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Learn Italian

101 basic italian phrases for travel you need to know for your trip to italy.

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If you’re planning on visiting Italy then it’s a good idea to learn some key Italian phrases, words and sentences. In this guide to basic Italian phrases for travel, we step you through the most useful ways to communicate on your trip to Italy. After all, language is a big part of Italian culture and you want to experience it all, am I right?

Making an effort to understand and speak Italian on your trip is not simply a matter of respect – although we think this is very important too. When you talk to people in their language they appreciate it and experiences open up to you that would not have been possible if you had been speaking English.

Article contents

So let’s get started with the common Italian phrases and words that will be most useful to you on your travels.

Basic Italian phrases

When you visit Italy, these are the most common words and phrases that will demonstrate you have made some effort to speak the local language. Learning these useful Italian words will help you talk to all manner of people during your trip.

Note – We’ve provided a phonetic pronunciation guide after the Italian translation for each word. If you really want to get the accent right a little extra study is recommended. We’ve provided some useful resources at the end of this article to help you learn Italian travel phrases useful for your trip.

Yes – Si – See

No – No – Noh

Please – Per favore – Pehr fah- voh -reh

Thank you – Grazie – Grah -tsee-eh

You’re welcome – Prego – Preh -goh

Cheers! (To your health) – Salute! – Sah -loo-tay

Excuse me (for attention) – Scusi – S kooh – zee

Excuse me (to pass by) – Permesso – Pehr- mehs -soh

Do you speak English? – Parla Inglese? – Parh-la een-glay-zeh

I don’t understand – Non capisco – Non kah -pee-skoh

I’m sorry – Mi dispiace – Mee dees- pyah -cheh

Common greetings in Italian

One thing we really love about visiting Italy is the cultural differences and norms. In Italy, saying “good morning” is not simply a throwaway line. You should always greet people wherever you go – when entering a shop or restaurant, to hotel staff, on the bus or at a cultural sight. It’s the expected thing to do.

A friendly “buon giorno!” with a smile will go a long way. So here are the most common Italian greetings and their context so you get it right! Generally you use the formal with people you don’t know, especially older people. The informal is used between friends.

Good morning (formal) – Buon giorno – Bwohn- johr -noh

Good afternoon (formal) – Buona sera – Bwoh -nah- seh -rah

Good night (formal) – Buona notte – B woh – nah – noh – teh

Hi / Bye (informal) – Ciao! – C how 

Good bye (formal) – Arrivederci – A hr -ree-veh- dehr -chee

My name is … – Mi chiamo – Mee kyah -moh

What is your name? – Come si chiama? – Koh -meh see kyah -mah?

Pleased to meet you – Piacere – Pyah- cheh -reh

How are you? (formal) – Come sta? – Koh -meh stah?

Good thank you – Bene grazie – B eh -neh  grah -tsee-eh

How to say numbers in Italian

While you don’t need to be able to count to 100, a good grasp of numbers up to 12 at least (for the hours of the day) will stand you in good stead. After all, you need numbers when you’re at a restaurant – una pizza per favore! (a pizza please!)

One – Uno – Oo -noh

Two – Due – Doo -eh

Three – Tre – Treh

Four – Quattro – Kwah -troh  

Five – Cinque – Cheen -kweh

Six – Sei  – Say

Seven – Sette – Seht -tey

Eight – Otto – Oh -toh

Nine – Nove – Noh -veh

Ten – Dieci – Dee- EH -chee  

Eleven – Undici – Oon – dee-chee

Twelve – Dodici – Doh -dee-chee

To learn more about counting in Italian click here

Telling the time and days of the week

Here are the basics of telling time in Italian, plus days of the week and other useful sentences for making reservations and plans. Italians generally use a 24 hour clock but also understand the 12 hour clock if you specify morning and afternoon.

In the morning – Di M attina  – Dee mah- teen -ah

In the afternoon – Di p omeriggio – Dee poh-meh- reed -joh

In the evening – Di Sera – Dee se h – rah

Noon – Mezzogiorno – Mehd-dzoh- johr -noh  

At what time? – A che ora? – Ah kay oar-ah?  

Nine o’clock in the morning – Le nove – Le noh-vay

Eight o’clock in the evening – Le otto di sera /  – Le ot-to dee seh-rah 

Monday – Lunedì  – Loo-neh- dee

Tuesday – Martedì – Mahr-teh- dee  

Wednesday – Mercoledì – Mehr-koh-leh- dee

Thursday – Giovedì – Joh-veh- dee

Friday – Venerdì – Veh-nehr- dee  

Saturday – Sabato – Sah -bah-toh

Sunday – Domenica – Doh- meh -nee-kah

Today – Oggi – Ohd -jee

Yesterday – Ieri – Yeh -ree

Tomorrow – Domani – Doh- mah -nee

Want to speak more Italian?

Check out our review of Rocket Italian , one of the best online courses for learning Italian.

Useful phrases at restaurants

No doubt your Italy trip includes a plan to enjoy a few meals at restaurants. And we’re sure ordering a gelato or two is also high on your list. Let’s get you ready with these essential Italian phrases you need for ordering food or at restaurants. These may be the times that you interact with Italians the most so practice your greetings too!

Can I see the menu please? – Il menu, per favore – Eel men-oo, pehr fah- voh -reh

What do you recommend? – Che cosa ci consiglia? – Kay koh-za chee kon-seel-ya?

I’m allergic to… – Sono allergica/o a.. . – Son -oh ah -ler-gee-koh / kah ah

Gluten / Dairy / Fish – Glutine / Lattecini / Pesce  – Gloo-teen-ay /  Lah-tay-cheen-ee / Pesh-ay  

House wine – Vino della casa – Vee -noh del-lah car-sah

Red / white wine – Vino rosso / bianco – Vee – n oh ross-oh /  bee-ahn-koh

A glass / bottle – Una bicchiere / una bottiglia – OO -nah beek- kyeh -reh / boht- tee -lyah

Appetizer – Antipasto  – Ahn -tee-pah-stoh

First course – Primo – Pree -moh

Second course – Secondo – Sek -kon-doh

Dessert – Dolci – Doll -chee

Two flavors please – Due gusti, per favore  – Doo -eh goo-stee, pehr fah- voh -reh

Where’s the bathroom? – Dov’è il bagno?  – Doh- veh eel bahn -yoh?

The check (bill) please – Il conto, per favore – Eel kon-toh, pehr fah- voh -reh

Can I pay by card? – Posso pagare con la carta? – Pohs -soh pah- gah -reh kon la cahr-tah?

Words to know when you are visiting museums

Visiting museums and attractions is a big part of many Italian itineraries. In this section, we’ve given you some useful phrases in Italian to help you buy tickets and ask common questions.

When does it open / close? – Quando si apri / chiude?  – Kwahn -doh see ah-pree / chee-oo-deh?

Two adults / one child – Due adulti / un bambino  – Doo -eh ah-dool-tee / oon  bahm-bee-noh

One / two ticket/s – Un / due biglietto/i  – Oon  beel-yet-toh / tee

One senior – Un pensionato  – Oon pen-seyoh-nah-toh

One student – Uno studente – Ooh -noh stoo-den-teh

Where is the bag store / cloak room? – Dov’è la guardaroba? – Doh-veh lah gard-ah-robe-ah?

Asking for directions in Italian

If you get lost or need help with directions, these helpful words in Italian will come in handy.

Where is… ? – Dov’è…? – Doh-veh … ?

Entrance – Entrata  – En -trah-tah

Exit – Uscita  – Ooh -shee-tah

Left – Sinistra  – See – nee-stra

Right – Destra – Deh -stra

Straight ahead – Dritto – Dree-toh

Forward – Avanti  – Ah -vahn-tee

Back – Dietro – Dee-et-roh

Useful words for transport and getting around

Most visitors to Italy will need to take a train or bus, or ride in a taxi. These phrases will be useful in these situations when it is likely you may need to ask for help to reach the right platform or bus stop.

Where is the train station? – Dov’è la stazione? – Doh-veh lah stah-tzee-oh-neh?

Where is the bus stop? – Dov’è la fermata – Doh-veh lah fur-mah-tah?

One way – Andata  – Ahn – dah-tah

Return – Ritorno – Ree -torn-oh

What platform for Rome? – Da quale binario per Roma? – Dah kwah-lay bin-ah-rio pehr Roh-mah?

Newstand (for bus tickets) – Tabacchi  – Tah-back-kee

Shopping words in Italian

Time to go shopping! Make sure you’re ready with these key phrases.

I would like… – Vorrei…  – Vor-ray…

How much is this? – Quanto costa questo?   –   Kwahn -toh kohs -tah kwehs -toh??

OK I’ll take it – Va bene, lo prendo – V ah beh -neh , loh prehn- doh 

I don’t want it – Non lo voglio – N ohn loh voh- lyoh

Can you ship to…? – Puoi spedire a?   –   Pwoy   sped -ear-eh ah?

What to say if you need help in Italian

We hope you never need to use these phrases but it’s a good idea to know them “just in case”.

Help! – Aiuto! – Ay-oo-toh!

I need a doctor – Ho bisogno di un dottore   – Ho biz-ohn-nyo dee oon dot-tor-reh

Call the police – Chiami la polizia  – Kee-ya-mee la po-lee-zee-ah

Look out! – Attento!  – At – ten-toh

Go away! – Vai via! – Vy vee-ah!

Want to get beyond basic Italian phrases for travel?

These days there are a wealth of resources to help you learn Italian. You can use handy apps, books and podcasts to get started and we outlined some of the best of these in this article .

But, if you want to construct your own basic Italian sentences and perfect your accent, a systematic approach with a proven method will help you make progress quickly. After much trial and error, we enjoy using Rocket Italian . This online course combines verbal cultural situation lessons with grammar and vocabulary to get you speaking Italian quickly. My accent also improved significantly thanks to the voice recognition tasks.

Another option for travelers wanting a quick start to learning Italian for their trip is the fast track method developed by our friends at Intrepid Italian. Designed to get you speaking the key phrases you need for your trip, this short course aims to get you speaking travel ready Italian in 2 weeks > more info .

Planning a trip to Italy?

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Learn A Language Through Stories

94 essential Italian travel phrases

94 Italian Travel Phrases Every Intrepid Adventurer Needs To Know

Olly Richards Headshot

What better excuse to learn Italian or brush up on your Italian skills than a trip to Italy.

Italy is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. Travellers flock there for the delicious food, beautiful sights, and rich culture.

But, when you only have limited time before your trip and you want to learn some Italian language basics, it can be hard to know where to begin.

  • How do you know which phrases will be the most useful?
  • What’s important and what can you skip over?

Luckily, I’ve created this handy guide to teach you essential Italian travel phrases you'll need to make the most of your trip . These phrases serve as a great crash course for basic communication in Italian. You can look it over at your leisure in the weeks leading up to your trip, or even blast through it on your plane ride.

Either way, when you get to Italy, you’ll be equipped with enough basic phrases to make ordering in restaurants, asking for directions, and befriending locals a breeze.

I’ve broken the guide down into a few sections to make your study-sesh even easier:

  • Introductions
  • Transportation
  • Restaurants
  • Emergencies

If you spend some time studying this guide, it’ll be easy to ask for what you need in any situation (and to make new Italian friends)! And a lot faster than trying to learn Italian from scratch .

By the way, if you want to learn Italian in time for your trip my top recommendation for language learners is my Uncovered courses, which teach you through StoryLearning®.  Click here  to find out more and try out the method for free.

Part 1: Travel Phrases To Connect With Italians

Italian travel phrases to make introductions

Mastering basic Italian greetings is the first step in learning to communicate in Italian. Think about how much a simple “hello” can be appreciated in your daily life. The same is true when you travel.

Italy is also home to kind and welcoming locals. Many Italians are enthusiastic about meeting and befriending travellers and showing them all that their country has to offer.

You'll find that people often greet you in passing or at the beginning of a conversation. Knowing the right way to respond is a great way to show them you’re making an effort to understand their language!

  • #1 Ciao! – Hello/Goodbye (informal)
  • #2 Salve! – Hello/Goodbye (very formal, you probably won’t hear this one very often)
  • #3 Buon giorno! – Good morning! or Good day!
  • #4 Buona sera! – Good evening!
  • #5 Buona notte! – Good night!
  • #6 Arrivederci! – Goodbye!

For these greetings, you would respond by saying the same word back to the person.

Learn More About Your Conversation Partner Or Get Clarification

Next, let’s take a look at how you would continue on to ask someone how they are doing and learn a little bit about them.

  • #7 Come stai? – How are you? (formal)
  • #8 Come va? – How are you? (informal)
  • #9 Molto bene, grazie – Very well, thank you
  • #10 Non sto bene/ Sto male – I’m not well
  • #11 Come ti chiami? – What is your name?
  • #12 Mi chiamo… — My name is…
  • #13 Piacere – Nice to meet you (Literal translation: “pleasure”)

If you’re struggling to remember the phrases you want to use, or if you want to discuss something you don’t know the vocabulary for, you can ask if the person you are talking to speaks English.

  • #14 Lei parla inglese? – Do you speak English?
  • #15 Non capisco – I do not understand

Part 2: Italian Travel Phrases For Asking Directions

Italian travel phrases to get around

Half of the fun of traveling is exploring, and we all know that sometimes that means we have to ask for directions.

Whether you’re trying to find the train station or trying to get back to your hotel, you’re probably going to ask someone for directions at some point in your trip.

  • #16 Dov’è… — Where is…
  • #17 Mi sono perso – I’m lost
  • #18 Il bagno – the bathroom
  • #19 La stazione ferroviaria – the train station
  • #20 L’ufficio postale – post office
  • #21 Il mercato – the market
  • #22 La farmacia – the pharmacy
  • #23 L’ospedale – the hospital

And, of course, the next step is understanding what they say in response.

  • #24 Gira a destra – Turn right
  • #25 Gira a sinistra – Turn left
  • #26 È qua vicino – It’s close by
  • #27 Davanti – across from
  • #28 Dietro – behind
  • #29 Sotto – under
  • #30 Prima – before
  • #31 Dopo – past

If you're having trouble understanding or the person is talking too fast, it can help to hold out a map and have them point to what they are talking about as they explain.

And don’t forget to say thank you after someone gives you directions!

  • #32 Grazie mille! – Thanks a lot!
  • #33 Prego – You’re welcome

Part 3: Travel Phrases To Help You Get Around Italy

Italian travel expressions for transport

Once you know where you’re going, you have to figure out how you’re getting there. The next batch of words will help you converse about transportation.

Let’s start with some words and phrases you might need to use at the train station or the airport.

  • #34 L’aeroporto – the airport
  • #35 Il biglietto – the ticket
  • #36 L’orario – the timetable
  • #37 La partenza – departure
  • #38 Il treno – the train
  • #39 Il volo – the flight
  • #40 Il bagaglio – the baggage
  • #41 L’ufficio informazioni – the information office
  • #42 Quando arriva lì? – When does it arrive there?
  • #43 Quanto dura il viaggio? – How long does it take to get there?

When you’re travelling within a city, it’s more likely that you’ll be going on foot, by bus, or in a taxi. Next, let’s look at some words and phrases relating to those types of travel.

  • #44 Fermata dell’autobus – bus stop
  • #45 Mi serve un taxi – I need a taxi
  • #46 Quanto costa la corsa? – How much is the fare?
  • #47 Mi piacerebbe andare a… — I would like to go to…

Part 4: Italian Travel Phrases To Help You Taste Italy

italian travel vocab

For most travellers, one of the highlights of any trip to Italy is eating as much food as possible. In a nation known across the globe for its cuisine, you need to know how to order what you want to eat.

Did you know that there are lots of different types of restaurants in Italy? And they all have different names.

That's why deciding where to eat in Italy isn’t quite as simple as looking for a sign that says ristorante . You have to know what you’re looking for to find a place that will suit your mood and cravings!

  • #48 Osteria – a moderately priced restaurant with a short menu of simple foods like pasta, grilled meat, and wine
  • #49 Trattoria – a step up from the osteria , typically family-run, typically specialising in rustic home-cooked foods
  • #50 Ristorante – a higher-end full-service dining establishment
  • #51 Bar – shop selling coffee, beer, wine, and liquor, and occasionally grab-and-go food
  • #52 Pasticceria – bakery
  • #53 Paninoteca – sandwich shop
  • #54 Enoteca – wine bar, sometimes also serving small plates

Understanding The Menu In Italian

Once you settle on a restaurant and take a look at the menu, you might be overwhelmed by your options. Most restaurants in areas that attract lots of tourists will have an English version of the menu.

But, some of the best food in Italy is off the beaten path, so it’s best to know some basics in case you venture into a restaurant that only offers its menu in Italian.

  • #55 Pomodoro – tomato
  • #56 Aglio – garlic
  • #57 Sale – salt
  • #58 Pepe – pepper
  • #59 Insalata – salad
  • #60 Cioccolato – chocolate
  • #61 Pane – bread
  • #62 Pollo – chicken
  • #63 Bistecca – steak
  • #64 Vitello – veal
  • #65 Carne – meat
  • #66 Pesce – fish
  • #67 Carciofo – artichoke
  • #68 Zucca — pumpkin
  • #69 Porro – leek
  • #70 Piselli – peas
  • #71 Mela –apple
  • #72 Fragola – strawberry
  • #73 Arancia – orange
  • #74 Pesca – peach
  • #75 Vino – wine
  • #76 Acqua – water
  • #77 Succo – juice

Twitter Vocab Power Pack

How To Place Your Order In Italian

When you know what you want to order, you can always just point to it on the menu. But it's much politer to brush up on the proper way to order your food in Italian!

