Visiting a new country is an enthralling experience. You research, plan, book and dream of it every single day. Only sometimes you forget to check the language spoken there! Because let’s face it, English is not spoken everywhere and it would be pompous to assume that everyone should know it. Taking cue from this thought, I decided to prepare a list of 31 useful Italian words for your trip to Italy. These Italian words should be known while traveling in Italy. I hope these basic Italian words/phrases come in handy to those visiting Italy.
31 Useful Italian Words for your Trip to Italy
1. Good Morning: Buongiorno
2. Good Evening: Buonasera
3. Thank You: Grazie
4. Welcome: Prego
5. Yes: Si`
6. No: No
7. Excuse me: Scusi
8. Airport: Aereoporto
9. Bus: Autobus
10. Exit: Uscita
11. Trolley: Carrello
12. Number: Numero
13. Suitcase: Valigia
14. Food: Cibo
15. Hotel: Albergo
16. Toilet: Bagno
17. Via: Street
18. Police: Polizia
19. Doctor: Dottore
20. Museum: Museo
21. Ticket: Biglietto
22. Train: Treno
23. Shop: Negozio
24. Products: Prodotti
25. Wine: Vino
26. ATM: Bancomat
27. Price: Prezzo
28. Restaurant: Ristorante
29. Breakfast: Colazione
30. Lunch: Pranzo
31. Dinner: Cena
Note: English words Metro, Taxi, Cinema, Cocktail, Shopping and Film are the same in Italian but obviously have different pronunciations.
An example from my Italian travels
On my very first trip to Italy, I had no knowledge about the Italian language (limited only to pizza, pasta and Colosseum). Now you can imagine what happened when I landed in Palermo and asked a taxi driver the cost to reach my apartment. He said Quindici (15 in Italian) and I thought he meant 50 (cinquanta). It was such an embarrassing moment because I kept telling him to reduce the price and in the end he had to explain he meant €15, not €50! A tale worth telling!
It was also an important lesson for me to never underestimate the power of language while traveling in a foreign land.
If you want to go a step further and know some more words apart from the 31 useful Italian words above, here are some more:
10 important phrases you should know
Where is the toilet?: Dov’e` il bagno??
I don’t understand: Non capisco
I’m not Italian, I’m..: Non sono Italiana, sono Indiana (if you’re male it will be ItalianO & IndianO)
Can you help me?: Mi puo` aiutare?
How much does it cost?: Quanto costa?
What time is it?: Che ore sono?
Do you speak English?: Parli Inglese?
I would like a coffee: Vorrei un caffe`
Thank you so much: Grazie mille
I don’t speak Italian: Non parlo Italiano
Every Effort Counts
If you’re visiting Italy for the first time but don’t know any Italian, I’m not asking you to take a language course. Mastering a language is not what this post is about. All I suggest is to know a few of these basic Italian words that locals will love! They not only appreciate that someone is trying to speak their language but also then go out of the way to help!
Additionally always remember that Italy is a country of greetings, so it would be rude not to know some of these words!
Check out this great video on basic Italian words.
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Can I travel to Italy without knowing the language & other FAQs – ItalophiliaMarch 4, 2021 at 8:37 pm
[…] strongly recommend you know these 31 basic words and phrases before you visit Italy. This will go a long way to blend with the locals and also enjoy the country even more. Also […]
Italy Travel: Things to Know – ItalophiliaAugust 24, 2020 at 3:41 pm
[…] This is not a mandatory tip but it pays well to know small words of the country’s language you are traveling in. If you are in Italy a Grazie (Thank You),Salve (Formal Hello), Per Favore(Please) are words that will give you a smile back in return. Don’t use ciao for anyone and everyone because it is an informal greeting to be used with friends and acquaintances. Also remember to always greet people by saying Buongiorno (Good morning) or Buonasera (Good evening) whenever you’re in their store or Bar. Greetings go a long way in Italy. Check out 31 Travel Phrases to know before visiting Italy! […]
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[…] Be mindful that everyone doesn’t know English. Learn a few Italian words or keep this handy list of 31 Italian words and 10 phrases that will be super useful for your trip in Puglia. […]
Bespoke TravelerJuly 10, 2020 at 5:05 am
Vorrei un caffe…still one of my favorite expressions. I find “where is the bathroom” to be one I’m constantly learning for whatever destination I head to as well!
