When you learn Italian phrases and sentences, start with the basics you need for your travel to Italy. Here’s a free list of common Italian phrases and sentences for your trip!

Why learn the most common Italian phrases and sentences first

Don’t feel overwhelmed only because there’s an infinite number of sentences in Italian. I have some good news: you only need to know a fraction of the total number of Italian sentences to be able to speak Italian fluently. For example, by knowing as little as 100 words you will understand 50% of any text in Italian. There are various lists of the 1000 most common Italian words. With little effort, you can have a real basic Italian conversation with someone during your trip.

You just need to start with the most common Italian phrases to make basic sentences.

Have real conversations with basic Italian phrases from day one

Once you start learning a few basic sentences in Italian you will have the knowledge to start your first basic Italian conversation. That’s why I put together Italian phrases and sentences that simulate real-life conversations to get you speaking Italian in no time.

Feel how easy it is to learn become confident

Every language experience should start gradually, from the easiest to the more complex concepts. Learn Italian, starting with the easiest and most common Italian phrases to know, you will feel confident in your ability to learn a new language.

Become fluent quicker with common sentences

Starting with the basics, we quickly lay a foundation for you to learn more complex Italian phrases and sentences. We gradually build your Italian knowledge so you get fluent faster than you could imagine.

Become smarter by learning Italian

Learning a new language is a perfect way to boost your IQ. In no time, your brain will make new connections and associations and you’ll feel that learning Italian was one of the best choices you ever made. Suddenly, these useful Italian phrases and sentences look more promising, right?

Easy sentences in Italian: tips for beginners

Italian phrases to know

If you’re a beginner or a casual learner planning a trip to Italy, it makes sense to keep things simple and start with easy phrases and sentences in Italian.

A simple sentence is one independent clause that has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. There are some important requirements for a simple sentence:

  • Must have a subject and a verb.

Sei pronto? – Are you ready?

Are you looking for the subject? It’s tu, but you don’t need to say that. The verb conjugation already shows that.

  • Must express a complete thought.

Stazione vicino? – Station near?

Even if the sentence is not grammatically correct, a simple phrase can already take you a long way.

  • Must only have one clause.

C’è un treno alle dieci. Prendo quello. – There’s a train at 10. I’ll take that.

Split complex sentences into simple ones to avoid advanced grammar and communicate effectively.

Useful sentences in Italian to listen and repeat

We all agree that it’s a good strategy to start with useful sentences in Italian. Especially for specific situations like traveling.

But, how to do that?

The best way to learn Italian is by speaking. Not just listening or reading. Right now, you should be speaking Italian with a native speaker, even if you’re just a beginner. If you don’t have the time, the money, or the courage, you can still practice speaking by yourself. How? With an audio course like “Ripeti con me!”.

With this Italian audio course, you’ll improve your Italian by listening and repeating. As you go through the course, small changes are made to the sentences, moving different components in and out. In this way, you’re learning new words and how sentences are formed. Grammar isn’t explicitly taught but you’ll begin to pick up the various grammar points on your own.

Check out the course program!

useful sentences in italian

100+ Essential Italian travel phrases and words

Everyone should learn essential Italian conversational words and phrases before traveling to Italy. These are the best Italian words and expressions because you’re sure to come up in most everyday conversations.

Make sure to pack these simple Italian phrases to help you prepare for those common situations travelers find themselves in. Learn Italian sentences and phrases for travel that you actually need.

Greetings in Italian: how to say hello?

The first thing you need to learn to do in any language is to meet and greet people! After all, you’re going to be using greetings every time you have a basic conversation in Italian. But the Italian greetings are not limited to ciao!

These phrases are simple, easy to remember and will go a long way to help you make friends and have your first basic conversations in the language. You’ll already speak like a native.

  • Salve! – Hello (any time of day)
  • Buongiorno – Good morning/afternoon. It is always polite to say “Hi” every morning because Italian speakers are really sociable. “Good morning” in Italian is “Buongiorno”.
  • Buonasera – Good evening
  • Buonanotte – Goodnight
  • Grazie mille – Thank you very much
  • Arrivederci – Goodbye
  • Mi chiamo… – My name is _
  • Sono americano/canadese/inglese – I’m American/Canadian/English
  • Piacere – Nice to meet you

Being polite is important also when you travel to Italy. And it doesn’t cost anything, it’s free! Learn the following words and phrases to have a polite, basic conversation, and sound like a native.