Your waiter will surely appreciate the effort and you might even strike up an interesting conversation and make a new friend.

  • #78 Vorrei… — May I have…
  • #79 La salsa è piccante?  – Is the sauce spicy?
  • #80 Possiamo avere il conto? – Can we have the check?
  • #81 Per favore – Please
  • #82 Sono allergico a… — I am allergic to…
  • #83 Buon appetito – Enjoy your food!

Part 5: Italian Travel Expressions For Emergencies

Italian travel expressions for emergencies

Last but not least, I'll leave you with a chapter that I hope you won’t need to use.

When travelling, you need to be prepared. These are phrases that you can keep in your back pocket to use in case of an emergency. You can rest easy in your travels knowing that you're prepared for the worst-case scenario.

  • #84 Aiutatemi! – Help me!
  • #85 Chiami… — Call…
  • #86 Polizia – police
  • #87 Ambulanza – ambulance
  • #88 Pompieri – fire brigade
  • #89 Ho bisogno di un dottore – I need a doctor
  • #90 Mi fa male qui – I have pain here. (You can point to the place that hurts)
  • #91 C’è un incendio   – There’s a fire
  • #92 Attento – Watch out
  • #93 Al ladro! – Stop, thief!
  • #94 Vai via! – Go away!

Now You’re Ready For An Adventure In Italy

essential Italian travel expressions for your next adventure

When you picture your next trip abroad, do you find your mind drifting to images of a Tuscan hillside or a bustling restaurant in Rome? Do you yearn for delicious pasta, pizza, and gelato? Do you dream of Florence’s museums or Venice’s canals?

Well, you're ready to turn those daydreams into a reality. Once you’ve mastered these words and phrases, you’re all set for an awesome adventure in Italy.

You’ll feel comfortable introducing yourself to people and asking them how they’re doing, asking for directions, getting around, and ordering a delicious meal in the perfect restaurant. Plus, you’re prepared in case of an emergency.

I hope you enjoy your time in Italy – and who knows? Maybe you’ll love it so much that you’ll decide you want to become fluent in Italian!

How To get Fluent In Italian, The Natural Way

Italian Uncovered

You'll get so much more out of a trip to Italy if you know some basic Italian. And even more if you can have conversations with the locals.

You'll discover hidden sights off the tourist trail, make friends and remember your trip for the rest of the life. But how do you get conversational in Italian in time for heading off to Italy?

Well, you can use the StoryLearning® method – I used it to get fluent in Italian in 3 months , without touching a textbook or memorising grammar rules.

I've put it together into my course, Italian Uncovered , which takes you from beginner to intermediate level in Italian through the power of story.

So if you'd like to get fluent in Italian using the same methods as me in time for your trip, click here.

italian travel vocab

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125 Basic Italian Phrases for Travel (PLUS Free Printable)

Avoid tourist traps and connect with the locals by learning these basic italian phrases before your trip to italy.

Basic Italian Phrases for Travel You NEED to Know in 2024

Buying tickets at the Colosseum or ordering food in Naples? Want to learn some basic Italian phrases for travel? Here are 125 of the most important Italian phrases and words to need to know. I’ve also included a free printable guide for you too! 

Mastering common Italian phrases for travel is easy, especially Italian greetings . Whether you’re lost amongst the floating alleys of Venice , ordering a tasty gelato in Rome , or browsing the boutiques of Milan, this Italian travel phrase guide will help you learn the most important phrases in Italian. Don’t forget to download the free printable too!

Don't let the learning stop here. Download your free PDF guide with 125 Italian travel phrases . Includes English and Italian translations with pronunciation guide. Impariamo in sieme! (Let's learn together!)

Where is Italian spoken?

Did you know that Italian is spoken by about 85 million people worldwide? Italian is the first language of 65 million people, and the second language of a further 15 million people. In addition to being the national language of Italy, Italian is one of the national languages of Switzerland , with which it shares its northern border, as well as San Marino and Vatican City. It is also the second most spoken language in Argentina, where it is estimated that over half the population is of Italian descent, making Italians the largest ethnic group in the country.

Italian Pronunciation

Italian pronunciation is easy!  S i legge come si scrive (you read it how it’s written) meaning it looks similar to how it sounds. It’s worth noting that pronunciation must be clear, with every vowel distinctly enunciated which also makes sounds easier to understand. Italian vowels are always pronounced in a sharp or clear way regardless of stress. They are never slurred or pronounced weakly. Don’t miss my guide to 15 Italian words you should NEVER mispronounce.

Italian Vocabulary

The Italian alphabet has 21 letters. Italian uses the same Roman characters as the English language minus five of them. The letters j, k, w, x, and y do not exist in Italian, so if you happen to see them used in an Italian text, that means the word is borrowed from another language!

Italian is a gendered language, this means that all nouns, articles, pronouns and adjectives can either be maschile   (masculine) and femminile (feminine). This is called grammatical gender which shouldn’t be confused with the biological terms ‘male’ and ‘female’. So, how do you know if a word is feminine or masculine in Italian? And why are Italian words feminine or masculine? Find out more about gender in Italian with my step by step guide.

Although Italians are very proud of their language, they have allowed some English words to creep in. Generally, they are pronounced the same way as in English with a couple of exceptions. They say, for example, words such as gadgets , jogging , feeling and shock . You’ll even hear them use the word okay .

Since computers have entered their lives, they say cliccare sul mous e ( kleek-kah-reh soohl mouse ), meaning ‘to click (on) the mouse’. There’s lo zapping ( loh zahp-ping ), which means changing TV channels with the remote. Consider the following list of words of English words with their Italian pronunciation:

  • la radio (lah rah-dee-oh)
  • l’autobus (laho-toh-boos)
  • l’hotel (loh-tell)
  • l’hamburger (laam-bur-gerh)
  • il cocktail (eel kok-tail)
  • il jazz (eel jazz)
  • il cinema (eel chee-neh-mah)
  • il computer (eel kom-poo-ter)
  • il bar (eel bar)
  • il film (eel film)
  • il weekend (eel weekend)
  • i jeans   (ee jeans)
  • lo shopping (loh shop-ping)
  • lo sport (loh sport)
  • lo shampoo (loh sham-poo)
  • lo zoo (loh zoh)

…and that’s just to name a few. For more examples and how you can Italianize words you already know, take a look at this list of Italian cognates. Don’t miss my guide to the 100 most common Italian words which you can also download as a free PDF cheat-sheet. Now, let’s take a look at the essential Italian phrases for travellers.

Italian Phrases for Travellers

Use the links below to jump to the section that interests you the most.

  • Pleasantries

Understanding Each Other

Getting around, sightseeing, emergencies.

  • Asking Questions
  • Eating out and Ordering Food
  • Italian Phrases for Travellers [Printable Guide]

Pleasantries in Italian

1. Thank you – Grazie (grah-tzee-yeh) 2. You’re Welcome! – Prego! (preh-goh) 3. Please – Per favore ( pair fah-voh-reh) 4. Excuse me(to get attention) – Scusi  ( skoo-zee) 5. Excuse me (to get past someone) – Permesso ( pair-meh-soh) 6. Yes – Sì ( see) 7. No – No ( noh)

Don’t miss this guide to different ways to say thank you in Italian and how to say please in Italian like a native.

Italian Greetings

8. Hello! / Hi! – Salve / Ciao! ( saal-veh / chow) 9. Good day – Buon giorno ( bwohn jor-noh) 10. Good evening – Buona sera ( bwoh-nah sair-rah) 11. Good night – Buona notte ( bwoh-nah noht-teh) 12. Goodbye – Arrivederci ( ah-ree-vah-dair-chee) 13. How are you? – Come sta? ( koh-meh stay) 14. Good / So-so / Not bad – Bene / Così così / Non c’è male ( beh-neh / koh-zee koh zee / nohn cheh mah-leh)

Don’t forget to learn how to introduce yourself in Italian , get my complete guide of Italian Greetings here .

15. Do you speak English? – Parla Inglese? ( parh-la een-glay-zeh) 16. How much is it? – Quanto costa? ( kwan-toh koh-stah) 17. I don’t understand – Non capisco (non kah-pee-skoh) 18. I’m sorry – Mi dispiace ( mee dees-pee-yah-cheh) / Mi Scusi (mee skoo-zee)

There are several other important ways to say sorry in Italian according to context and severity.

Numbers in Italian

19. 1 – uno ( oo-no) 20. 2 – due ( doo-way) 21. 3 – tre ( treh) 22. 4 – quattro ( kwah-troh) 23. 5 – cinque ( cheen-kweh) 24. 6 – sei ( say) 25. 7 – sette ( set-teh) 26. 8 – otto ( oht-toh) 27. 9 – nove ( noh-vay) 28. 10 – dieci ( dee-yay-chee)

Days of the week in Italian

29. Yesterday – ieri ( ee-yair-ee 30. Today – oggi ( oh-jee) 31. Tomorrow –  domani (doh-mahn-nee) 32. Day after tomorrow –  Dopo domani (doh-poh doh-mahn-nee) 33. Monday –  Lunedí (loo-nah-dee) 34. Tuesday –  Martedí (mar-tay-dee) 35. Wednesday –  Mercoledí (mair-coh-lay-dee) 36. Thursday –  Giovedí (jo-vah-dee) 37. Friday –  Venerdí (veh-nair-dee) 38. Saturday –  Sabato (sah-baa-toh) 39. Sunday –  Domenica (doh-men-nee-ka)

40. Where is …? Where are…? – Dov’è ….? / Dove sono (dohv-eh / doh-veh soh-noh) 41. Lavatory/Toilet – Gabinetto/Bagno (gah-bin-eh-toh/bahn-yoh) 42. Restaurants – i ristoranti (ee rees-toh-rahn-tee) 43. Shops – i negozi (neh-goh-tzee) 44. Taxi –  un taxi (oon tahk-zee) 45. Bus stop –  La fermata dell’autobus (lah fer-mah-tah del-louw-toh-bus) 46. Airport –  L’aeroporto (lah-eh-roh-poor-toh) 47. Train station – la Stazione (lah stah-tzee-oh-neh)

125 Basic Italian Phrases for Travel You NEED to Know in 2024 plus printable

48. When does it open? – Quando si apre? (kwan-doh see ah-preh) 49. When does it close? – Quando si chiude? (kwan-doh see key-you-day) 50. Ticket/s – Biglietto/i (beel-yet-toh/tee) 51. Two adults – due adulti (doo-way ah-dool-tee) 52. One child – un bambino (oon bahm-bee-noh) 53. One student – uno studente (oo-noh stu-den-teh) 54. One senior – un pensionato (oon pen-seyoh-nah-toh) 55. Museum – Museo (moo-zay-oh)

56. Left – Sinistra (seen-ees-strah) 57. Right – Destra (deh-strah) 58. Back – Dietro (dee-yeh-troh) 59. Forward – Avanti (ah-vahn-tee) 60. Straight ahead – Dritto (dree-toh) 61. Entrance – Entrata (en-trah-tah) 62. Exit – Uscita (oo-shee-tah)

63. Can I help you? – Posso aiutarLa? / Mi dica? ( pos-so ay-oo-tar-la / mee dee-ka ) 64. What would you like? – Cerca qualcosa? (cher-ka qwal-koh-zah) 65. What are you looking for? – Cosa sta cercando? (ko-zah sta cher-kan-do) 66. May I just look? – Posso guardare? (pos-so gwa-da-reh) 67. That’s too expensive! – È troppo caro!   (eh trop-poh kaa-roh) 68. Can you give me a discount? – Mi fa uno sconto? (mee fa oo-no skon-toh) 69. I’ll take it! – Lo compro!   (lo kom-proh) 70, Anything else? – Altro? (al-tro) 71. Nothing else, thank you. – Nient’altro, grazie. (nee-ent-al-tro, grah-tzee-yeh ) 72. May I pay with credit card? – Posso pagare con carta di credito? (pos-so pa-ga-re kon kar-ta dee kre-dee-toh) 73. May I pay with cash? – Posso pagare in contanti? (pos-so pa-ga-re een kon-tan-tee)

74. Help! – Aiuto! ( ay-oo-to) 75. I’ve been mugged – Sono stato assalito  (masculine) (soh-noh sta-toh aas-saal-ee-to) / sono stata assalita (feminine) (soh-noh sta-ta aas-saal-ee-ta) 76. I lost my passport – Ho perso il mio passaporto (oh per-so eel mee-yo pas-sa-por-to) 77. Where is the American/B ritish/Australian/Canadian embassy? Dov’è l’ambasciata americana / britannica / australiana / canadese (dohv-eh lam-ba-sha-ta aa-me-ree-ka-na / bree-tan-ee-ka / aoo-stra-lee-aa-na / kan-aa-deh-zeh) 78. There’s been an accident – C’è stato un incidente (cheh sta-toh oon in-chee-den-teh) 79. Injury – Danno (dan-noh) 80. I need a doctor – Ho bisogno di un dottore (o bee-zon-yo dee oon dot-to-reh) 81. I feel ill – Mi sento male (mee sen-to ma-lay) 82. I have pain here – Mi fa male qui (me fa ma-lay kwee) 83. Pain – Dolore (dol-or-eh) 84. Call… – Chiami… (kee-a-me) 85. The police – la polizia (la po-leet-zee-ya) 86. an ambulance – un’ambulanza (oon am-boo-lant-sa) 87. the fire brigade – i vigili del fuoco (ee vee-je-le del fwo-ko) 88. There’s a fire – C’é un incendio (che oon in-chen-dyo) 89. Police station – La stazione di polizia ( la staz-yo-ne dee po-leet-zee-ya) 90. Watch out! – Attento! (at-ten-to) 91. Stop, thief! – Al ladro! (al la-dro) 92. Go away! – Vai via! (vai vee-a)

Asking Questions in Italian

93. Where is …? – Dov’è ….? (dov-e?) 94. Where are…? – Dove sono? (dov-ay so-no?) 95. Where? – Dove? (dov-ay?) 96. How? – Come? (ko-me?) 97. How much? – Quanto? (kwan-to?) 98. Who? – Chi? (kee?) 99. When? – Quando? (qwan-do) 100. Why? – Perché? (per-ke?) 101. What? – Che? (keh?) 102. Which? – Quale? (kwal-e?) 103. How much does this cost? – Quanto costa questo? (kwan-to kos-tah kwe-sto?) 104. How much does that cost? – Quanto costa quello? (kwan-to kos-tah kwel-lo?) 105. Where is the toilet? – Dov’è il bagno? (dov-e eel ban-yo?) 106. Can I have…? – Posso avere…? (pos-so av-air-re…) 107. I would like… – Vorrei… (vor-ray-ee)

For more, check out my guide on how to use question words in Italian.

Eating out and Ordering Food in Italian

108. I would like…(used only when ordering food) – Prendo … (pren-do) 109. The menu, please – Il menu, per favore (eel men-oo payr fa-vo-ray) 110. Two beers, please – Due birre, per favore (doo-ay beer-re, payr fa-vo-ray) 111. A bottle of house wine, please – Una bottiglia di vino della casa, per favore ( oo-na bot-teel-ya dee vee-no del-la ka-za) 112. Red wine – Vino rosso (vee-no ros-so) 113. White wine – Vino bianco (vee-no bee-an-co) 114. A bottle of still water – Una bottiglia di acqua naturale (oo-na bot-teel-ya dee ak-wa na-too-ra-lay) 115. A bottle of sparking water – Una bottiglia di acqua gassata (oo-na bot-teel-ya dee ak-wa gas-za-ta) 116. What do you recommend? (formal) – Che cosa ci consiglia? (kay ko-za chee kon-seel-ya?) 117. What do you recommend? (informal) – Che cosa ci consigli? (kay ko-za chee kon-seel-yee?) 118. Is the sauce spicy? – É la salsa piccante? (eh la sal-sa pik-kan-te?) 119. I’m allergic to… (male) – Sono allergico a… (so-no al-ler-jee-ko a…) 120. I’m allergic to…(female) – Sono allergica a… (so-no al-ler-jee-ka a…) 121. I’m a vegetarian (male) – Sono vegetariano (so-no ve-jay-ta-ree-a-no) 122. I’m a vegetarian (female) – Sono vegetariana (so-no ve-jay-ta-ree-a-na) 123. The bill, please – Il conto, per favore (eel kon-to, payr fa-vo-ray) 124. Enjoy your food! – Buon appetito! (bwon a-pe-tee-to) 125. It was delicious! – Era buonissimo! (e-ra bwon-iss-e-mo)

For more phrases, check out my detailed guide on how to order food and drinks in Italian and learn how to say cheers in Italian .

Tipping in Italy

italian travel vocab

Planning a trip to Italy or eating at your favourite local Italian restaurant? Use my Italian Menu Cheat-Sheet to unlock Italian phrases. Buon appetito!

Learn Italian with me, The Intrepid Guide!

How to Learn Italian for Travel FAST!

Travelling to Italy? Don’t be treated like a tourist! Live your best travel experiences and learn Italian for less than the cost of eating at a tourist trap restaurant or a taxi driver who has “taken you for a ride”.  In addition to my free Italian travel phrase guide , I’ve made it even easier for you to master the Italian language so you can create lifelong memories as you mingle with locals , get local tips , avoid tourist traps , and make new friends . Who knows you, you maybe even be invited over for afternoon tea by a lovely Sicilian family, like I was! Read all about how speaking Italian changed my life  and check out my languages courses here.

