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.