  • Sì (yes)
  • No (no)
  • Per favore; per piacere; per cortesia (please)
  • Grazie (Thank you)
  • Molte grazie (Thank you very much.)
  • Prego! (You’re welcome!)
  • Si figuri! (It’s nothing.)
  • Mi scusi. (Excuse me.)
  • Prego (by all means)
  • Può ripetere, per cortesia? (Can you please repeat)

How to say “I don’t understand” in Italian: Italian phrases to know

You want to learn Italian sentences to communicate. However, as a beginner, there will be many moments when you get stuck and can’t understand what people are saying to you in Italian.

When this happens, don’t worry! It’s a perfectly normal part of the learning process and in time, you’ll begin to understand more and more of what you hear. You just need to learn Italian sentences to show that you don’t understand.

  • Mi scusi, non capisco – I don’t understand!
  • Non parlo italiano molto bene – I don’t speak Italian very well
  • Cosa vuole dire? – What does that mean?
  • Parla inglese? – Do you speak English?
  • Mi scusi – I’m sorry
  • Non lo so – I don’t know
  • Va bene – All right
  • Non importa – Never mind

How to order at the restaurant in Italian: essential phrases

Dining is one of the best parts of traveling to Italy. Indeed, many essential Italian phrases for travel are related to food. However, reading an Italian menu can be intimidating!

Nevertheless, understanding how Italians dine will help you get the most out of your travel experience, especially in the many local, off-the-beaten-path establishments. So you should learn Italian sentences and phrases related to food and dining.

Here are some helpful hints on how to pick a restaurant on your trip to Italy and how to navigate its menu with confidence (and pay the bill too!).

  • Un tavolo per uno / due, per favore – A table for one / two, please
  • Siete già aperti? – Are you open yet?
  • Mi scusi! – Excuse me! (Calling a waiter)
  • Cosa mi consiglia? – What do you recommend?
  • Qual è la specialità della casa? – What’s your most popular dish?
  • Cos’è questo? – What’s this?
  • Faccia Lei! – It’s up to you/You can decide
  • Il conto, per favore – The cheque, please
  • Potrei avere il menu, per favore? – Can I have the menu, please?
  • Possiamo aspettare (per un tavolo)? – Can we wait (for a table)?
  • Possiamo sederci qui? – Can we sit here?

How to ask for directions in Italian: basic phrases

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, you’re probably going to need public transport to get around. It’s not free but still cheap.

These basic Italian phrases will help you to buy tickets and find your destinations easily. They’re all Italian sentences and phrases that you should learn before you travel to Italy and communicate with native speakers.

  • Quanto dura il viaggio? – How long does it take?
  • Dove devo andare adesso? – Where should I go now?
  • Quando parte? – When does it leave?
  • Che ore sono (adesso)? – What time is it (now)?
  • Vorrei andare a _ – I want to go to _
  • A che ora parte il prossimo treno/autobus per _ What time is the next train/bus to _ ?
  • Quanto costa? – How much is it?
  • Un biglietto / due biglietti (1 ticket / 2 tickets)
  • Questo treno/autobus ferma a _ – Does this train/bus stop in _?
  • Mi scusi, è qui _ – Excuse me, is this _? (On the bus/train, when you aren’t sure when to get off)

What to do when you find yourself lost? Keep calm! Learn Italian sentences and phrases to ask for directions.

By learning to say and understand the following phrases, you’ll be able to ask for and receive directions from the locals.

  • Vorrei andare a _ – I want to go to _ (If you know the name of your destination)
  • Vorrei andare qui – I want to go here (Pointing to your destination on the map)
  • Mi sono perso / Mi sono persa – I’m lost
  • È di qua? – Is it this way? (Useful for checking if you’re walking in the right direction)
  • Dov’è _? – Where is _ ?

Scusi, mi può dire come arrivare al Colosseo?

Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to the Colosseum?

Here are some of the useful replies you might hear.

  • Gira a destra – Turn right
  • Gira a sinistra – Turn left
  • È qua vicino – It’s close by
  • È laggiù – It’s over there
  • È davanti alla scuola – It’s opposite the school
  • È dietro la stazione – It’s behind the station
  • È sotto il ponte – It’s under the bridge
  • È a fianco alla chiesa – It’s next to the church
  • È prima della stazione di servizio – It’s before the gas station
  • È dopo la gelateria – It’s past the ice-cream parlor
  • Dov’è il bagno? – Where is the bathroom / toilet?

How to do shopping in Italian: common phrases

Whether in the supermarket, the shopping center or the local farmer’s market you’re going to want to buy things at some point or another!

To do this, you need to be able to ask questions just like you would in English! Here are the useful Italian sentences and phrases that you’ll need to learn:

  • Mi piace questo – I like this
  • Quanto costa questo? – How much is this?
  • È troppo caro per me – It’s too expensive for me
  • Sì, grazie – Yes, please
  • No, grazie – No, thanks
  • Può farmi uno sconto? – Can you do me a discount?
  • Cerco un/una _ – I’m looking for a _
  • Sto solo guardando – I’m just looking around
  • Un attimo – Just a moment

How to say “I don’t feel well” in Italian: simple phrases

If you travel abroad, It’s always useful to know some basic medical vocabulary so that can handle an emergency in case you get sick or suffer an accident during your trip. Learn these Italian sentences and phrases, just in case!