Here’s what my students are saying: 

Testimonial - How to Learn Italian for Travel FAST! - Roma Small

I really enjoyed the Master Italian for Travel FAST course, it  certainly exceeded my expectations. The learning methodology is great,  and easy to follow and found that I  progressed much faster in the last 4 weeks  than I ever did on my own or using other language apps. Grazie mille Michele, I can’t wait until I can put my new skills into action! – Roma Small

Join now and learn anywhere, anytime

Like it pin it for later, 125 most common italian phrases for travellers [printable guide].

Common Italian Phrases for Travel with Pronunciation and Printable Guide 2024

Learning Italian? Don’t miss these Italian language guides

  • How to Conjugate Italian Verbs in 3 Simple Steps [Italian for Beginners]
  • 15 Italian Words You Should NEVER Mispronounce [& How Not To]
  • Italian Numbers: How to Count in Italian From 0 to 1 Billion (Plus PDF Download)
  • Master Days of the Week in Italian (7 Simple Memory Hacks)
  • How to Order Food & Drinks in Italian [Italian for Beginners]
  • Is Italian Hard to Learn? 7 Common Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
  • 41 Italian Greetings: How to Say ‘Hello’ in Italian Like a Local
  • 170+ Countries & Nationalities in Italian: The Definitive Guide (Plus PDF Cheat-Sheet & Quiz)
  • 11 Effective Hacks That’ll Help You Learn Italian So Much Faster
  • Top 14 Italian Words You Should NEVER Say [& What to Use Instead]
  • 20 Hilarious Everyday Italian Expressions You Should Use
  • Romanesco: 25 Cool Roman Dialect Words You Should Use in Rome
  • 10 Reasons Why Learning Italian Will Change Your Life
  • How to Learn Italian Before Your Trip
  • 10 Italian Expressions Italians Love Saying
  • Italian for Beginners | 8 DEADLY Mistakes in Italian (& How to Avoid Them)
  • 10 Italian Phrases That Will Instantly Make You Sound more Italian
  • Funny Italian Sayings: 26  Food-Related Insults You Won’t Forget
  • 15 Romantic Italian Films That’ll Make You Love Italy Even More
  • How to Master Common Italian Phrases for Travel (Like a Local!) 

Over to you!

Which of these Italian phrases do you find most useful? What other phrases or expressions would you like to know? Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

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Michele creates language learning guides and courses for travel. What separates her from other instructors is her ability to explain complex grammar in a no-nonsense, straightforward manner using her unique 80/20 method. Get her free guide 9 reasons you’re not fluent…YET & how to fix it! Planning a trip? Learn the local language with her 80/20 method for less than the cost of eating at a tourist trap restaurant Start learning today!

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Language to assist with food situations (ordering at a restaurant etc) would be a great addition. Thanks for the list!

Thanks for the feedback. I’ll keep that in mind 🙂

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italian travel vocab

If you don't know where you are , how do you know where you're going?   Find out how well you know Italian grammar today!

The Italian Way of Life

135 Basic Italian Phrases for Travel: PDF Cheat Sheet

Hello, fellow travelers, and welcome to your comprehensive guide on basic Italian phrases for travel .

With my experience as a native Italian language teacher, I’ve crafted this guide using insights gleaned from interacting with hundreds of international tourists.

My objective is to tackle the unique challenges you may encounter when immersing yourself in a new language during your travels in Italy . I aim to provide the best way to navigate these language hurdles for a smoother experience.

Planning a trip to Italy? Discover the 35 best travel guide books for Italy to enhance your adventure.

Certainly, Google Translate is handy, but learning basic Italian words and local phrases adds a special touch to your trip. Communicating in the local language can deepen connections with native speakers and unlock experiences that English alone may miss.

I’ve created a basic Italian travel phrases PDF to assist your journey. Accessible and user-friendly, it’s a good idea to download the PDF and make it your ideal companion for swift reference while on the move.

Are you ready to dive into the linguistic delights of Italian and elevate your travel experience? Let’s embark on this enriching journey together!

Basic Italian Phrases and Words

Let’s kick things off with a handful of essential Italian phrases and words that will prove invaluable in daily interactions with native Italian speakers. 

These simple Italian phrases, which represent the essential Italian vocabulary, will showcase your attempts to connect with locals in their language, enriching your Italian adventure.

Recommended Reading : Discover the 21 safest cities in Italy for an unforgettable experience, whether you’re a traveler or an expat.

Common Italian Greetings

common Italian greetings

Italians are known for their warm and animated nature. Here are some Italian greetings to get you off to a fantastic start. Tossing out a heartfelt “buon giorno!” with a bright smile can go a long way. 

To help you nail these greetings, we’ve listed the most popular key phrases, useful Italian words , and their appropriate use cases.

Formality is typically reserved for strangers and elders, while casual greetings are shared among friends.

Want to learn more about Italian verbs? Explore our comprehensive guide: Italian Verb Conjugation Made Easy with a handy PDF. chart.

Days of the Week and Times of the Day in Italian

Knowing the days of the week and how to tell time in Italian can enhance your travel experience . 

This knowledge comes in handy while booking tours, checking opening times, or even planning your daily itinerary.

Here are the days of the week and some useful phrases related to time.

Recommended Reading : Learn how to count in Italian in no time.

Useful Italian Phrases at the Restaurant

useful phrases at the Italian restaurant

Immerse yourself in Italy’s famed gastronomy with these common phrases designed to enhance your dining experiences. 

If your Italian escapade includes savoring local cuisines or sampling delectable gelato (which it definitely should!), these essential basic phrases will be your greatest ally.

Useful Italian Phrases at the Hotel

Your hotel serves as your sanctuary while you traverse the landscapes of Italy. Here’s a list of Italian phrases with their English equivalent to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible.

Useful Italian Phrases When Visiting Attractions

useful Italian phrases when visiting Italian attractions

Italy’s rich culture and legendary landmarks are a significant part of any travel itinerary. 

We’ve gathered some of the most important phrases to help you secure tickets and ask common questions at attractions to aid you.

How to Ask for Directions in Italian

Avoid getting disoriented in Italy’s labyrinth-like cities with these phrases designed to guide you through your journey.

Shopping Related Italian Phrases and Words

shopping in Italy

Shopping in Italy is an absolute treat, whether you’re hunting for the latest fashion, unique food items, or charming souvenirs. Here are some phrases to aid you on your shopping spree .

Kids Related Phrases in Italian

Venturing through Italy with your little ones? These phrases will prove immensely helpful in expressing their needs and ensuring they’re catered to.

How to Ask for Help in Italian

how to ask for help in Italian

Should you require aid while exploring Italy, these phrases will be lifesavers in emergency situations.

While we hope you never have to use them, it’s always wise to remember the old saying, “ better safe than sorry .”

Basic Italian Phrases and Words for Travel FAQ

Answers to commonly asked questions about basic Italian phrases and words for travel.

Why should I learn basic Italian phrases before traveling to Italy?

Learning key Italian phrases demonstrates respect for Italian culture and makes your interactions with locals more meaningful. It can also enhance your overall travel experience.

Suggested Reading : Dive into the world of language learning with our top picks for the best 10 websites and apps to learn Italian through games .

How should I practice these phrases?

Regular practice is key. Try repeating the phrases aloud, writing them down, or using them in conversation. The provided PDF can be a handy resource for practice.

Where can I find a handy reference for basic Italian phrases with PDF?

Within this article, you can download our Basic Italian Phrases PDF cheat sheet, ideal for travelers. This extensive guide is designed to assist you in communicating with ease throughout your adventures in Italy.

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up this guide, remember that language is a beautiful gateway to culture. 

By learning and using these essential Italian travel phrases, you’re set to make your Italian adventure even more enriching and memorable. So, embrace the language, enjoy the journey to this beautiful country, and buon viaggio—have a great trip!

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blackboard with sentence 'parli italiano' and Italian flag

Travelers Italian: 100+ of the most useful Italian phrases for travel

Travelers’ Italian. Over 100 easy and useful Italian phrases for travel and basic Italian words that will help you make the most of your time in Italy (by a teacher)

You do not need to speak Italian to enjoy your time in Italy.

However, knowing basic Italian words or being able to express simple sentences will go a long way to improve your stay.

We Italians love it when foreigners make an effort and while I know it is daunting to express yourself in a language you do not dominate, you will see most people will react with great appreciation!

I am a qualified teacher of Italian as a second language and most of my students came to class before a trip to Italy, to learn Italian phrases tourists could learn or carry with them while in Italy for quick reference.

Today, I want to share the travelers’ Italian phrases most commonly requested in my classes.

These, we found, were the most useful Italian phrases for tourists and were all reasonably easy to learn or read out when needed!

As you will see, it is a mix of basic Italian words and Italian phrases for tourists that cover situations you may encounter while traveling in Italy.

I hope you find them useful!

This article is part of our series ‘Learn Italian’. You can find here >>> all our free Italian lessons <<<

You can hear the pronunciation of these Italian phrases for tourists copying them into google translate and clicking on the little megaphone symbol – try here

Basic Italian words and Italian phrases for travel

Before you learn specific Italian phrases for travel, you want to learn your basics.

  • Si – yes

2. No – No

3. Grazie – thank you

Grazie is the most common way to express gratitude in Italian but there are several others you may hear or want to use. Learn how to say thank you in Italian here.

4. Prego – you are welcome / please

5. Per favore – please

Please can be tricky to express in Italian. Learn how to properly say please in Italian here.

6. Mi scusi – Excuse me

7. Scusi – Sorry

8. Non capisco – I don’t understand

9. Non parlo italiano – I don’t speak Italian

10. Aiuto! – Help !

Simple Italian phrases to make yourself understood

Parla inglese? – Do you speak English?

Mi dispiace, non parlo Italiano – Sorry, I don’t speak Italian

Piu’ piano per favore – slower please

Puo’ ripetere , per favore? – Can you say that again, please?

Common Italian phrases to greet someone

blackboard with writing; how to greet someone in Italian

Ciao – hello / goodbye, informal

Buon giorno – good morning

Buona sera – good evening

Buona notte – good night

Buon pomeriggio – good afternoon, mostly used when parting from someone, slightly formal

Arrivederci – goodbye / bye bye (formal)

A presto – see you soon

Good to know : in most interactions with tourism establishments such as your hotel owner, host, ticket officer etc, you want to use greetings that are formal and polite. The most useful to learn are: buongiono (formal hello) and arrivederci (formal goodbye, at the end of a stay or a meal).

You can learn how to say hello in Italian here

Asking for directions – basic Italian travel phrases if you are lost

Blackboard with writing: how to ask for directions in Italian

Dov’e’ ? – where is?

Ex Dov’e’ il Colosseo? Where is the Colosseum?

Ore more politely: ITA: Mi scusi, mi sa dire dov’e’ il Colosseo? ENG: Excuse me, would you be able to tell me where the Colosseum is?

E’ lontano? Quanto dista? – It is far? how far is?

How far is the Colosseum? Quanto e’ lontano/ Quanto dista il Colosseo?

Dritto – sraight

Destra – right

Sinistra – left

Semaforo – traffic light

Incrocio – crossroads

Ponte – bridge

Strada – street

Strisce / strisce pedonali – zebra crossing

Senso unico – one way street

Piazza – square

ZTL – Zona Traffico Limitato, an area closed to car traffic. Learn what they are and how to deal with them in this guide about driving in Italy.

Parcheggio -parking

A sample conversation may look like:

You: Scusi, dov’e’ il colosseo? Excuse me, where is the Colosseum?

Answer: vada dritto, poi al semaforo gira a destra e lo vede . Go straight, then at the traffic light turn right and you see it.

Another example can be: You: scusi, dov’e’ il bagno? (Excuse me, where is the restroom?) Answer: in fondo a destra (at the end of the room, to the right)

Transport and tickets

At train stations, airports and transport hubs, you may encounter or need to use the following Italian travel phrases and words:

Biglietto – ticket

Biglietto di sola andata – one way ticket

Biglietto di andata e ritorno – return ticket

Riduzioni / tariffe speciali / sconti – disxounts and special tariffs, usually for children/elderly/teachers/specified categories

Posto a sedere – seat

Treno – train

Binario – platform

Porto – harbor / port

Cabina – cabin (on a boat)

Traghetto – ferry

Aliscafo – hydrofoil (you will hear it to go to Capri for instance)

Prenotazione – booking / reservation

When you book a train ticket, it may come with a warning ‘prenotazione obbligatoria’, which means booking for a specific date/time/seat is mandatory.

Taxi – taxi

Autista – driver

Basic Italian sentences when at the shop

Quanto costa – How much is this?

Prezzo – price

Saldi – sales

Ha il resto? – Do you have change (if you are paying with a big note)

Carta di credito – credit card

Bancomat – debit card / also ATM

Posso provare? Can I try this on?

Do’ un’occhiata – I am just browsing / having a look

Si puo’ spedire? Can you ship this?

Caro – expensive Ex. No, grazie, e’ troppo caro . No, thank you, it is too expensive. Ex. Ha qualcosa di meno caro? Do you have anythign less expensive?

Top tip! To avoid embarrassing situations, learn about the etiquette of negotiating in Italian markets and shops here (hint you don’t!)

Medical emergencies

A well equipped arsenal of travelers Italian needs Italian phrases for travel emergencies, just in case!

Sto male – I am sick / I am unwell

Ho bisogno di un dottore / chiamate un dottore – I need a doctor / call a doctor

Aiuto ! – help!

Farmacia – pharmacy / chemist

Ospedale – Hospital

Pronto soccorso – A&E

Medico di guardia – doctor on call

Medicina – medicine

Ricetta – prescription

Mascherina – face mask / Mascherina chirurgica : disposable face mask (medical)

Dottore – Doctor

Infermiere / infermiera – nurse (male/female)

Blackboard with writing: how to ask for help in Italian

In hotel – useful Italian phrases about your accommodation

Camera – room

Camera matrimoniale – double room (with double bed)

Camere comunicanti – connecting rooms

Culla – baby cot/ crib

Letti a castello – bunk beds

Camerata – hostel room (with multiple beds)

Bagno in camera – en suite bathroom

Piscina – pool

Doccia – shower

Bagno – restroom

At the beach – useful Italian words for a day on the beach

Spiaggia – beach

Stabilimento – beach club

Ombrellone – sun umbrella

Sdraio – deckchair

Lettino – beach lounger

Bagnino – lifeguard

Crema solare – sunscreen

Secchiello e paletta – bucket and spade

Sabbia – sand

Scogli – rocks

Ghiaia – pebbles

At the restaurant – Italian words and sentences for a meal out

Food is such a large part of an Italian trip, my list of Italian phrases for travel needed a section about eating out, and so here it is!

Tavolo – table Ex. Ha un tavolo per quattro? Do you have a table for four?

Vino della casa – house wine

Acqua liscia / gassata – flat / sparkly water

Primo, secondo, contorno, dolce – these are the names of Italian courses. You can learn all about Italian meal structure here.

Mancia – tip (yes, you will need this one! Learn why here >>> guide to tipping in Italy

Allergia – allergy

Allergeni – allergens

Noci – walnuts / also generic word for ‘nut’

Noccioline – peanuts

Lattosio – lactose | Senza Lattosio = lactose free

Latticini / prodotti caseari – dairy products

Glutine – gluten

Kids essentials in Italian

Blackboard with writing: how to get kids essentials in Italian

Passeggino – stroller

Biberon – baby bottle

Ciuccio – soother / pacifier

Pappa – baby meal

Seggiolone – high chair

Pannolino – nappy / diaper

Pediatra – pediatrician

Scaldare – to heat: useful if you want to ask a restaurant/ cafe to heat up you child meal you brought from home (Mi puo’ scaldare la pappa per favore? Can you heat the baby food please?)

If you are about to travel to Italy with a baby, read this !

Other useful Italian words for travel you may want to use

Bello / bella – beautiful (male/neutral and female)

Presto, tardi – early, late

In ritardo – late Ex. Il treno porta un’ora di ritardo . The train is one hour late

Come stai? Come sta? – How are you? (informal / formal)

Piacere – when introduced to someone, how do you do

Gratis – for free

Salute! – Cheers! You can find the many ways to say cheers in Italian here.

Stagione – season, you may find it on price lists as Alta stagione ‘high season’; bassa stagione= ‘low season’. Learn here >>> how the seasons are called in Italy

If you are in Italy for the festive seasons, you may also want to learn how to say Merry Christmas in Italian or the Italian for Happy New Year .

I hope you found these Italian phrases for travel useful and you have a wonderful time in my beautiful country. Safe travel planning!

Travelers’ Italian – pin these Italian phrases for travel so you can carry them with you!

Image of Italian flad and blackboard with the sentence parli italiano and additional text: 100 essential Italian phrases for travelers

Marta Correale

Marta Correale is an Italian mama of two. Born and raised in Rome, Marta has a passion for travel and especially enjoys showing off Italy to her kids, who are growing up to love it as much as she does! A classics graduate, teacher of Italian as a second language and family travel blogger, Marta launched Mama Loves Italy as a way to inspire, support and help curious visitors to make the most of a trip to Italy and learn about Italian culture on the way.

black board with written: how to greet someone in Italian

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170+ Key Italian Travel Phrases So You Can Travel Stress-free Around Italia

About to go on that Italian trip of a lifetime? Don’t forget to take some key Italian travel phrases with you before you set off on your adventure!

Even if you haven’t planned a trip to Italy, these travel phrases will be useful for any Italian learner looking to add more words and phrases to their vocabulary!

This post will show you more than 170 of the most common Italian travel phrases, words and questions to help you prepare for any situation you might find yourself in while traveling.

1. Essential Italian Phrases

2. italian greetings and goodbyes , 3. making small talk in italian, 4. asking for directions in italian, 5. italian question words, 6. italian words for shopping, 7. italian phrases for eating out, 8. italian words for emergency situations, 9. numbers, time and days of the week in italian, 10. transport words and phrases in italian, tips for learning italian phrases, and one more thing....

