How to say hello in Italian?
This one of the most important things you’ll need when speaking with natives.
Here’s how to choose the right Italian greetings!
Why learn Italian greetings
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or advanced speaker, it’s also great to look over the facts and see if there’s anything else left to learn.
The basics are always important, and every Italian person you meet will be thrilled that you made an effort and learned more about their language and culture.
You will be able to keep the conversation running and make a lot of friends.
Italian people are very polite and they like whoever they interact with to be the same.
In Italian, it’s important to know phrases for good morning or good afternoon.
As they are incredibly friendly people, it would be nice for any foreigner to know what to use.
When saying buon giorno or buona sera, the Italians may shake hands and show respect to each other.
How do you greet someone in Italian?
Many Italians are used to touching people when greeting.
Not only do they shake hands, but some also grab people’s arms or pat their back.
This applies especially to Southern Italy.
This can surprise or annoy people from other cultures.
When in doubt, play it safe and say hello with words!
How to say hello in Italian
Depending on your relationship with the person, you will need to choose a formal or informal expression, and the same stands for the time of day.
Knowing the right expression in a specific moment can really improve your communication with the natives.
Here, you will see the best and most common ways to say hello in Italian, in both formal and informal ways, so you’re always prepared.
Ciao – hello in Italian
The most popular hello in Italian is ‘ciao.’
It’s a simple ‘hello’ and ‘bye.’ and can be used at basically any time you need it.
‘Ciao’ can be used in many informal situations, especially when you are with your family and friends.
When you’re talking to someone you don’t know very well, you may want to use a different expression.
Buon giorno means ‘good morning’ or ‘good day’ and it’s very straightforward.
It can be used as both good morning and goodbye and it works great in formal and informal situations.
Use it at the restaurant, hotel and even in your business meetings.
This is a good way to say good afternoon to someone, but it’s not usually a casual way to say it.
You may see it on television and in movies, because it’s very formal, so try using something different when you go out with your Italian friends.
Buona sera can be used as a good evening greeting.
You can use it anytime after lunch and people will think you’re incredibly cordial.
This greeting means good night, and it’s not exactly a bedtime expression as the American one.
Italians use this whenever greeting someone at night for dinner. It’s a great way to meet the whole group.
Piacere means nice to meet you. It’s a very formal expression, so you can definitely use it when you meet a new co-worker or your girlfriend’s mother.
Come stai? /Come va?
Although it’s a question, it’s the best way to casually greet your friends.
It’s not a regular hello, but you can use it with people you really know. The answers to this greeting can depend on a person’s health.
More Italian greetings
Salve is a great hello in Italian which you can use in most formal situations.
It’s a safe choice whenever you have doubts on what expression to use. It literally means a simple hi.
A presto is a very simple Italian greeting and it means ‘see you soon.’
It’s a very common phrase you can use anytime you leave, and also as a formal goodbye in emails and letters.
Of course, it can also be used to state that you’re very close to getting somewhere.
- Arrivo da te tra poco, a presto! – “I’ll be at your place in a bit, see you soon.”
This greeting can be used whenever you are sure you’ll meet the person again.
It literally means ‘until next time.’
You can use it in school, at work, or basically anytime you say ‘I’ll see you again.’
Ci vediamo means ‘see you around,’ You may hear it school, at or maybe just after meeting someone new.
- Antonio, ora scappo. Ci vediamo – Antonio, I must run off now. See you around.
Ti saluto/ Vi saluto
This is a very casual ‘bye’ in Italian.
It simply means ‘I salute you’ and can be used safely with your friends.
If you’re only talking to one person, make sure to use the singular form, ‘ti saluto,’ and use the plural form, ‘vi saluto,’ for when you’re meeting a group.
- Amici, vi saluto – Friends, I salute you.
Stammi bene/ Statemi bene
Whenever you want to tell someone ‘take care,’ you can use ‘stammi bene.’
You can tell this to your friend, or to the whole group using the plural version.
- Nonna, stammi bene – Grandma, take care.
This is one of the most common Italian phrases and it means ‘goodbye.’
The Italians use it as an ‘until we meet again.’ You can use it in any formal and informal situation.
- Arrivederci, professoressa. – Good-bye, professor.
This is one dramatic way of saying goodbye according to most movies, but it’s one of the most basic ways to say goodbye in Italian. I mean, forever!
It’s important to know how to say hello in Italian and it’s always great to learn more and more ways to do it.
Now that you know how to say hello in Italian, make Italian friends and use these greetings in your conversations!