  • Mi porti in ospedale, per favore – Take me to the hospital please (To a taxi driver)
  • Mi fa male qui – It hurts here (pointing to body parts)
  • Ho bisogno di medicine – I need some medicine
  • Può aiutarmi, per favore? – Can you help me, please?
  • Devo andare da un medico – I need to see a doctor
  • Non mi sento bene – I don’t feel well
  • Non si sente bene – He/she doesn’t feel well
  • C’è un ospedale da queste parti? – Is there a hospital near here?

Personal pronouns and references to people

You refer to people by using personal pronouns. These are the basics, right?

In Italian, the pronouns (you and they) are complicated by gender and formality.

  • Io (I)
  • Lui (he)
  • Lei (she)
  • Noi (we)
  • Tu (you, singular)
  • Lei (you, singular, formal)
  • Voi (you, plural)
  • Loro (they)

Use the informal tu (singular you) for friends, relatives, younger people, and people you know well. Use the formal lei (singular you) when speaking to people you don’t know well; in situations such as in stores, restaurants, hotels, or pharmacies); and with professors, older people, and your friends’ parents.

To avoid awkward situations, it’s useful to know the correct vocabulary term for referring to people based on their age, gender, or relationship to you.

  • Uomo (a man)
  • Donna (a woman)
  • Ragazzo (a boy)
  • Ragazza (a girl)
  • Bambino (m); bambina (f) (a child)
  • Padre (a father)
  • Madre (a mother)
  • Figlio (m); figlia (f) (child)
  • Fratello (a brother)
  • Sorella (a sister)
  • Marito (a husband)
  • Moglie (a wife)
  • Amico (m); amica (f) (a friend)

The best way to learn is by speaking. Use these common Italian phrases with your friends. Even speaking to yourself will help!

Learn Italian sentences and phrases for travelers

basic italian phrases

Here’s some common Italian phrases that are particularly helpful to international travelers. Use them often during your trip!

  • Mi scusi. (Excuse me. (Formal))
  • Non parlo bene l’italiano. (I don’t speak Italian well.)
  • Parla inglese? (Do you speak English? (Formal))
  • Parlo inglese. (I speak English.)
  • Non lo so. (I don’t know.)
  • Non posso. (I can’t.)
  • Non potevo. (I couldn’t.)
  • Non lo faccio. (I won’t do it.)
  • Non dimenticare! (Don’t forget!)
  • Mi sono perso. (M); Mi sono persa. (F) (I’m lost.)
  • Sto cercando il mio albergo. (I’m looking for my hotel.)
  • Sì, lo so. (Yes, I know.)
  • Non lo so. (I don’t know.)
  • Non so dove sia. (I don’t know where it is.)
  • Non capisco. (I don’t understand.)
  • Capisco, grazie. (I understand, thanks.)
  • Lei non mangia la carne. (She doesn’t eat meat.)
  • Non siamo americani. (We aren’t American.)
  • Il caffè non è buono. (The coffee isn’t good.)
  • Non è caro! (It’s not expensive!)
  • Può ripetere, per cortesia? (Can you repeat, please? (Formal))
  • È bello. (It’s beautiful.)
  • È bellissimo. (It’s very beautiful.)
  • Vado a casa. (I’m going home.)
  • Domani visitiamo Venezia. (We’ll visit Venice tomorrow.)
  • Due cappuccini, per favore. (Two cappuccinos, please.)

How to say common places and locations in Italian

Here’s some vocabulary for the common places or locations that you might need or want while traveling in Italy.

You definitely need to learn basic Italian sentences and phrases and feel free to speak, like a native!

  • Dove? – where?
  • Dov’è il museo? – where is the museum?
  • Gira a destra – turn right
  • Gira a sinistra – turn left
  • Vai diritto – go straight ahead
  • Vai in quella direzione – go that way
  • Vai indietro – go back
  • Vicino – near
  • Lontano – far
  • Other places in italian:
  • Il teatro -theater
  • Il supermercato – supermarket
  • La stazione – train station
  • L’aeroporto – airport
  • L’ospedale – hospital
  • La stazione di polizia – police station
  • Il parco – park
  • Il centro – town center
  • Banca (bank)
  • Città (city)
  • La polizia (police)
  • La stazione (station)
  • Metropolitana (subway)
  • Museo (museum)
  • Il ristorante (restaurant)
  • In campagna (in the country)
  • In città (in the city)
  • In montagna (in the mountains)
  • L‘albergo (hotel)
  • L‘ospedale (hospital)
  • La casa (house)
  • Negozio (store)
  • Paese (country)
  • Spiaggia (beach)
  • Stato (state)
  • Ufficio (office)

How to say numbers in Italian

How to say numbers in Italian

Whether you’re ordering drinks, paying a bill or buying a train ticket, numbers are something you’ll need to be familiar with in Italian right from the beginning. Let’s learn Italian numbers and how to count in Italian, then move on to useful Italian phrases related to numbers.