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)


There are some basic words every Italian learner should learn as soon as possible. Here are some Italian essentials to remember!

italian phrases

It’s always polite to say hello and goodbye, no matter where in the world you are!

Remember these useful ways to say everything from “hi there” to “see you later!”

With these phrases you’ll be able to greet and converse with any Italian you may meet!

Check out this video to see 10 essential phrases used by Italians everyday.


It’s always good to have some small talk phrases under your belt. Here are some phrases that’ll help you carry on a simple, casual conversation when you meet someone new.


No matter how long you prepare for your trip— sooner or later, you’ll find yourself asking for directions.

Asking for directions starts with you approaching the other person with a “ Mi scusi ,” asking your question, then hearing the directions to your destination.

Here are some phrases that could help you navigate this conversation:


Some of the most important sentences you will hear are those that ask a question. Here are Italian question words that prefix Italian queries:

italian phrases

Chances are that if you visit Italy, you’ll probably be doing some shopping. Here are some terms to know so you can get by:


Italy is a land of good food and wine, so here are some words and phrases to help you have the best dining experience possible.

To learn more essential restaurant phrases and see them used in context by a native Italian speaker with Italian and English subtitles, check out this video.

By seeing these phrases used in context, you’ll quickly pick up on when and how to use them in your own conversations. 


Vacations can be unpredictable, so it’s good to know how to ask for help and communicate that there’s an emergency:


If you’re learning Italian or planning on visiting Italy, then these words will be essential!

*The only time in Italian that uses the singular “è…”  is one o’clock. For example: “È l’una” (It’s one o’clock) but all the other times use the plural form “Sono le…” in Italian. Check out this post for a more in-depth guide to telling the time in Italian.

As you can see, knowing how to count and say numbers in Italian is useful for many different situations. To learn more numbers in Italian, you can read about them in this post . 


If you’re traveling in Italy, it’s likely you’ll have to travel in  il taxi or  il treno at least once! 

Take a look at these phrases below to learn different ways of traveling and how to buy and book a ticket in Italian.

Now that you know these phrases for transport in Italian, you’re ready to travel!

But before you go, make sure you watch this video for travel tips for your trip to Italy.

1. Read them out loud.

The best way to master basic Italian phrases is by practicing them in actual conversation with others; however, you may not have access to an Italian speaking partner. 

If this is the case, you can still get a bit of practice in saying these phrases by simply reading them out loud. Hearing yourself say these phrases is an essential step to learning them.

2. Role-play them in different contexts.

In addition to saying the same words or phrases in different ways, you can role-play them in different contexts.

Try to write out a sample dialogue of a situation that would actually use some of these phrases. Then, you can read them aloud and practice being on both sides of the conversation.

Going through this process helps you remember them more and playing both sides doubles your practice time. 

3.  Immerse yourself in Italian media

The more exposure to Italian you get, the quicker you’ll pick up on the language.

Try watching Italian movies, listening to Italian music or reading Italian books. All of these are sure to contain the phrases from these posts and much more. 

You can also try using FluentU to learn Italian phrases and vocabulary in context.

4. Practice with a native speaker.

Having a language exchange partner will give you the opportunity to practice the basic Italian phrases that you know and receive feedback on how you’re doing from a native speaker.

If you don’t know any native speakers personally, you can quickly find a conversation partner online on a site like Easy Language Exchange , HelloTalk or Tandem .

5. Use them in your everyday conversations.

Try to find as many opportunities as possible to use basic Italian phrases in your daily routines.

A great way to practice without having to find a language partner is by thinking or narrating what you’re doing in Italian. 

6. Use flashcards.

If you’re having difficulty memorizing Italian words, phrases and expressions, invest the time in making flashcards. 

This classic method really does work and you can choose to do it the old-fashioned way by making your cards by hand or there are several apps available to make them with your phone such as those listed in this post .

Now you have everything you need to navigate basic situations in Italian! 

Buon viaggio!  (Safe journey!)

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The Ultimate Italian Phrase Guide for Your Trip to Italy

ultimate italian phrase guide

Ciao! Are you planning an amazing Italian getaway? Do you want to prepare yourself with practical Italian phrases and vocabulary for your trip? Knowing some basic Italian before arriving can significantly improve your travel experience and let you better connect with the local culture.

In this article, you’ll learn over 180 must-know Italian words and tourist phrases so you can navigate confidently as you sightsee through Rome, tour the canals of Venice, taste wine in Tuscany, or relax along the beaches of Amalfi. We’ll also cover essential travel planning tips for Italy, including transport, accommodations, safety, and more, so you can brush up on vocabulary and info before saying “Buongiorno!”

Page Contents

Getting Started with Italian Greetings, Basics and Requests

The beautiful thing about Italian is that knowing basic greetings like “ciao” and “grazie” will get you pretty far. You don’t need to master intricate grammar to interact politely as a tourist. Focus on pleasantries, essential directions, vocabulary, numbers, and keywords for making requests.

Here are the most helpful Italian phrases to know for simple conversation:

  • Hello/good morning/good evening – Ciao / buongiorno / buonasera
  • Goodbye – Arrivederci
  • Please – Per favore
  • Thank you (very much) – Grazie (mille)
  • You’re welcome – Prego
  • Excuse me / apologies – Scusi
  • Yes / no – Sì / no
  • Do you speak English? – Parli inglese?
  • I don’t understand – Non capisco
  • I don’t speak Italian – Non parlo Italiano
  • How are you? – Come stai? / Come sta? (polite)
  • Fine, thanks – Bene, grazie

Get familiar with essential destination vocabulary.

Memorize crucial words like airport, bathroom, metro station, hotel, etc. Here are the basics:

  • Hotel – Albergo /hotel
  • Hostel – Ostello
  • Bathroom / toilet – Bagno / gabinetto
  • Airport – Aeroporto
  • Metro/subway – Metropolitana
  • Bus / taxi – Autobus / taxi
  • Train station – Stazione ferroviaria
  • Beach – Spiaggia
  • Museum – Museo
  • Restaurant – Ristorante
  • Open / closed – Aperto / chiuso
  • Large / small – Grande / piccolo
  • Near / far – Vicino / lontano

Requesting things politely is also key. Here are helpful phrases to know:

  • I would like… – Vorrei…
  • Do you have…? – Ha…? / Avete…?
  • Where is (the)…? – Dov’è (il/la)…?
  • Please help me – Mi può aiutare per favore
  • How much is it? – Quanto costa?

With those essentials covered, you have what you need to interact politely as a traveler. Next, let’s go over critical questions and statements for getting around.

Asking for Directions in Italy

Once you’ve nailed down greetings and basics, being able to ask simple questions is crucial for everything from ordering food to finding your way. Use and respond to basic questions by learning these phrases:

  • Where is / are…? – Dov’è / Dove sono…?
  • How do I get to..? – Come arrivo a…?
  • Is it near / far? – È vicino / lontano?
  • To the right / left – A destra / sinistra
  • Straight ahead – Sempre dritto
  • I’m lost – Mi sono perso
  • Can you show me on the map? – Può mostrarmi sulla mappa?

Use landmarks and be specific when asking for directions:

  • Near the restaurant / hotel… – Vicino al ristorante / hotel…
  • It’s next to the… – È accanto al…

And respond helpfully to requests:

  • Go straight… – Vai sempre dritto…
  • Turn right / left… – Gira a destra / sinistra…
  • Walk towards… – Cammina verso…
  • It’s about 5 minutes away – È a circa cinque minuti

Mastering these phrases will let you get assistance if you get turned around during your Italy travels!

Essential Italian Phrases for Flying and Airports

Preparing crucial airport, customs, and airplane vocabulary before an international trip is a lifesaver, especially for first-time Italian visitors. You’ll sound like a seasoned traveler by mastering these essential terms:

  • Airport – Aeroporto
  • Passport – Passaporto
  • Boarding pass – Carta d’imbarco
  • Baggage claim – Ritiro bagagli
  • Flight number – Numero del volo
  • Baggage / luggage – Bagaglio
  • Carry-on bag – Bagaglio a mano
  • Overhead bin – Cappelliera
  • Delayed flight – Volo in ritardo
  • Canceled flight – Volo cancellato
  • Gate number – Numero dell’uscita

Don’t get flustered navigating foreign signage. Use key questions and statements for assistance:

  • Where is the check-in counter? – Dov’è il banco del check in?
  • Where can I check bags?– Dove posso consegnare i bagagli?
  • Is my flight on time? – Il mio volo è in orario?
  • Where is the departure lounge? – Dov’è la lounge dell’imbarco?

If your arrival doesn’t go smoothly, use phrases like these:

  • My luggage is missing – Il mio bagalio è scomparso
  • I’d like to report my luggage missing – Vorrei segnalare un bagalio scomparso

Once you make it through to your gate, listen for important boarding and security phrases:

  • Boarding will begin shortly – Imbarco tra breve
  • We will now board rows… – Ora effettuiamo l’imbarco della file…
  • Prepare travel documents – Prepari documenti di viaggio
  • Passport control – Controllo passaporti

You’ll confidently navigate foreign airports with those Italian phrases for flying down pat!

Italian Phrases for Lodging and Accommodations

Booking hotels or vacation rentals in Italian may seem intimidating. But you’ll sleep easy on your stay abroad by mastering these key Italy accommodation vocabulary words and phrases:

  • Hotel – Lo Albergo / Hotel
  • Hostel – Ostello
  • Apartment – Appartamento
  • Vacation rental – Affitto per vacanze
  • Bed and breakfast (B&B) – Bed & breakfast (B&B)
  • Reservation – Prenotazione
  • Check-in / Check-out – Registrarsi / partire
  • Key card – Chiave / scheda magnetica

When booking, ask questions using helpful lingo like:

  • Do you have availability? – Avete disponibilità?
  • I have a reservation. – Ho una prenotazione.
  • What is included? – Cosa è incluso?
  • Does it come with WiFi? – C’è il WiFi incluso?

And handle any lodging mishaps with phrases like:

  • There is a problem with my room – C’è un problema con la mia camera
  • The key card doesn’t work – La scheda magnetic non funziona

You’ll be checking in and out of hotels smoothly using this Italian accommodation vocabulary.

Italian Dining Phrases and Vocabulary

One of the top reasons over 64 million visitors flock to Bella Italia annually? The incredible cuisine, of course! You might want to read Best Food Cities in Italy and Pasta Lover’s Guide To Italy . Impress locals and servers with your mastery of culinary language for ordering, dining, and requesting the check:

  • I’m hungry – Ho fame
  • What do you recommend? – Cosa mi consiglia?
  • Can I see a menu? – Posso vedere il menù?
  • I’d like… – Vorrei…
  • The check/bill, please – Il conto per favore
  • It was delicious! – Era delizioso!

At a restaurant, you also may encounter:

  • Appetizer – Antipasto
  • First course – Primo (usually pasta or soup)
  • Second course – Secondo (often meat or fish)
  • Side dish – Contorno
  • Dessert – Dolce
  • Anything else? – Altro?
  • Enjoy! – Buon appetito!

Hungry yet? With this food vocabulary handy, you’ll be ready to dine like an Italian once abroad! Traditional Italian Drinks & Beverages to Try ; Pasta Lover’s Guide To Italy

italian travel vocab

More Useful Italian Travel Phrases

No matter how thorough your vocabulary study, unexpected situations arise when journeying through foreign countries. Fluency isn’t necessary, but having quick access to essential phrases can be invaluable during travel mishaps, big and small.

Bookmark these words and expressions to stay calm and handle dilemmas smoothly:


  • Help! – Aiuto!
  • the police – la polizia
  • an ambulance – un’ambulanza
  • a doctor – un dottore
  • I’m hurt/injured – Sono ferito/a

Health and Wellness:

  • Medication – Medicina / Medicinali
  • Pharmacy – Farmacia
  • Hospital – Ospedale
  • I don’t feel well – Non mi sento bene

Theft and Missing Items:

  • My wallet/passport/purse is missing – Mi hanno rubato il portafoglio/passaporto/borsetta
  • I’d like to report stolen… – Vorrei denunciare un furto…
  • My luggage is missing – Il mio bagaglio è scomparso

Just in case you lose items, need medical attention, have travel delays, or encounter tiring days on vacation, round out your Italian vocabulary arsenal with these last phrases:

General Travel Problems:

  • I’m tired – Sono stanco/a
  • I’m lost – Mi sono perso/a
  • I missed my flight – Ho perso il volo
  • Can you help me? Mi può aiutare?
  • Is there a problem? C’è un problema?
  • Can you repeat that? Può ripetere?

We’ve covered many practical Italian words and expressions by category, so you’ll be well equipped for your upcoming Italy itinerary. With this vocabulary down pat, you can focus on taking in breathtaking landmarks, world-class art, and lively culture instead of fumbling with phrasebooks. Have an amazing, buon viaggio!

Helpful Italy Travel Planning Tips

Beyond common Italian phrases, getting to know destination details sets you up for smooth sailing in the Boot. Choosing an Escorted Italy Tour . Romantic Cities of Italy . From transportation to safety risks, we’ll outline essential Italy travel tips for pre-trip planning and on the ground:

Getting Around Italy

Rail travel in Italy works well for hitting main hubs and sights thanks to the extensive Ferrovie dello Stato network. Purchase tickets with assigned seats via Trenitalia ahead of time when possible. Validate tickets prior to first use.

Domestic flights link the major airports of Rome, Milan, Venice, Naples, and more on Alitalia, Italy’s leading airline. Budget about 1.5 hours for connections once landed.

Renting a car provides freedom, especially for wine-tasting tours or beach towns. Automatic transmissions remain rare, so opt for manual transmissions to avoid stick shifts.

Cheap public buses and trams work well for urban exploration. Validate tickets when boarding. Metros operate in Rome, Milan, and Naples, while water buses and ferries connect islands or coastal cities like Venice.

Taxi travel in Italy costs roughly 1 euro per km. Establish rates before entering or using app bookings like Wetaxi and MyTaxi for convenience and safety.

We offers some great travel guides: Things to do in Florence Italy , Avoid These 10 Common Tourist Mistakes When In Italy , The Beautiful Region of Puglia – the Secret Gem of Italy , Places to Visit in Milan, Italy , Ten Ways to Enjoy Italy and many more.

Lodging and Dining in Italy

With heavy tourism year-round, booking hotels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, or hostels at least 2-3 months out ensures the best pick of Italian accommodations.

If winging apartment or hotel bookings, use comparison sites like Trivago and HotelsCombined to filter hundreds of booking sites at once for rate transparency.

All regions of Italy are overflowing with fantastic food. But note that dinnertime means 7 pm or later – with restaurants not filling up until 9 pm in tourist hubs. Lunch remains the day’s big meal, with most kitchens closed midday.

For gluten sensitivity or allergies, learn key Italian food allergy phrases. Cross-contamination makes truly gluten-free dining rare outside of major cities, but awareness continues to improve.

Top Italy Travel Safety Tips

Petty theft like pickpocketing or bag slashing happens most frequently on public transportation, at crowded tourist sites, and in dense city centers. Stay alert in crowds and avoid keeping valuables in easy-to-access pockets or bags.

Leave passports secured in hotel safes or lockers and keep a paper photocopy on hand instead, along with a small amount of cash in a subtle money belt under clothing. Back up digital copies of all identity documents and cards via email as an extra precaution.

To avoid fake or tampered food, as a traveler, I only eat gelato at places with signs emphasizing artigianale (meaning artisan) rather than industrial products. At restaurants, ensure seafood prices correlate properly to seafood dishes and beware of shellfish priced too cheaply.

Brush up on basic Italian etiquette, like not seating yourself at restaurant tables before asking “permesso.” Learn phrases explaining diet restrictions or allergies ahead of time as well. Tourist faux pas can happen, but basic Italian words are truly all you need to unlock amazing cultural experiences.

The excitement of experiencing iconic Italian sights from the Colosseum to the watery streets of Venice for the first time is hard to beat. But you’ll better cherish the delightful sensory details of your Italian getaway by prepping with this ultimate phrase guide and travel tips beforehand.

Our lingo lists for airports, hotels, transportation, dining, and more left you feeling pumped to start exploring Bella Italia. Whenever conversational hiccups happen, remember your handy essential Italian phrase arsenal and sign language can go far. Stay flexible, meet locals, and don’t over-plan. The most magical moments often happen by surprise.

Let us know if questions bubble up while finalizing your Italian itineraries. We’re happy to clarify any vocabulary or address commonly asked travel concerns directly with you.

Safe travels and saluti from Italy! Ready to pack your bags?

Other helpful blogs when traveling internationally include Staying Safe While Traveling Abroad & How to Understand Currency When Traveling , Have a long flight coming up? We share some key advice on how to make it through: Tips for Flying Overseas Shopping “Italian Style” ; Traveling in a Non-English-Speaking Country: Hints for Success


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Learn These 27 Basic Italian Travel Phrases for Tourists Before Visiting Italy!

Contrary to popular belief, the best way to learn Italian for travel isn’t to memorise an entire travel phrase book from start to finish, but rather, to pick out a few key phrases that will come in handy over the course of your stay in Italy … and that you will actually remember!

After all, there’s no point in learning complex sentences like “ Il terminal A è per i voli internazionali ” ( Terminal A is for international flights ) or very specific terms like “ il doganiere ” ( customs officer ) if you only ever use them once!

In this article, we’ve selected what we think are the twenty seven key Italian phrases tourists should learn before visiting Italy, simply because they are guaranteed to crop up over and over again. If you make the effort to memorise these common phrases, not only will you be able to communicate more effectively with Italians about your basic needs, but you will also show respect for the culture and language of Italy.

basic italian phrases for travel

Buongiorno. Buonasera. Ciao. Arrivederci.

