzione: Go that way
  • Si va indietro: Go back
  • Si gira a destra: Turn right
  • Si gira a sinistra: Turn left
  • Mi porti a questo indirizzo, por favore: Take me to this address, please