IshitaJuly 10, 2020 at 10:04 am
Thank you for your comment 🙂 I love Vorrei un caffe. All time fav!
Bar Farnese: Coffee near Campo de Fiori – ItalophiliaJuly 1, 2020 at 4:13 am
[…] Read Next: 31 Travel Phrases for your Trip to Italy […]
ShelleyJune 27, 2020 at 11:05 pm
Grazie…. for this blog! This is so helpful for my next Italy trip, which I really hope will be soon.
IshitaJune 29, 2020 at 10:12 am
Cheers Shelley! Let’s hope its around the corner. Thanks!
11 Amazing Songs to Help Learn Italian – ItalophiliaJune 19, 2020 at 12:25 pm
[…] Check out these 31 Italian words for your trip to Italy! […]
Image Earth TravelJune 16, 2020 at 3:30 pm
Very useful list!
I also like “tutto a posto” or shortened to “tutt’apposto”, which southerners say a lot, not sure if it’s a common phrase in the north.
IshitaJune 16, 2020 at 7:08 pm
Oh yes, a great word too! I think I heard it in Central Italy too..practically everywhere.
TanjaJune 14, 2020 at 8:24 pm
indeed very useful phrases
ItalophiliaJune 15, 2020 at 12:11 pm
Thank you dear!
LuLu B - Calabrisella MiaJune 13, 2020 at 12:49 am
“Vorrei un caffè” is one of the most important phrases for me 😛 These are without a doubt the essentials. I would also add the Italian word for platform, which is binario. That was an important one when I did my first travels alone by train.
ItalophiliaJune 13, 2020 at 11:36 am
Thanks for sharing Binario, true another important word. There are so many!
Stacy di Anna PollardJune 12, 2020 at 2:28 am
Well done and I love your new website look! Tante belle cose…
ItalophiliaJune 12, 2020 at 10:26 am
Grazie Stacy! So nice to see you here 🙂 How’s your language learning going??
Stacy di Anna PollardJune 13, 2020 at 12:37 am
Ahh, the language learning! If only I could speak Italian every day, that would change things. I do listen to podcasts in Italian every day, with good comprehension, so that makes me happy. 🙂 Un abbraccio virtuale!
ItalophiliaJune 13, 2020 at 11:36 am
These are small steps but your Italian must have improved already because of this. We will be in Italy again someday too. Un abbraccio a te!
Brandy ShearerJune 11, 2020 at 10:08 pm
What a great post! It’s rather funny to me being a native English speaker learning Italian but Taxi is the trickiest of the words you listed above that’s the same… but different!
ItalophiliaJune 12, 2020 at 10:25 am
Ciao Brandy! Thanks so much for your comment. Haha, is it? Well I’m glad it was useful in some way!
Brandy ShearerJune 12, 2020 at 12:57 pm
It is, which is so silly but I lived in NYC for a decade so pronouncing a word I used so heavily differently is a hard habit to break.
BarbaraJune 11, 2020 at 8:37 pm
So lovely to read your blogs. I hope you are keeping safe and well. And that it’s not too long before another Italy trip! 😊
ItalophiliaJune 11, 2020 at 9:13 pm
Ciao Barbara!! You won’t believe but I was recently thinking of you while going through my Puglia pictures. Hope all’s well with you. No idea about the next Italy trips, looks far away but still keeping Italy alive every single day in India 😉
DarleneJune 11, 2020 at 7:45 pm
Many of the words are similar to Spanish. We didn’t find it difficult to communicate in Italy. Such warm and friendly people.
ItalophiliaJune 11, 2020 at 7:49 pm
Yeah I often hear how similar the two languages are. When I watch Spanish shows, I can understand quite a few words. You’re so right about the friendliness of Italians. Thanks for your comment 🙂