If you’re going to start anywhere, let it be with the most basic Italian greetings. Even if you forget everything else in this article, you can be sure that a friendly “Hello!” will go a long way towards making the Italians around you feel more comfortable and appreciated.

The most polite greetings you can use are:


Good morning . / Good day. / Hello (formal).

Good evening. / Hello. (formal)

These greetings should be used with people you don’t know, such as shopkeepers, waiters, or anyone else who provides you with a service. Although they translate as “ Good morning ” and “ Good evening ” respectively, they are often used in situations in which we would naturally say “ Hello ” in English.

When saying goodbye, the safest option is the expression arrivederci , especially in formal settings.


If you do know someone well, you can switch over to everyone’s favourite informal greeting ciao . What’s interesting about this word is that it is used, not only as a way of saying hello, but also to say goodbye.

Hi! / Hello! / Bye!

Happy man driving a car and waving through the opened window, saying hello. City positive people

Parla inglese? Mi scusi, non parlo italiano (molto bene). Non capisco. Come si dice ___ in italiano?

Let’s face it: if you are a complete beginner, you are eventually going to want to communicate with someone in English, especially if your needs are more complicated than a simple trip to the bagno ( bathroom ). The best way to politely ask if someone speaks English in Italian is:

Parla inglese?

Do you speak English?

Of course, you may not be the one to initiate the conversation, in which case you can respond to the person by saying:

Mi scusi, non parlo italiano (molto bene).

I’m sorry, I don’t speak Italian (very well).

Or you can simply tell the other person that you don’t understand.

Non capisco.

I don’t understand.

If you’re keen on increasing your Italian vocabulary as you travel and interact with the locals, one phrase you simply cannot do without is:

Come si dice [station] in italiano?

How do you say [station] in Italian?

Your new Italian friend will (hopefully) respond in the following manner:

Si dice [stazione].

We say [stazione].

Portrait of young tourist man and young Asian tourist woman together outside shopping mall in the city

Può scriverlo per favore?

Sometimes verbal communication has its limits. This is why it is so important to be able to ask someone to write things down, especially if it’s important information such as an address or a telephone number .

The best way to ask this question in Italian is:

Can you write it down please?

Another version you’ll often hear starts with Me lo , where me is a first-person pronoun ( me in English). In this case, lo is no longer found at the end of the verb.

Me lo può scrivere per favore?

Of course, you can always replace “ lo ” ( it ) with the specific thing you’d like written down. For example:

Può scrivere l’indirizzo per favore?

Can you write down the address please?

Può scrivere il numero di telefono per favore?

Can you write down the telephone number please?

Close up of woman writing phone number on a napkin in bar

Dov’è ___? Dove sono ___? Come posso arrivare a/in ___? Sto cercando ___.

One of the most essential Italian phrases every tourist needs to know is “ Where is / are…? ” After all, what could be more important than getting your bearings in a city that’s completely unfamiliar to you?

The singular version of this question is as follows:

Dov’è [la stazione]?

Where is (the station)?

And the plural equivalent is:

Dove sono [i negozi]?

Where are [the shops]?

Once you’ve memorised this question, it is simply a matter of filling in the blank with the right noun. Here are a few common places people look for while travelling:

  • i servizi (igienici) = the washroom (polite)
  • il bagno = the washroom (less polite)
  • la stazione = the station
  • il museo = the museum
  • la fermata dell’autobus = the bus stop

If you’re feeling brave, you could also inquire how to reach a certain place using the following phrase:

Come posso arrivare [alla stazione]?

How can I get to [the station]?

Admittedly, this phrase requires a little more knowledge of Italian grammar, as it contains two possible prepositions ( a and in ) and the preposition a ( to ) changes form depending on the gender or plurality of the noun that follows. For example:

  • Come posso arrivare alla stazione? = How can I get to the station?
  • Come posso arrivare al museo? = How can I get to the museum?
  • Come posso arrivare in centro? = How can I get to the city centre?

That being said, you will be understood even if you mix up a and in , or if you use a on its own.

One final way of discovering the location of a place is by using the relatively simple expression:

Sto cercando [la stazione].

I’m looking for [the station].

If you want to go a step further, you can use the construction with the verb potere ( can ) and trovare ( to find ).

Mi scusi, dove posso trovare [la stazione]?

Excuse me, where I can find [the station]?

Man showing the right direction to female tourists in front of skyscrapers

Per favore. Grazie (mille). Prego.

Another way to endear yourself to the Italians you meet on your journey is to learn your “pleases” and “thank yous”.

We already encountered the expression per favore ( please ) in the phrase può scriverlo per favore , but here it is again on its own.

Per favore.

Thank you , on the other hand, is grazie – or grazie mille ( thank you very much ) if you wish to be more emphatic.

Grazie mille.

Thank you very much.

And if someone thanks you for something, the most straightforward way to respond is with the word Prego which means You’re welcome .

You’re welcome.

Man thanking waitress for the coffee

Quanto costa?

Whether you are buying a train ticket or picking out a souvenir for your best friend back home, it’s important to know how much you will end up spending. The easiest way to inquire about the price of something is:

How much does it cost?

If you are referring to more than one thing however, such as multiple souvenirs, you will need to put the sentence into the plural. Don’t worry if you accidentally use the singular form – Italians will understand you perfectly either way!

Quanto costano?

How much do they cost?

If you need or want to add the object of your purchase to the phrase, you can use a noun accompanied by its definite article ( il, lo, la etc.) or the demonstrative adjective questo/a ( this ).

Quanto costa [la sciarpa rossa]? Quanto costa [questa sciarpa]?

How much does [the red scarf] cost? How much does [this scarf] cost?

Young woman helping to choose clothes to her customer while working in the fashion boutique

A che ora arriva / parte …? Quanto tempo ci vuole per arrivare a …?

If you are planning to make your way around the country using public transport, a very useful question that is worth memorising is:

A che ora arriva/parte [il treno]?

What time does [the train] arrive/leave?

Some common types of public transport include:

  • l’autobus = the bus
  • il treno = the train
  • il tram = the tram
  • il traghetto = the ferry

And once you’re on your way, you may wish to ask how much time it will take to get to your destination. Once again, the preposition a ( to ) may change form depending on the noun that follows.

Quanto tempo ci vuole per arrivare a [Torino]?

How much time does it take to get to [Turin]?

  • a Roma = to Rome
  • alla stazione = to the station
  • al museo = to the museum
  • all’aeroporto = to the airport

Man standing on a train platform and waiting a train in a train station at Europe.

C’è? Ci sono? C’è un/una/un’ ____ qui vicino?

Whenever I start to dabble in a new language, one of the first things I try to master are the constructions “ there is ” and “ there are “. Why? Because they are amongst the most frequently used phrases in any language. The equivalent of “ there is ” in Italian is c’è whereas “ there are ” translates as ci sono .

C’è [un bar]. / Ci sono [dei negozi].

There is [a café]. / There are [some shops].

C’è and ci sono can be used to form, not only a statement, but also a question in Italian.

C’è [un bar]? / Ci sono [dei negozi]?

Is there [a café]? / Are there [some shops]?

An extremely common question you will hear is C’è un ___ qui vicino? which means “ Is there a ___ nearby? “

C’è un [museo] qui vicino?

Is there a [museum] nearby?

Keep in mind, however, that un (which is the masculine indefinite article) may change to una if the object is feminine, un’ if the object is feminine and starts with a vowel, or uno if the object is a masculine noun and starts with s + consonant or z . For example:

  • C’è un museo qui vicino? = Is there a museum nearby?
  • C’è una stazione qui vicino? = Is there a station nearby?
  • C’è un’automobile qui vicino? = Is there a car nearby?
  • C’è uno zoo qui vicino? = Is there a zoo nearby?

That said, don’t get too hung up on the various forms of the indefinite article. You will be understood even if you make a mistake!

Local male citizen showing direction to female tourist

Posso … Può … Vorrei …

Three additional terms I consider absolutely essential for travel around Italy are posso , può and vorrei . Let’s take a look at them one at a time.

Posso translates as either “ I can… ” as a statement or “ Can/May I…? ” as a question. It is very easy to use as it is always followed by the infinitive form of the verb (or in other words, the form found in the dictionary).

Posso venire. / Posso venire?

I can come. / Can I come?

Può means “ he/she/it can ” but in a formal context, it also translates as “ You can… ” or “ Can you…? “. We’d recommend using this form whenever you address someone you don’t know, such as a person on the street, a waiter or a shopkeeper.

Può scattarci una foto?

Can you take a photo of us?

Può aiutarmi?

Can you help me?

Finally, we have the extremely useful word vorrei which means “ I would like… / I’d like… “. It can be followed by infinitive verbs or nouns.

Vorrei un caffè.

I would like a coffee.

Vorrei comprare due biglietti.

I’d like to buy two tickets.

woman buys a subway ticket at the ticket office at the station

Mi sono perso / persa. Ho perso ___. Aiuto!

Getting lost is never part of a traveller’s plan, but it happens, and it is important to be able to be able to seek help. The best way to do this is, first and foremost, to state that you are lost.

Mi sono perso / persa.

Adjectives in Italian have masculine, feminine and plural forms. In this case, perso is the masculine singular form of “ lost ” and persa is the feminine singular form.

The plural equivalent of this phrase would be:

Ci siamo persi / perse.

We are lost.

Persi is the masculine plural form and perse is the feminine plural form.

If you lose one of your precious belongings, on the other hand, you can say:

Ho perso [il portafoglio].

I have lost [my wallet].

Here are a few other things an unlucky traveller might end up losing:

  • il bagaglio = luggage / suitcase
  • la carta di credito = credit card
  • gli occhiali = glasses
  • il passaporto = passport
  • il biglietto = ticket

Tourist couple lost, looking for directions with a map

Of course, if you’re in real trouble, you can always call out for help in the following way:

Travelling around a foreign country like Italy is never easy when you don’t speak the lingo, but if you take a moment to memorise a few key travel phrases, we can guarantee that your trip will be far more relaxing and enjoyable than if you made no effort at all.

Are you about to take a trip to Italy? Which of these phrases have you managed to memorise so far? Let us know in the comments below!

27 basic italian phrases for travel

Heather Broster is a graduate with honours in linguistics from the University of Western Ontario. She is an aspiring polyglot, proficient in English and Italian, as well as Japanese, Welsh, and French to varying degrees of fluency. Originally from Toronto, Heather has resided in various countries, notably Italy for a period of six years. Her primary focus lies in the fields of language acquisition, education, and bilingual instruction.

Ethics statement: Below you will find affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Thank you!

italian travel vocab

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italian travel vocab

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Master Your Italian Travel Essentials with Basic Vocabulary for Tourists

Travel Essentials Basic Italian Vocabulary for Tourists

When traveling to a foreign country, having a basic understanding of the local language can greatly enhance your overall experience. This is especially true for Italy , a popular tourist destination known for its rich history, culture, and picturesque landscapes. Learning basic Italian vocabulary can make a significant difference in communicating with locals, navigating the cities, and immersing yourself in the local culture.

Understanding the importance of learning basic Italian vocabulary for travelers can help you feel more confident and independent during your trip. It allows you to greet locals, ask for directions, order food and drinks, shop for souvenirs, and handle emergency situations effectively.

By familiarizing yourself with essential Italian words and phrases for tourists, you can create meaningful connections, show respect for the local culture, and make the most of your travel experience. From basic greetings to transportation phrases, food ordering, shopping, and emergency situations, having a grasp of these key expressions can significantly enhance your interactions and make your trip more enjoyable.

To effectively learn and practice Italian vocabulary, various strategies can be employed, such as utilizing language learning apps and websites, engaging in language exchange programs, and immersing yourself in the Italian culture through books, movies, and music. Incorporating these methods into your language learning journey can accelerate your progress and make the learning experience more enjoyable. So, whether you’re planning a short trip or a longer stay in Italy, investing time in learning basic Italian vocabulary is sure to enrich your travel experience.

Why Learn Basic Italian Vocabulary for Traveling?

Are you wondering why it is important to learn basic Italian vocabulary before traveling? Well, incorporating some basic Italian words and phrases into your linguistic arsenal can greatly enhance your travel experience. It will not only make your trip more enjoyable and memorable but also provide you with numerous benefits. Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider learning basic Italian vocabulary :

  • Effective Communication: Developing a basic understanding of Italian words and expressions will enable you to effortlessly communicate with locals . You can confidently ask for directions , order food , and engage in conversations with ease.
  • Cultural Appreciation: By speaking even a few words in Italian, you demonstrate respect for the local culture . This can help you establish deeper connections and foster a greater appreciation for the Italian way of life .
  • Smooth Navigation: Imagine effortlessly navigating your way through Italy’s enchanting streets, restaurants, hotels, and transportation systems. Learning common Italian words associated with these places can greatly facilitate your wanderings in a foreign land.
  • Personal Safety: Enhancing your Italian vocabulary can also prioritize your safety . Understanding essential signs and warnings will enable you to navigate potentially hazardous situations with caution and awareness.

Therefore, before embarking on your next Italian adventure , take the time to familiarize yourself with basic Italian vocabulary. This investment will undoubtedly enrich your travel experience and open doors to new opportunities and connections.

How can learning Italian vocabulary enhance your travel experience?

Learning Italian vocabulary can greatly enhance your travel experience in Italy. It allows you to communicate with locals, understand directions, order food and drinks, and navigate emergency situations more effectively. By knowing basic Italian phrases for greetings and basic expressions, you can build connections with locals and show respect for their culture, thus enhancing your travel experience. In addition, having knowledge of transportation-related words and phrases helps you navigate the city and plan your routes easily. Ordering food and drinks becomes easier when you can communicate your preferences and allergies in Italian. By immersing yourself in the local culture through learning Italian vocabulary, you can make the most out of your travel experience in Italy.

Essential Italian Words and Phrases for Tourists

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, mastering some essential Italian words and phrases can significantly enhance your experience. In this section, we’ll dive into the practical side of language learning and explore different categories of essential Italian vocabulary for tourists. From greetings and basic expressions to directions, transportation, ordering food and drinks, shopping, and even handling emergency situations, we’ve got you covered. So get ready to immerse yourself in the delightful world of Italian linguistics!

Greetings and Basic Expressions

When traveling to Italy, learning basic Italian greetings and expressions is essential for a smooth and enjoyable trip. Greetings and basic expressions are key to engaging with locals and enhancing your travel experience significantly. Here are some common greetings and basic expressions that you should learn:

– Buongiorno (Good morning)

– Ciao (Hello/Goodbye)

– Grazie (Thank you)

– Mi scusi (Excuse me)

– Per favore (Please)

– Come sta ? (How are you?)

– Mi chiamo … (My name is…)

– Non capisco (I don’t understand)

By incorporating these Greetings and Basic Expressions into your vocabulary, you can easily navigate through social interactions and create a positive impression among locals.

Directions and Transportation

To navigate through Italy, understanding basic Italian vocabulary for directions and transportation is essential. Here are some useful words and phrases to know:

When you want to ask for directions, you can use phrases like “Dove si trova…” (Where is…) and “A destra” (To the right) or “A sinistra” (To the left).

For transportation, you’ll often come across the terms “Stazione” (Station), “Autobus” (Bus), and “Taxi” (Taxi).

When buying tickets, it is helpful to know the word “Biglietto” (Ticket) and asking “Quanto costa?” (How much does it cost?).

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Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.

By familiarizing yourself with these phrases, you will be able to easily navigate Italian cities and fully enjoy your travel experience.

Ordering Food and Drinks

Ordering food and drinks in a foreign country can be an exciting experience. Here are some steps to follow when ordering in Italian:

  • Review the menu: Take time to understand the dishes and ingredients.
  • Greet the waiter: Start with a polite greeting, like “ Buongiorno “.
  • Ask for recommendations: If you’re unsure what to order, ask for suggestions.
  • Place your order: Clearly state what you would like to eat and drink.
  • Ask for modifications: Feel free to request any changes or substitutions.
  • Confirm the order: Make sure the waiter accurately understands your order.
  • Order drinks: Specify your choice of beverages.
  • Request the bill: When you’re finished, ask for the check.
  • Express gratitude: Thank the waiter and say “ Grazie ” as you leave.

Shopping and Money

  • When traveling to Italy , it is essential to know some Italian words related to shopping and money to greatly enhance your experience.
  • Firstly, if you want to shop with confidence, learn basic phrases to ask for prices, sizes, and colors. You can say “ Quanto costa? ” (How much does it cost?) or “ Lo ha in un’altra taglia? ” (Do you have it in another size?).
  • To negotiate like a pro, familiarize yourself with bargaining expressions such as “ Posso avere uno sconto? ” (Can I have a discount?). This will come in handy when you visit local markets.
  • Money matters are important too. Make sure you understand the currency and denominations. Additionally, know how to ask for the bill by saying “ Il conto, per favore ” or how to exchange money with “ Dove posso cambiare i soldi? “.
  • While enjoying your trip, keep your belongings safe. Be cautious with your wallet and valuables, especially in crowded areas where pickpocketing may occur.

Pro-tip: To be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances, carry small denominations of cash and have a backup plan, such as a travel card.

Emergency Situations

In emergency situations while traveling in Italy, it’s crucial to be well-prepared and knowledgeable about how to handle various scenarios. Here are the essential steps to follow:

1. Stay calm and carefully evaluate the situation.

2. Seek immediate assistance from local authorities or emergency services.

3. If required, effectively communicate using basic Italian phrases or utilize a translation app to describe the emergency.