Italian numbers 1 – 10

  • Uno – one
  • Due – two
  • Tre – three
  • Quattro – four
  • Cinque – five
  • Sei – six
  • Sette – seven
  • Otto – eight
  • Nove – nine
  • Dieci – ten

Italian numbers 11 – 20

  • Undici – eleven
  • Dodici – twelve
  • Tredici – thirteen
  • Quattordici – fourteen
  • Quindici – fifteen
  • Sedici – sixteen
  • Diciassette – seventeen
  • Diciotto – eighteen
  • Diciannove – nineteen
  • Venti – twenty
  • Ventuno – twenty-one
  • Ventidue – twenty-two
  • Trenta – thirty
  • Quaranta – forty
  • Cinquanta – fifty
  • Sessanta – sixty
  • Settanta – seventy
  • Ottanta – eighty
  • Novanta – ninety
  • Cento – one hundred
  • Mille – one thousand

Italian numbers 21 – 30

21 ventuno
22 ventidue
23 ventitré
24 ventiquattro
25 venticinque
26 ventisei
27 ventisette
28 ventotto
29 ventinove
30 trenta

Italian numbers 31 – 40

31 trentuno
32 trentadue
33 trentatré
34 trentaquattro
35 trentacinque
36 trentasei
37 trentasette
38 trentotto
39 trentanove
40 quaranta

Italian numbers 50 – 1 billion

And the final pieces to help you count as much as you want:

50 cinquanta
60 sessanta
70 settanta
80 ottanta
90 novanta
100 cento
200 duecento
1,000 mille
2,000 duemila
1,000,000 un milione
2,000,000 due milioni
1,000,000,000 un miliardo

Some common Italian proverbs involving numbers:

  • Chi fa da sè fa per tre
    It literally means:
    “Someone who does for himself, does for three (people)”
    It really means:
    If you want something done well, do it yourself
  • Andare a fare quattro salti
    It literally means:
    “To go make four jumps”
    It really means:
    To go dance
  • Dare i numeri
    It literally means:
    “To give numbers” — Originally in reference to people who picked lottery numbers based on signs or superstition.
    It really means:
    To be crazy / raving /mentally imbalanced

For sayings that are not related to numbers, check out this collection of common Italian proverbs and famous quotes.

Days of the week and months of the year in Italian

With just a few common phrases and words, you can cover the topic of time.

Che giorno è oggi?
What day is it today?

  • lunedì – Monday
  • martedì – Tuesday
  • mercoledì – Wednesday
  • giovedì – Thursday
  • venerdì – Friday
  • sabato – Saturday
  • domenica – Sunday

In Italian, days of the week and months of the year do not start with capital letters.

You can make a pretty good approximation of the names of the months in Italian by just saying the English versions.

  • gennaio – January
  • febbraio – February
  • marzo – March
  • aprile – April
  • maggio – May
  • giugno – June
  • luglio – July
  • agosto – August
  • settembre – September
  • ottobre – October
  • novembre – November
  • dicembre – December

Did you notice that the names of the months don’t start with capital letters? Months aren’t capitalized in Italian. (It’s the same deal with days of the week too.)

How to talk about your family in Italian

common Italian phrases

Among the most common words and phrases you will hear, there are many that are related to family (famiglia).

Let’s introduce some members of our family:

  • madre – mother
  • padre – father
  • genitori – parents
  • sorella – sister
  • fratello – brother
  • figlia – daughter
  • figlio – son
  • marito – husband
  • moglie – wife
  • zia – aunt
  • zio – uncle
  • nonna – grandmother
  • nonno – grandfather

When you’re talking about just one member of your family, or of someone else’s family, you just strap the Italian word for “my”, “your”, “his”, “her” etc (a.k.a possessive adjectives) onto the front.

  • my mother – mia madre
  • your grandfather – tuo nonno
  • her aunt – sua zia

When there are multiple family members to talk about (plural), like aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, children, etc, you need to use one of those Italian words for “The” (definite articles).

  • my grandfathers – i miei nonni
  • her aunts – le sue zie
  • their brothers – i loro fratelli
  • my sisters – le mie sorelle

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