4. Adhere to and carry out the instructions provided by emergency responders.

5. Keep your important documents and contact information stored securely.

6. Notify your embassy or consulate promptly if the situation necessitates their involvement.

Let me share one true incident of a traveler’s emergency situation in Italy, which involved the misplacement of a passport. The traveler calmly followed the aforementioned steps and swiftly reported the incident to the local police. The authorities provided valuable help in locating the passport and ensuring the safety of the traveler. Being well-prepared and knowledgeable about handling emergencies can truly make a significant difference in your overall travel experience.

Tips for Learning and Practicing Italian Vocabulary

Looking to expand your Italian vocabulary for your upcoming trip? In this section, we’ll dive into some practical tips that will help you learn and practice Italian vocabulary effectively. Discover the power of language learning apps and websites, explore the benefits of engaging in language exchange programs, and immerse yourself in the rich Italian culture. Get ready to enhance your language skills and make the most out of your adventures in Italy!

Utilizing Language Learning Apps and Websites

Utilizing language learning apps and websites is an effective way to enhance your Italian vocabulary before traveling.

  • By using language learning apps like Duolingo , Babbel , and Rosetta Stone , you can benefit from interactive lessons and exercises that help you learn and practice Italian vocabulary.
  • Similarly, language learning websites such as Memrise and FluentU provide a wide range of resources, including vocabulary lists, videos, and audio recordings, to support the improvement of your Italian language skills.
  • Furthermore, flashcard apps like Anki and Quizlet enable you to create your own flashcards containing Italian words and phrases. This feature makes it convenient to review and memorize vocabulary while on the go.
  • If you prefer a more structured learning experience, online language courses offered by platforms like Coursera and Udemy are specifically designed to teach Italian vocabulary and grammar. These courses provide a comprehensive approach to learning.

Engaging in Language Exchange Programs

Enclosing key answers and important phrases in HTML or em tags can greatly enhance your understanding and fluency in Italian. These programs provide you with the opportunity to practice speaking with native speakers and immerse yourself in the language and culture . Here are some benefits of participating in language exchange programs:

  • Improved conversation skills : By engaging in language exchange programs, you actively work on refining your speaking skills and gaining confidence in using the Italian language .
  • Cultural exchange : Language exchange programs offer the unique chance to directly learn more about Italian culture , traditions, and customs from native speakers .
  • Building friendships : By participating in language exchange programs, you create meaningful connections and friendships with Italian speakers , which creates a supportive and motivating environment for learning the language.
  • Real-life context : Language exchange programs provide you with authentic and practical language practice, allowing you to use Italian in everyday situations.
  • Personalized learning : Engaging in language exchange programs allows you to customize your learning experience to focus on specific aspects of Italian that you want to improve, such as vocabulary , grammar , or pronunciation .

Engaging in language exchange programs not only helps you develop your Italian language skills but also enables you to gain a deeper understanding of Italian culture and connect with people on a more personal level.

Immersing Yourself in the Italian Culture

When traveling to Italy, immersing yourself in the Italian culture can greatly enrich your experience. By acquainting yourself with the local customs, traditions, and way of life, you can deepen your understanding and appreciation of the country. Try to actively engage in cultural activities such as attending festivals, art exhibitions, or participating in cooking classes. Connect with locals by practicing your Italian language skills and learning about their daily routines. Exploring historical sites, museums, and landmarks will also offer valuable insights into the rich history and heritage of Italy. Immerse yourself in the Italian culture to create lasting memories and a more authentic travel experience.

Pro-tip: To fully immerse yourself in the Italian culture, consider opting for a local host through home-sharing platforms or booking accommodations in traditional neighborhoods instead of touristy areas.

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Basic Italian Words and Phrases for Your Trip to Italy

Andiamo! Learn Italian while dreaming about your next trip to Italy.

Nina Ruggiero is Travel + Leisure's senior editorial director and the co-founder of Be A Travel Writer , an online course for the next generation of travel journalists. A New Yorker based in Los Angeles, she has a special interest in beach destinations, outdoor adventures, unique hotels, pet-friendly travel with her golden retriever, @travelswithcali, and all things Italy.

italian travel vocab

As a traveler with Italian roots, I'm admittedly a little biased — but there is something special about the Italian language. Whether it's a casual conversation, a heated argument, or an artfully composed aria, everything just sounds better in Italian.

That being said, it can be daunting to blurt out a butchered Italian phrase when the locals around you are stringing gorgeous words together as effortlessly as a pastaio folds up perfect tortellini or a gondoliere glides through a Venice canal.

But if you're traveling to Italy , you really should try to learn a few common Italian phrases and words before you go. While you'll find plenty of English speakers in any of Italy's major cities, most Italians will appreciate you trying their language; you may even be surprised how many new friends it makes you as you mingle at aperitivo or linger in a bustling piazza .

OK, pronto ? Ready? Here are a few basic Italian words and phrases to get you started. (All phrases are formal unless noted.)

Basic Italian Words

Hello: Ciao (informal); Salve (formal)

Goodbye: Ciao (informal); Arrivederci (formal)

Good morning: Buongiorno

Good evening: Buonasera

Goodnight: Buonanotte (use this when you're going to bed)

Please: Per favore; per piacere

Thank you: Grazie

Thanks so much: Grazie mille

You're welcome: Prego; Di niente

Beautiful: Bello (masculine); Bella (feminine)

Good: Buono (masculine); Buona (feminine)

Friend: Amico (masculine); Amica (feminine)

Family: Famiglia

What?: Che?; Cosa?

Where?: Dove?

When?: Quando?

Why?: Perché?

How much?: Quanto?

Related : The Best Language Learning Apps to Download Before Your Next Trip

Common Italian Phrases

I love you: Ti amo (romantic); Ti voglio bene (family, friends)

How are you?: Come sta?

How's it going?: Come va?

I miss you: Mi manchi

I don't know: Non lo so

All's well: Tutto bene

I'm sorry: Mi dispiace

What is your name?: Come si chiama?

My name is…: Mi chiamo...

OK: Va bene

Excuse me: Mi scusi

Excuse me (passing through a crowd): Permesso

Basic Italian Travel Words and Phrases

I would like... (ordering food or buying a ticket): Vorrei...

Check, please: Il conto, per favore

Where is...?: Dov'è...?

Tourist: Turista

Airport: Aeroporto

Airplane: Aereo

Luggage: Bagagli

Suitcase: Valigia

Train: Treno

Ticket: Bigletto

Rental car: Auto a noleggio

Bathroom: Bagno

Restaurant: Ristorante

Museum: Museo

Church/Cathedral: Chiesa/Duomo

Beach: Spiaggia

Store: Negozio

Italian Slang Words

Dope!: Che figata!

Of course!: Avoglia!

A lot: Un botto

See you later: Ci becchiamo dopo

What the heck: Che cavolo

Chill!: Scialla!

The blog for language lovers | Lingopie.com

Common Italian Travel Phrases You Need to Learn [Language Tips]

Lorena Macedo

Buon giorno amici! Or is it buona notte for you ?

Either way, this article was designed to be your best friend (or language travel guide) if you happen to be planning your next trip to Italy soon. We certainly hope that's the case.

Regardless of whether or not it's your first time in the land of pizza , pasta, and gelato , we want to make sure you have all the Italian vocabulary you need to enjoy the best that Italy has to offer.

Don't worry though, if you're learning Italian but not leaving the country just yet, this post will be incredibly useful for you too.

And if you are just starting on your Italian learning journey, check out our Best Way to Learn Italian On Your Own guide. There you will find all the best tips to get you on the right track.

Indeed, all Italian language learners will benefit from this guide, and these basic Italian phrases will prove useful in a myriad of situations.

Va bene ... Let's jump in.

italian travel vocab

100 Italian Phrases for Travel

These Italian travel phrases will help you to get started on your trip.

Basic Italian phrases

To begin with, let's learn the most basic Italian words.

You'll find the word or phrase in Italian, followed by its English translation.

  • Per favore – Please
  • Grazie – Thank you
  • Grazie mille – Thank you very much
  • Prego – You’re welcome
  • Salute! – Cheers!
  • Mi scusi – Excuse me (for attention) or I'm sorry
  • Permesso – Excuse me (to pass by)
  • Parli inglese? – Do you speak English?
  • Non capisco – I don’t understand
  • Mi dispiace – I’m sorry
  • Non parlo Italiano – I don't speak Italian
  • Non lo sò – I don't know

italian travel vocab

Italian greetings

  • Ciao – Hello/goodbye (informal)
  • Salve – Hello (formal, can be used at any time of day)
  • Arrivederci – Good night (formal)
  • Buon giorno – Good morning
  • Buon pomeriggio – Good afternoon
  • Buona sera – Good evening
  • Buona notte – Good night

Italian phrases to ask for help

  • Aiuto! – Help
  • Sono stato assalito – I've been robbed
  • Ho perso... (e.g. il mio passaporto) – I've lost... (e.g. my passport)
  • Ho bisogno di un dottore – I need a doctor

Essential Italian phrases for shopping

These Italian phrases for travel will be necessary in case you need to head to the supermarket or decide to go on a clothes shopping spree in the Italian capital of fashion, Milano .

Or, perhaps you just want to get your family some souvenirs. Now you'll be ready!

  • I negozi – Shops
  • Quanto costa? – How much is it?
  • Quanto costa questo? – How much is this?
  • Lo compro / lo prendo – I'll take it!
  • È troppo caro – It's too expensive
  • Non lo voglio, grazie – I don't want it, thank you
  • Dove sono i camerini? – Where are the fitting rooms?
  • Posso pagare con carta di credito? – May I pay with a credit card?

Sample Italian dialogue:

Seller: Buon giorno, cosa sta cercando? Good morning, what are you looking for?

Customer: Posso guardare? May I just look?

Seller: Sì, certo. Mi faccia sapere se ha bisogno di qualcosa . Yes, of course. Let me know if you need anything.

Customer: Certo, grazie. Sure, thank you.

Useful Italian words and phrases at restaurants

Let's face it, dining out in Italy is an inevitability if you go. So, you'll need to know these Italian words and phrases if you're ordering food at a restaurant.

Start to memorize this vocabulary as soon as you can!

  • A glass / bottle – un bicchiere / una bottiglia
  • Vino della casa – house wine
  • Il menu, per favore – Can I see the menu, please?
  • Il conto, per favore – Can I get the check, please?
  • Vino rosso / vino bianco – red wine / white wine
  • Dov'è il bagno? – Where is the restroom?
  • Che cosa ci consiglia? – What do you recommend?
  • Vorrei... – I would like...
  • Sono allergico/a a... – I'm allergic to...
  • La salsa è piccante? – Is the sauce spicy?
  • Posso pagare con la carta? – May I pay by card?

italian travel vocab

Asking for directions in Italian

Some more Italian phrases for travel.

  • Dov’è...? (e.g. la stazione) – Where is...? (e.g. the train station)
  • Entrata – Entrance
  • Uscita – Exit
  • Sinistra – Left
  • Destra – Right
  • Dritto – Straight ahead
  • Avanti – Forward
  • Dietro – Back

Basic phrases for transport & tickets

If you're looking to move from place to place, you'll need these Italian travel phrases to get by.

Particularly if you choose to get away from big cities and decide to go to the countryside where many Italians do not speak English.

  • Biglietto – ticket
  • Andata – one way
  • Ritorno – return
  • Il treno – the train
  • Binario – platform
  • Un taxi – taxi
  • Autobus – bus
  • Macchina – car
  • Parcheggio – parking
  • L'aeroporto – the airport
  • Arrivo – arrival
  • Partenza – departure
  • La fermata dell'autobus – bus stop
  • La stazione ferroviaria – the train station

italian travel vocab

More Basic Italian phrases for getting around

  • Dov'è la stazione? – Where is the train station?
  • Dov'è la società di noleggio auto? – Where is the car rental company?
  • Un biglietto del treno, per favore! – A train ticket, please!
  • Da quale binario per Milano? – What platform for Milan?

Making new Italian friends

We encourage you to venture out of your comfort zone to make some new friends while you're visiting Italy. These key phrases may come in handy.

  • Mi chiamo... – My name is...
  • Come ti chiami? – What's your name?
  • Come si chiama lui/lei? – What's his/her name?

A: Ciao, come stai? – How are you?

B: Molto bene, grazie e tu? – Very well, thank you, and you?

A: Bene. Ti sta piacendo il tuo viaggio in Italia? – Good. Are you enjoying your trip to Italy?

B: Sì, mi piace molto. – Yes, I'm enjoying it very much.

Start to speak Italian with some key Italian phrases

Italian pronunciation is very straightforward, which will make your task of learning these key Italian phrases much easier.

Unlike French, but much like Spanish, the Italian language is highly phonetic. This means that sounds are pronounced exactly as they're written, with only a few exceptions.

For language learners, this is great news and makes learning Italian much easier.

italian travel vocab

Summing Up: Common Italian Phrases for Travel

Now you're all set for your next trip to Italy.

Whether you're visiting Italian friends or simply interested in Italian culture, it's useful to know some Italian travel phrases before you hop on that airplane.

Italy has so much to offer that these newfound language skills might even help you to get some useful travel tips in the local language. How impressive would that be?

From being able to ask if someone speaks English ( Parla Inglese? ) and ordering food at a restaurant to getting a taxi or asking for directions, this Italian travel guide will help make your trip to Italy more enjoyable.

If you're serious about developing your skills, why not learn Italian with Lingopie ? This streaming platform enables you to learn the Italian language through movies and TV shows . You can also practice with exercises and features, including dual subtitles and flashcards.

Related: The 10 Best Italian Shows and Movies on Netflix to Learn Italian

Sign up for a free trial today and get started on your journey to Italian fluency!

Lorena Macedo

Lorena Macedo

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Best Italian Phrases for Travel (With FREE Printable)

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Looking for the best Italian phrases for travel? Well, you have come to the right place!

It’s always good to learn some important phrases when travelling to a new country. It not only shows respect, but trust me when I say, locals will treat you better if you are at least attempting to speak their language!

Learning the basics will let you exchange pleasantries with people you meet, help you navigate around the city, allow you to ask for help, order your meals, and so much more.

Both John and I were raised in Italian-speaking families and have been to Italy several times. So we absolutely know what we are talking about.

Hubby is completely fluent. However, I could definitely use some brushing up. So, I can speak from experience when I say that it is important to learn at least the basics.

So we have put together a list of the most important, and most used phrases that you will need to know before travelling to Italy.

Essential Italian Phrases

Unlike a lot of places our family has travelled to, there aren’t too many people who speak English in many parts of Italy. As such, I would have struggled to communicate, if not for learning at least a few basic phrases.

Italian Gelato - Mr. Bump and his Vernaci friend sharing a laugh before Gelato

These phrases should give you a great starting point for communicating in Italian. They cover basic greetings, essential questions, and polite expressions that are useful in everyday interactions.

Good morning Buongiorno (bwon-jor-no)

Good evening Buonasera (bwon-ah-seh-rah)

Please Per favore (pehr fah-voh-reh)

Thank you Grazie (grah-tsee-eh)

Excuse me (to get someone’s attention) Mi scusi (mee skoo-zee)

Excuse me (to navigate through) Permesso (per-mess-so)

Where is the bathroom? Dove il bagno? (doh-veh eel bahn-yo)

How much does it cost? Quanto costa? (kwahn-toh koh-stah)

Do you speak English? Parla inglese? (par-lah een-gleh-zeh)

Can I have the menu? Posso avere il menu? (pohs-soh ah-veh-reh eel meh-noo)

A ticket to [destination], please Un biglietto per [destination], per favore (oon beel-yet-toh pehr [destination], pehr fah-voh-reh)

I don’t understand Non capisco (nohn kah-pees-koh)

Can you help me? Può aiutarmi? (pwaw ah-yoo-tar-mee)

Common Greetings in Italian

This list covers a range of common Italian greetings that you can use in various social contexts, from casual to formal.


From meeting new friends to addressing a tour guide, or meeting up with family, the following greetings are perfect for getting started with basic Italian communication.

Hello / Hi Ciao (chow)

Good afternoon Buon pomeriggio (bwon po-meh-ree-joh)

Good night Buonanotte (bwon-ah-not-teh)

See you later A dopo (ah doh-poh)

See you soon A presto (ah preh-stoh)

Goodbye (formal) Arrivederci (ah-ree-veh-der-chee)

Goodbye (informal) Ciao (chow)

Nice to meet you Piacere (pyah-cheh-reh)

How are you? (formal) Come sta? (coh-meh stah)

How are you? (informal) Come stai? (coh-meh sty)

I’m fine, thanks. And you? Sto bene, grazie. E tu? (stoh beh-neh, grah-tsee-eh. eh too?)

Making Small Talk in Italian

Making small talk is a great way for you to immerse yourself in the local culture.


From talking to a store clerk to exchanging pleasantries with someone I met while eating gelato in the local park, being friendly was a great way to practice my language skills while on vacation.

My name is [your name]. And you? Mi chiamo [your name]. E tu? (mee kyah-moh [your name]. eh too?)

Where are you from? Di dove sei? (dee doh-veh seh-ee)

The weather is nice today. Il tempo è bello oggi. (eel tem-poh eh bel-loh oh-jee)

I like Italy. Mi piace l’Italia. (mee pee-ah-cheh l’ee-tal-ya)

What is your favorite Italian food? Quale è il tuo cibo italiano preferito? (kwah-leh eh eel too-oh chee-boh ee-tal-ee-ah-no preh-feh-ree-toh)

Do you have any recommendations on places to visit? Hai qualche consiglio su posti da visitare? (eye kwal-keh kohn-seel-yoh soo poh-stee dah vee-see-tah-reh)

I visited [place] and I liked it a lot. Ho visitato [place] e mi è piaciuto molto. (oh vee-zee-tah-toh [place] eh mee eh pee-ah-choo-toh mohl-toh)

Hope to see you again soon! Spero di rivederti presto! (speh-roh dee ree-veh-dehr-tee preh-stoh)

Asking for Directions in Italian

Some Italian cities and small towns are like a maze! And with a poor signal on your phone, you may need to ask for directions.


I can’t even tell you how many times we got turned around when walking the small alleyways in Venice!

Anyway, these phrases will assist you in finding your way around Italy.

Where is [place]? Dove si trova [place]? (doh-veh see troh-vah [place])

Can you tell me how to get to [place]? Mi può dire come arrivare a [place]? (mee pwoh dee-reh koh-meh ah-ree-vah-reh ah [place])

Is it far from here? È lontano da qui? (eh lon-tah-no dah kwee)

Can I walk there? Posso andare a piedi? (pohs-soh an-dah-reh ah pee-eh-dee)

Which bus should I take for [place]? Quale autobus devo prendere per [place]? (kwah-leh ow-toh-boos deh-voh pren-deh-reh pehr [place])

Where is the train station? Dove si trova la stazione ferroviaria? (doh-veh see troh-vah lah stah-tsee-oh-neh fehr-roh-vyah-ree-ah)

Where can I find a taxi? Dove posso trovare un taxi? (doh-veh pohs-soh troh-vah-reh oon tahk-see)

Does this road go to [place]? Questa strada va a [place]? (kweh-stah strah-dah vah ah [place])

What time does the bus come? A che ora passa l’autobus? (ah keh oh-rah pahs-sah low-toh-boos)

How do I get back to [your hotel/street]? Come faccio a tornare a [your hotel/street]? (koh-meh fah-cho ah tor-nah-reh ah [your hotel/street])

Is this the right way to [place]? È questa la direzione giusta per [place]? (eh kweh-stah lah dee-rek-tsee-oh-neh joo-stah pehr [place])

Excuse me, I’m lost. Can you help me? Scusi, sono perso/a. Mi può aiutare? (skoo-zee, soh-noh pehr-soh/ah. mee pwoh ah-yoo-tah-reh)

Italian Question Words

I was always taught that asking questions is the best way to learn. This also applies when you are trying to navigate around a new place.

These question words form the basis of many essential inquiries and will be incredibly useful as you travel around Italian-speaking regions.


With these words, you can ask about places, times, people, and reasons, making your travel experience a little less stressful.

Who? Chi? (kee)

What? Che cosa? / Cosa? (keh koh-sah / koh-sah)

Where? Dove? (doh-veh)

When? Quando? (kwahn-doh)

Why? Perché? (pehr-keh)

How? Come? (koh-meh)

Which? / Which ones? Quale? / Quali? (kwah-leh / kwah-lee)

How much? / How many? (masculine) Quanto? (kwahn-toh)

How much? / How many? (feminine) Quanta? (kwahn-tah)

How many? (masculine plural) Quanti? (kwahn-tee)

How many? (feminine plural) Quante? (kwahn-teh)

Useful Phrases at Restaurants

Good food is definitely synonymous with Italy. And trust me when I say, we didn’t hesitate to dive right in!

From seafood to pasta, gelato to cannoli, we tried it all. However, since both John and I suffer from food allergies (he has a bad shellfish allergy), it was really important that we were able to confirm the ingredients in many of the new dishes we tried.


So, these phrases will really come in handy when you’re dining out in Italy. It’ll help you order food, ask about dishes, and express your dietary preferences or restrictions. Buon appetito!

A table for [number of people], please. Un tavolo per [number of people], per favore. (oon tah-voh-loh pehr [number], pehr fah-voh-reh)

The menu, please. Il menu, per favore. (eel meh-noo, pehr fah-voh-reh)

What do you recommend? Cosa consiglia? (koh-sah kohn-see-lyah)

I am allergic to [allergen]. Sono allergico/a a [allergen]. (soh-noh al-ler-jee-koh/ah ah [allergen])

Dairy / Gluten / Fish Latticini / Glutine / Pesce. (laht-tee-chee-nee / gloo-tee-neh / peh-she)

I am vegetarian Sono vegetariano/a. (so-no veh-je-ta-ree-ah-no/na)

Can I have the bill? Posso avere il conto? (pohs-soh ah-veh-reh eel kohn-toh)

Can I pay by card? Posso pagare con la carta? (pohs-so pah-gah-re kon lah kahr-ta)

Still/sparkling water, please. Acqua naturale/frizzante, per favore. (ahk-wah nah-too-rah-leh/free-zahn-teh, pehr fah-voh-reh)

Can I taste the wine? Posso assaggiare il vino? (pohs-soh ah-sah-jyah-reh eel vee-noh)

I would like [dish], please. Vorrei [dish], per favore. (vohr-ray [dish], pehr fah-voh-reh)

How is this dish prepared? Come è preparato questo piatto? (koh-meh eh preh-pah-rah-toh kweh-stoh pee-ah-toh)

Is it spicy? È piccante? (eh pee-kan-teh)

Could I have more [ingredient/utensil]? Potrei avere più [ingredient/utensil]? (poh-treh-ee ah-veh-reh pee-oo [ingredient/utensil])

Thank you, it was delicious! Grazie, è stato delizioso! (grah-tsee-eh, eh stah-toh deh-lee-tsyoh-zoh)

Where’s the bathroom? Dov’è il bagno? (doh-veh eel bah-nyoh)

Shopping Words in Italian

When in Rome or Milan, you will want to shop! From incredible leather shoes to designer clothes, purses, and cologne, you will be tempted at every turn! I practically had to put blinders on Hubby! Ha!


This list will be pretty helpful for you when you go shopping in Italy. It will give you the basic vocabulary needed for a smooth shopping experience.

Shop / Store Negozio (neh-go-tsyoh)

Market Mercato (mehr-kah-toh)

Supermarket Supermercato (soo-pehr-mehr-kah-toh)

Shopping Shopping (shohp-ping)

Price Prezzo (pret-tsoh)

Sale Saldi (sal-dee)

Discount Sconto (skohn-toh)

Cash Contanti (kohn-tahn-tee)

Credit card Carta di credito (kar-tah dee kreh-dee-toh)

Receipt Scontrino (skohn-tree-no)

Size Taglia (tah-lyah)

Large Grande (grahn-deh)

Medium Medio (meh-dyoh)

Small Piccolo (peek-koh-loh)

Fitting room Camerino (kah-meh-ree-noh)

Open Aperto (ah-pehr-toh)

Closed Chiuso (kyoo-soh)

Entrance Entrata (ehn-trah-tah)

Exit Uscita (ooh-shee-tah)

How much is this? Quanto costa questo? (kwahn-toh koh-stah kweh-stoh)

Can I pay with a credit card? Posso pagare con la carta di credito? (pohs-soh pah-gah-reh kohn lah kar-tah dee kreh-dee-toh)

Words to Know When You Are Visiting Attractions

Italy is an absolutely gorgeous place to visit. With amazing architecture, jaw-dropping landscapes, and interesting attractions, you will have a difficult time deciding where to go first.


These words and phrases will be very useful when you explore various attractions in Italy. They will help you to navigate and enjoy your experiences to the fullest.

Ticket Biglietto (bee-lyet-toh)

Opening hours Orario di apertura (oh-rah-ryo dee ah-per-too-rah)

Closing hours Orario di chiusura (oh-rah-ryo dee kyoo-soo-rah)

Guide Guida (gwee-dah)

Tour Tour (toor)

Map Mappa (mah-pah)

Information Informazioni (een-for-mah-tsyoh-nee)

Audio guide Audioguida (ow-dee-oh-gwee-dah)

Museum Museo (moo-seh-oh)

Gallery Galleria (gahl-leh-ree-ah)

Church Chiesa (kyeh-sah)

Restroom / Bathroom Bagno (bahn-yo)

Do not touch Non toccare (nohn tok-kah-reh)

Photography allowed Fotografia permessa (foh-toh-grah-fee-ah pehr-mehs-sah)

No photography Vietato fotografare (vyeh-tah-toh foh-toh-grah-fah-reh)

Gift shop Negozio di souvenir (neh-go-tsyoh dee soo-veh-neer)

Where is the [attraction]? Dove si trova [attraction]? (doh-veh see troh-vah [attraction])

Is there a guided tour? C’è un tour guidato? (cheh oon toor gwee-dah-toh)

Kids-Related Phrases in Italian

If like us, you are planning to visit Italy with kids in tow, then you may be interested in learning some child-specific vocabulary.


Most travellers don’t give this a second thought (us included) until they are in a foreign country with kids and don’t know the word for “diapers” or “playground”!

Where is the playground? Dove si trova il parco giochi? (doh-veh see troh-vah eel par-koh joh-kee)

I have a child/children. Ho un bambino/bambini. (oh oon bam-bee-no/bam-bee-nee)

Can my child try this? Mio figlio può provare questo? (mee-oh fee-lyoh pwoh proh-vah-reh kweh-stoh)

Is there a children’s menu? C’è un menu per bambini? (cheh oon meh-noo pehr bam-bee-nee)

We need a high chair. Abbiamo bisogno di una seggiolone. (ahb-byah-moh bee-zoh-nyoh dee oo-nah sej-joh-loh-neh)

Where is the nearest bathroom? Dove è il bagno più vicino? (doh-veh eh eel bahn-yo pyoo vee-chee-noh)

Is this place child-friendly? Questo posto è adatto ai bambini? (kweh-stoh poh-stoh eh ah-dah-toh eye bam-bee-nee)

My child is allergic to [allergen]. Mio figlio è allergico a [allergen]. (mee-oh fee-lyoh eh al-ler-jee-koh ah [allergen])

Can we get a discount for children? Possiamo avere uno sconto per bambini? (pohs-syah-moh ah-veh-reh oo-noh skohn-toh pehr bam-bee-nee)

Do you have any activities for children? Avete attività per bambini? (ah-veh-teh at-tee-vi-tah pehr bam-bee-nee)

We need a baby cot/crib. Abbiamo bisogno di una culla. (ahb-byah-moh bee-zoh-nyoh dee oo-nah cool-lah)

Where can I change my baby’s diapers?? Dove posso cambiare i pannolini del mio bambino? (doh-veh pohs-soh cahm-byah-reh ee pahn-noh-lee-nee del mee-oh bam-bee-noh)

Where can I find diapers? Dove posso trovare i pannolini? (doh-veh pohs-soh troh-vah-reh ee pahn-noh-lee-nee)

Asking for Help in Italian

Sometimes things don’t always go our way when we travel. Whether it’s getting lost, or worse, getting sick or hurt. In cases like this, it’s always a good idea to at least know how to ask for help.


This list will be very helpful if you ever need assistance in Italy. It covers a range of situations where asking for help is necessary.

Can you help me? Mi può aiutare? (mee pwoh ah-yoo-tah-reh)

I need help. Ho bisogno di aiuto. (oh bee-zoh-nyoh dee ah-yoo-toh)

I’m lost. Mi sono perso/a. (mee soh-noh pehr-soh/ah)

Can you call a doctor? Può chiamare un medico? (pwoh kyah-mah-reh oon meh-dee-koh)

Where is the nearest hospital? Dove è l’ospedale più vicino? (doh-veh eh los-peh-dah-leh pyoo vee-chee-noh)

I need a pharmacy. Ho bisogno di una farmacia. (oh bee-zoh-nyoh dee oo-nah fahr-mah-chyah)

Can you call the police? Può chiamare la polizia? (pwoh kyah-mah-reh lah poh-lee-tsyah)

Is there someone here who speaks English? C’è qualcuno qui che parla inglese? (cheh kwahl-koo-noh kwee keh par-lah een-gleh-zeh)

I need a taxi. Ho bisogno di un taxi. (oh bee-zoh-nyoh dee oon tahk-see)

I lost my bag/wallet. Ho perso la mia borsa/il mio portafoglio. (oh pehr-soh lah mee-ah bor-sah/eel mee-oh por-tah-foh-lyoh)

Can you show me on the map? Può mostrarmi sulla mappa? (pwoh moh-strahr-mee sool-lah mah-pah)

I don’t understand. Non capisco. (nohn kah-pees-koh)

How to Say Numbers in Italian

This list covers the basic numbers which can be important in a variety of situations like shopping, telling time, booking tickets, or even giving directions.


I’m telling you, the below chart will come in very handy during your travels in Italy!

Telling the Time in Italian

Many people don’t consider learning how to tell time in another language to be very important. But it is!


If you need to ask someone about the bus or train schedule, when to meet up with a tour group, or when an attraction or restaurant opens or closes, you will need to know the basics.

What time is it? Che ore sono? (keh oh-reh soh-no)

It’s 1 o’clock. È l’una. (eh loo-nah)

It’s 2 o’clock. Sono le due. (soh-no leh doo-eh)

It’s 3:15. Sono le tre e un quarto. (soh-no leh treh eh oon kwar-toh)

It’s 4:30. Sono le quattro e mezza. (soh-no leh kwah-troh eh met-tsah)

It’s 5:45. Sono le cinque meno un quarto. (soh-no leh cheen-kweh meh-no oon kwar-toh)

It’s noon. È mezzogiorno. (eh met-zoh-jor-no)

It’s midnight. È mezzanotte. (eh met-za-not-teh)

AM (in the morning) Di mattina (dee mah-tee-nah)

PM (in the afternoon/evening) Di pomeriggio / Di sera (dee po-meh-ree-joh / dee seh-rah)

Days of the Week in Italian

Learning the days of the week is just as important as learning to tell time and for exactly the same reasons.


Whether you are checking the bus or train schedule, or wondering what days an attraction is open or closed, know these Italian words will come in pretty handy.

Monday Lunedì (loo-neh-dee)

Tuesday Martedì (mar-teh-dee)

Wednesday Mercoledì (mer-koh-leh-dee)

Thursday Giovedì (joh-veh-dee)

Friday Venerdì (veh-neh-dee)

Saturday Sabato (sah-bah-toh)

Sunday Domenica (do-men-ee-kah)

Useful Words for Transport and Getting Around

Unless you are travelling on a guided tour (which we have also done), learning some words and phrases related to transportation and getting around while in Italy is one of my important travel tips.


The below phrases cover various modes of transport, directions, and general terms that are useful in travel.

Train Treno (treh-noh)

Bus Autobus (ow-toh-boos)

Tram Tram (trahm)

Subway / Metro Metropolitana (meh-troh-poh-lee-tah-nah)

Taxi Taxi (tahk-see)

Airport Aeroporto (ah-eh-roh-por-toh)

Station Stazione (stah-tsyoh-neh)

Timetable Orario (oh-rah-ryoh)

Platform Binario (bee-nah-ryoh)

Car rental Noleggio auto (noh-leh-joh ow-toh)

Bicycle Bicicletta (bee-chee-klet-tah)

Road Strada (strah-dah)

Highway Autostrada (ow-toh-strah-dah)

Traffic Traffico (trahf-fee-koh)

Direction Direzione (dee-rek-tsyoh-neh)

Left Sinistra (see-nee-strah)

Right Destra (deh-strah)

Straight ahead Dritto (dreet-toh)

Roundabout Rotonda (roh-ton-dah)

Stop (on a sign) Stop (stop)

Crosswalk Attraversamento pedonale (ah-trah-ver-sah-men-toh peh-doh-nah-leh)

Where is the nearest…? Dove si trova il/la più vicino/a…? (doh-veh see troh-vah eel/la pyoo vee-chee-noh/ah)

Tips for Learning Italian Phrases

The following are some tips and tricks that the kids and I used to learn some Italian before our trip to Sicily:

1. Read the Italian Travel Phrases We Provided Out Loud

When I’m trying to learn Italian phrases, I always find it helpful to read them out loud. Try to work your way through our post (or use the free cheat sheet) to start out.

I found that this not only helped with pronunciation but also boosted my confidence in speaking (which is my biggest problem).


I make it a point to repeat each phrase several times, focusing on the nuances of how each word sounds. It’s a great way to get a feel for the rhythm and melody of the language.

Not to mention, it’s a fun way to practice, especially when you start getting the hang of rolling those Rs!

2. Use a Language App. to Practice

I highly recommend using a language app to practice Italian. It’s a convenient way to learn common Italian phrases, especially when I’m on the go.

Our younger daughter, Miss Somersault, has her own Duolingo account which she uses daily to practice her language skills.

These apps often come with interactive lessons, quizzes, and sometimes even games, which make learning less of a chore and more of an engaging activity.

excited to travel - Duolingo

Whether it’s during a coffee break or while waiting to pick the kids up at school, I squeeze in a quick lesson.

It’s amazing how much progress you can make with just a few minutes of daily practice.

3. Listen to Italian Podcasts, Radio, or Television

Immersing myself in the language is key, and what better way than listening to Italian podcasts, radio, or watching Italian TV shows?

This approach helps me get accustomed to the speed and flow of the language as it’s spoken by natives.

I usually don’t understand everything, but it’s about getting my ears used to the sounds and rhythms.


Plus, it’s a great way to pick up on cultural nuances and contemporary usage that textbooks might not cover.

I learned this technique from my Nonna, who learned English from watching Soap Operas on TV! It is a little difficult at first, but if you are also using the above tips, it will get easier.

4. Practice with a Native Speaker

There’s no substitute for practicing with a native Italian speaker. This is where John came in! He was our family’s go-to language partner!

Honestly, I still found it to be a bit intimidating at first. But it’s incredibly effective.


Conversing with a native speaker can challenge you to use what you’ve learned in real-life situations. This helps you to become fluent faster.

Plus, when practicing with a native speaker, they can offer instant feedback and tips on pronunciation and colloquialisms that you wouldn’t learn otherwise.

5. Use Flashcards

Flashcards are my go-to for helping the kids memorize basic Italian words. They’re simple, versatile, and incredibly effective.

Our youngest son, Mr. Bump, found this to be the easiest way to learn some vocabulary quickly.

excited to travel - Flashcards

Both Berlitz and Usborne make awesome sets of flashcards. They are also perfect for younger children (Mr. Bump was 9 the first time we went to Italy).

Flashcards can also be paired with workbooks or even colouring books for younger kids. They make learning a new language more like a game and less like a chore.

Italian Phrases for Travel – FAQs


With regular practice, you can learn basic Italian phrases in a few weeks. Consistency is key, so even dedicating a few minutes daily can make a big difference.

While it’s not necessary, speaking some Italian will make things easier during your your travels. It also shows respect for the local culture and helps in better connecting with locals.

Using language learning apps, listening to Italian music, podcasts, and practicing speaking with native speakers or language exchange partners are effective methods.

Italians generally appreciate the effort and are quite patient and encouraging with travellers trying to speak their language.

Good pronunciation helps in being better understood. However, Italians are usually forgiving of mistakes and can often understand you from the context.

Basic Italian is sufficient for most travelers. Regional dialects vary, but standard Italian is widely understood and spoken throughout the country.

In major cities and tourist areas, many people speak English, especially in hotels, restaurants, and popular attractions. However, knowing Italian is beneficial in less touristy areas.

Italians value politeness, so always use “please” (per favore) and “thank you” (grazie). Also, be mindful of using the formal “Lei” in polite or formal situations.

It’s okay! You can always use gestures, or most Italians will try to help you out, especially if they see you’re making an effort. Carrying a phrasebook or a translation app can also be handy.

Download Our FREE Printable!

We have put together a cheat sheet of the best Italian phrases for travel. You can download it for FREE here:


Final Thoughts on Useful Italian Phrases for Travel

Wrapping up this post on key Italian phrases for travel, I really hope you’ve found this guide handy. It’s amazing how just a few phrases can transform your travel experience.

Speaking the local language, even just a little, can open so many doors. And don’t worry about getting every word perfect – it’s the effort that counts.

Besides, Italians are known for their warmth and hospitality, and they’ll appreciate your attempts to speak their language.

Plus, it’s a great icebreaker and can lead to some of the most memorable moments of your trip. So, go ahead and give these phrases a shot.

Happy travels! Or Buon viaggio !

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Marianne Giordano is the founder and writer for Pasta Pretzels & Passports. Together with her husband, John, and their children, the family has travelled to 15 countries, including 27 states in the US, and all over their home country of Canada. Marianne is responsible for planning all of her family's travel itineraries and dreaming up new adventures. A Canadian native, Marianne shares all her favourite family-friendly things to do while travelling the world.

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The Present Perspective

Moscow Travel Guide: Best Things to Do + More [2023]

· everything to know about visiting moscow, including the best things to do and how to get around. ·.

the red st basils church in moscow on a white winters day

Moscow is Russia’s vibrant capital city, and it also happens to be the largest city in all of Europe. The city’s long and infamous history makes it one of the most unique places we have ever visited.

The architecture ranges from centuries-old palaces to uniform, gray concrete buildings. The people range from cold and private to warm and welcoming. Moscow is a city is strong juxtapositions, and we learned a lot during our time there.

This post will break down all you need to know about visiting Moscow, including the best things to do, how to get there, how to get around, and more.

man and woman standing in front of main church in moscow

The Best Things to Do in Moscow

1. explore the red square.

The Red Square is the heart of Moscow. Most of the city’s top attractions can be found here, including just about everything on this list. The Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and Lenin’s Mausoleum are all located here, and the State Historical Museum and GUM are not far from here, either.

The Red Square is a common home for parades, protests, and seasonal celebrations. There are massive Christmas celebrations here, with food vendors and carnival rides set up in numbers.

red orthodox church in moscow russia red square on a winter day

2. Check Out the Ziferblat

The Ziferblat is a café in Moscow that is unlike any café we have ever been to. While most cafes charge you for your drinks and food, the Ziferblat charges you for your time.

Upon arrival, you are given a clock. When you leave, the barista calculates how much time you spent in the café and charges you accordingly. This concept was created to help visitors to be more intentional with their time, and the cafe itself is incredibly charming.

For a detailed look at everything you need to know before you visit, make sure you read my post about visiting the Ziferblat Cafe in Moscow .

white lcocks on a table

3. Marvel at St. Basil’s Cathedral

St. Basil’s Cathedral is one of the most iconic churches in the world, and it was the single thing we were most excited to see while in Moscow. Built almost 500 years ago, St. Basil’s Cathedral is recognized by its colorful domes and whimsical style. The church is of the Russian Orthodox faith, and the inside is just as wondrous as the outside.

St. Basil’s Cathedral is located on the edge of the Red Square, making it incredibly convenient to visit. Entrance for non-worshippers costs 800 rubles, and tickets can be bought at the church

woman in winter jacket standing in front of St Basils Russian Orthodox in moscow on a winter day

4. Explore the Kremlin

The Kremlin is the largest active fortress in Europe, and it is the site of most of Russia’s government affairs. In addition to government buildings, the Kremlin Complex is filled with courtyards, towers, and museums that are open to the public. If you have the time, you could spend a couple of days fully exploring all that there is to see in the Kremlin.

selfie of man and woman pointing to the Kremlin in Moscow

5. Walk Through Lenin’s Mausoleum

Vladimir Lenin is one of the most important figures in Russian history, and his body is located perfectly embalmed in a mausoleum in the Red Square. The Mausoleum is open to the public to visit, and as long as you are willing to go through a few security checks, it is easily one of the best things to do in Moscow. Its convenient location in the Red Square makes it a can’t miss attraction.

There is absolutely no photography allowed inside the Mausoleum. Do not test this rule.

red exterior of lenins mausoleum in moscow russia

6. Wander Along Arbat Street

The Arbat is a very popular street in Moscow that is lined with stores, cafes, and other touristy attractions. It is one of the oldest streets in the city, dating back to the 1400s. This street is both quaint and trendy, and there are many walking tours that introduce tourists to the neighborhood’s wonders and highlights.

man in sinter jacket standing in arbat street moscow at night with glistening white lights strung from the buildings

7. Catch a Show at the Bolshoi Theatre

As a lover of the arts, it is hard to think of Moscow and not think of ballet. Russia has always been a top dog in the world of fine arts, and Bolshoi Theater is one of the best places to catch a performance. We were lucky enough to attend an Opera here, and it is a venue that you don’t want to miss out on if you enjoy opera, ballet, or orchestral performances.

8. Visit the State Historical Museum

The State Historical Museum is one of the most respected museums in Moscow. Despite its name, it is not really focused on the history of Russia as a nation. Rather, it contains a collection of artifacts from all throughout Russia’s history.

The museum’s collection is very broad in nature. It houses some items from indigenous tribes that used to occupy the region, pieces collected by the Romanov family, and more.

9. Wander Around GUM

GUM is an absolutely massive mall within walking distance of the Red Square. It isn’t just the size that draws visitors here; it’s the sense of luxury. The mall is so beautiful inside, much like the metro stations.

While visiting a mall might not sound like it belongs on a bucket list, this mall does. You will not want to miss out on visiting GUM while in Moscow.

people walking inside GUM mall in russia with christmas lights

10. Admire the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

While St. Basil’s Cathedral is the most iconic church in Moscow, it isn’t the only one. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is absolutely stunning, with massive golden domes. It is the tallest Orthodox church in the world, and it is the seat of the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow.

It is located just about a mile from the Red Square, just south of the Kremlin Complex. You can walk to it from the Red Square in about 20 minutes.

How to Get to Moscow

Flying to moscow.

Moscow has three major international airports: Sheremetyevo (SVO) , Domodedovo (DMO) , and Vnukovo (VKO) . All three of them are directly connected to downtown Moscow by the Aeroexpress trains, which leave every 30 minutes throughout the day. By Aeroexpress train, you can expect to get to the city center in 25-45 minutes depending on the airport that you fly into.

Sheremetyevo is the biggest and busiest of the three airports, and it is the one you are most likely to fly into – especially if you are coming from outside of Europe or the Caucus region. We flew into Sheremetyevo on a direct flight from New York City.

I usually provide backup airport options, because flying right into the city isn’t always the cheapest way to get where you’re going. Unfortunately, when it comes to Moscow, don’t really have a choice other than to fly right into Moscow. It is a very remote city, and it is usually the cheapest place to fly into in Russia as a whole.

Since Sheremetyevo is so busy, you will probably find a great flight option anyway. I wrote in  my post about finding cheap flights  that using hub airports will lead to more affordable airfare, and the same logic applies here. Even though Russia’s national airline, Aeroflot, is no longer a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, Moscow is still a major hub connecting passengers from all over the world.

italian travel vocab


Train or Bus to Moscow

Trains and buses are one of the most popular ways to get around Europe. However, they’re of very little use when you’re trying to get to Moscow.

Moscow is hundreds of miles from the nearest major cities. The only major European city that can even be reached within 8 hours on the ground is St. Petersburg, and even the Baltic capitals of Riga, Vilnius, and Tallinn are over 12 hours away.

If you want to get to Moscow, the best option is almost always to fly. While the train routes to Moscow are scenic, they simply take forever.

How to Get Around Moscow


Moscow has one of the most memorable metro systems in the world. Its metro lines are very deep underground, and the stations are absolutely stunning. Each station has its own unique style, but all of them contain escalators that seem to go on forever.

turned-on chandelier on ceiling of moscow metro

The system was built in an effort to showcase the power of the Soviet Union and its bright future. The plans were a form of propaganda, but they resulted in what is still one of the most visually appealing subway systems on earth.

Moscow’s metro system isn’t just pretty. It is also very useful and accessible. The system has 17 lines that connect the city and its surrounding area.

But wait; there’s more!

The Moscow metro system is also incredibly affordable, with each ride costing less than a dollar. The metro is by far the best way to get around Moscow, as it is almost impossible to beat the connection times and the low cost to ride.

Tickets can be bought at electronic, English-speaking kiosks in stations, or directly from ticket counters at certain larger stations. There are also day passes available, which are a very solid option if you plan on riding the metro several times per day.

long gray escalator in moscow russia

The metro is by far the best way to get around Moscow.

In addition to the metro system, Moscow also has a network of buses, trams, and trolleys. This system is nowhere near as convenient or well-connected as the metro, though, and is likely of little use to you during your trip. There is no Uber in Moscow, but a similar app named Yandex is available if you need a ride in a pinch.

How Many Days Do You Need in Moscow?

Moscow is the biggest city in all of Europe, and it is absolutely loaded with things to do. You could spend weeks in Moscow and still find new things to do. Of course, most travelers don’t have that kind of time to spend in one place!

I recommend spending no less than three full days in Moscow, and ideally closer to five or seven.

Moscow is very spread out, and it can take some time to get from one major point to another. There are also so many places that are nice to just sit back and relax, which is hard to do when you’re in a hurry trying to cram activities into just a few days.

If you only have a week to visit Russia, I’d advise spending all of the time in one city. If you decide to split your time between Moscow and St. Petersburg, I recommend not trying to squeeze in any day trips beyond those two cities.

moscow bridge at night with lights

When Is the Best Time of the Year to Visit Moscow?

There are two different ways to approach this question. Personally, I think the best time to visit Moscow is around Christmas and New Year’s Day. While the weather will be absolutely freezing, Moscow is a surreal winter wonderland in December and January.

We were in Moscow right before Christmas. While it was very cold, you can always bundle up. Exploring the Christmas markets and pop-up ice skating rinks throughout Moscow is one of my favorite memories from anywhere I’ve traveled, and I dream of going back to do it again.

If you aren’t fond of the cold, Moscow is beautiful in the summer. It tends to get pretty cold in the shoulder seasons, so if you want warm weather, you should plan to visit in the summer. Moscow actually gets pretty warm in July and August, and there are a bunch of fantastic places to soak up the sun within the city.

The best time to visit Moscow is either around Christmas or from late May to August.

group of people walking in moscow red square at night with christmas lights everywhere

Is Moscow Safe to Visit?

While Moscow is a truly wonderful city, there’s no denying that visiting Russia comes with risks. As the country is run by an infamous communist dictator, concerns about visiting are valid. While we didn’t experience any sort of threat or negative treatment during our time in Moscow, we visited in a peaceful time.

In our experience, Russia doesn’t seem to detain normal Americans or Westerners to use as pawns. As a regular person, as long as you don’t commit any crimes, there is a slim chance you will run into any issues. However, Russia will not hesitate to enforce its laws against foreigners, and illegal behaviors will likely land you in a very compromising position.

Russia will not hesitate to enforce its laws against foreigners, and illegal behaviors will likely land you in a very compromising position.

To make matters worse, Russia has a bad reputation for gang violence. While the Russian mafia has very little interest in normal Western tourists, they won’t hesitate to pick a fight with anyone who ventures into their sphere of influence. If you seek out illegal substances or activities, you could be a target of the mafia.

If you seek out illegal substances or activities, you could be a target of the mafia.

Finally, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, things are all very different. Russia is currently at war, and there are battles raging within 8 hours of Moscow. While it is still relatively safe to visit, that could change at any time as the war with Ukraine continues.

Is Moscow Worth Visiting?

Without a doubt, Moscow is worth visiting. It is one of the most unique major cities we have ever visited, and we hope to make it back one day. The Russian Orthodox churches are stunning, the city’s history is unlike any other, and the food is to die for.

While many visitors prefer St. Petersburg to Moscow, I think Moscow deserves a lot of hype of its own. Moscow is the beating heart of Russian culture and history, and it’s a place I highly recommend checking out if you have the chance.

woman in head scarf hugging bronze statue of angry bear

That’s all we have for you about Moscow! I hope this post was helpful as you plan your trip to Russia’s capital.

Have you been to Moscow? Or is this your first time visiting? Comment below if you have anything to add to our travel guide!

Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.

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  14. Master Your Italian Travel Essentials with Basic Vocabulary for Tourists

    When traveling to a foreign country, having a basic understanding of the local language can greatly enhance your overall experience. This is especially true for Italy, a popular tourist destination known for its rich history, culture, and picturesque landscapes.Learning basic Italian vocabulary can make a significant difference in communicating with locals, navigating the cities, and immersing ...

  15. Basic Italian Words and Phrases for Your Trip to Italy

    Basic Italian Words. Hello: Ciao (informal); Salve (formal) Goodbye: Ciao (informal); Arrivederci (formal) Good morning: Buongiorno. Good evening: Buonasera. Goodnight: Buonanotte (use this when ...

  16. 20 Basic Italian Travel Phrases for Beginners

    Summing Up: 22 Basic Italian Travel Phrases for Beginners. Now that you have learned these 22 useful Italian words and common phrases for travel, you are well on your way to becoming an Italian speaker. You just need to make sure you practice every day, either with a language partner, a language app, or a great streaming service.

  17. Common Italian Travel Phrases You Need to Learn [Language Tips]

    Basic Italian phrases. To begin with, let's learn the most basic Italian words. You'll find the word or phrase in Italian, followed by its English translation. Si - Yes. No - No. Per favore - Please. Grazie - Thank you. Grazie mille - Thank you very much. Prego - You're welcome.

  18. 90+ Basic Italian Words and Phrases Every Tourist Needs

    Check this list of 90+ basic Italian phrases for any situation, and feel comfortable with the locals. Common words for greetings, shopping, airport and more. The land of Da Vinci, of Caesar, of Michelangelo and David, of Caravaggio, the land of never-ending coastal cities, breathtaking views, the land of love and endless bellezza….

  19. Best Italian Phrases for Travel (With FREE Printable)

    From meeting new friends to addressing a tour guide, or meeting up with family, the following greetings are perfect for getting started with basic Italian communication. Hello / Hi. Ciao (chow) Good morning. Buongiorno (bwon-jor-no) Good afternoon. Buon pomeriggio (bwon po-meh-ree-joh) Good evening.

  20. PDF Check Your English Vocabulary For

    helpful if you want to develop your travel vocabulary further: Dictionary of Leisure, Travel and Tourism (Bloomsbury Publishing, -7475-7222-4) Dictionary of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality (S. Medlik, Butterworth Heinemann, -7506-5650-6) Tourism Management (Stephen J Page, Butterworth Heinemann, -7506-5752-9)

  21. PDF Unit 9 Travel

    Vocabulary travel 5 Match a verb in A with words in B. Check your answers in the article. A travel leave book use stay visit take drive arrive fly B a bus an ice cave from east to west home in hotels in Vladivostock Moscow your tickets a travel agent your car 6 Complete the sentences with verbs from Exercise 5.

  22. Moscow Travel Guide: Best Things to Do + More [2023]

    3. Marvel at St. Basil's Cathedral. St. Basil's Cathedral is one of the most iconic churches in the world, and it was the single thing we were most excited to see while in Moscow. Built almost 500 years ago, St. Basil's Cathedral is recognized by its colorful domes and whimsical style.

  23. THE 10 BEST Italian Restaurants in Moscow (Updated 2024)

    Best Italian Restaurants in Moscow, Central Russia: Find Tripadvisor traveller reviews of Moscow Italian restaurants and search by price, location, and more. ... Flights Vacation Rentals Travel Stories Cruises Rental Cars. Tours Add a Place Travel Forum Airlines Travelers' Choice Help Center. Europe. Russia. Central Russia. Moscow.