Learn Italian phrases to survive your trip to Italy!
Here’s a free list of common Italian phrases for your first conversation.
I also collected the most basic Italian phrases in PDF format at the end of the post.
Also check out this collection of Italian sentences.
Why learn the most common Italian phrases 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 phrases 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, to begin with.
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.
Here’s a collection of comprehensible input for the Italian language.
For spaced repetition, go through this post again after a night of sleep.
Become fluent quicker with common sentences
Starting with basic Italian phrases, we quickly lay a foundation for you to learn more complex Italian phrases.
We gradually build your Italian knowledge so you get fluent faster than you could imagine.
Can you imagine how many things you can say by combining 1000 Italian phrases?
That’s what you get in 33 lessons of the Italian audio course “Ripeti con me!”
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 look more promising, right?
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 because you probably want to learn Italian to travel.
But, how to do that? Where to find those Italian common phrases?
The best way to learn Italian words and phrases 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, money, or the courage, you can still practice speaking by yourself.
How? With an Italian audio course like “Ripeti con me!”.
With this Italian audio course, you’ll improve your Italian by listening and repeating.
Grammar isn’t explicitly taught but you’ll begin to pick up the various grammar points on your own.
Check out the course program to learn basic Italian fast!
Should you practice the 1000 most common Italian phrases with flashcards?
Some learners want to keep things efficient by memorizing the 1000 most common Italian words and then make phrases with them.
For a more interactive experience, check out these flashcards with popular Italian phrases.
There’s plenty of Italian phrases, including the 1000 most common Italian phrases.
With Quizlet, you can make flashcard sets and quiz yourself.
How many do you need? The top 100 Italian phrases? 1000 Italian phrases? 2000? 3000?
The question is rather, does it help to memorize words and phrases without a context?
These apps are structured around sets of terms and definitions, so it’s just rote learning of Italian words and phrases.
That’s not the best way of learning basic Italian.
You need to put in practice those Italian phrases to really master them!
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 phrases for travel that you actually need.
These basic Italian phrases include some of the 1000 most common Italian words.
Greetings in Italian: how to say hello?
Of all the popular Italian phrases to know, 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!
Italian phrases for beginners might look obvious but are still useful.
Knowing Italian greetings can make a good impression, whether you’re speaking Italian for business or while traveling.
The Italian culture places importance on introductions and greetings as it is often considered a foundational way of showing respect.
There are different expressions you can use depending on if the situation is formal (business meeting) or informal (meeting someone at a restaurant).
Offer polite greetings to friends and associates or as a way to break the ice when meeting new people.
These Italian phrases to learn 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)
Notice how the most common phrases in Italian to be polite address people as “Lei” (formal you), not “tu” (informal you).
Also, check out how to say how are you in Italian.
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 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!).
These are essential Italian phrases is you want to eat well in Italy!
- 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 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 phrases to ask for directions.
Basic Italian for travel includes giving 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 basic Italian phrases for 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?
Learning basic Italian phrases like these can make your life easier.
Italian phrases to find hidden gems in Italy
Let’s learn some simple phrases that will help you discover the hidden gems on your next trip to Italy!
Locals are always keen to share their favorite restaurants and cafes with visitors, but if you want to find out about them you need to know how to ask!
- Mi scusi, ma… – I’m sorry to bother you, but…
- Posso farle una domanda? – Could I ask you something quickly?
- Cerco un posto qui in zona dove si mangi bene – I’m looking for a place with good food around here
- Cerco un bar carino qui in zona – I’m looking for a nice cafe in the area
- Ne conosce qualcuno? – Do you know anyone [here]?
- C’è qualche posto interessante da visitare qui in zona? – Is there anything interesting to see in this area?
- Grazie comunque – Thank you, anyway [if they can’t help you]
The basics of Italian can make the difference in your first conversation.
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.
Even within simple Italian phrases, 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 phrases for travelers
Here are the most common Italian phrases that are particularly helpful to international travelers.
Use these simple Italian phrases 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 phrases 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
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.
Sometimes, to make everyday Italian phrases, you need numbers, especially the first 10 numbers.
Italian numbers 1 – 10 for basic Italian phrases
- Uno – one in Italian
- 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
Italian numbers 31 – 40
Italian numbers 50 – 1 billion
And the final pieces to help you count as much as you want:
1,000,000 un milione
2,000,000 due milioni
1,000,000,000 un miliardo
Telling time with Italian phrases for beginners
Italian phrases for beginners often include time expressions.
The time of day can be described in general terms or specific times. You can use the following words to describe the time in a general sense.
- di mattina (in the morning)
- del pomeriggio (in the afternoon)
- di sera (in the evening)
- di notte (in the middle of the night [until about5 a.m. or so])
- giorno (johr-noh) [m] (day)
- ieri (ee-eh-ree) (yesterday)
- domani (doh-mah-nee) (tomorrow)
- mezzogiorno (noon)
- mezzanotte (midnight)
- oggi (today)
Telling time in Italian is really just a question of counting. Italy commonly uses a 24-hour clock. When using a 24-hour clock, just add 12 to every hour after noon, for example 6 p.m. becomes 18.
When you want to know a specific time of day, you can ask Che ore sono?(What time is it?). When expressing time between the hours, say the hour + minute, for example, e un quarto (and a quarter), e ventitrè (and 23), e mezzo (thirty). When you get past the half hour, start going the other say the number of minutes until the next hour, for example, say meno un quarto (a quarter to) and meno dieci (ten minutes to).
You can use the following basic Italian phrases as a guide when talking about time.
É l’una. (It’s 1 a.m.)
É l’una e dieci. (It’s 1:10 a.m.)
É mezzogiorno. (It’s noon.)
É mezzogiorno e mezzo. (It’s 12:30 p.m.)
É mezzanotte. (It’s midnight.)
Sono le due. (It’s 2 a.m.)
Sono le due e un quarto. (It’s 2:15 a.m.)
Sono le quindici. (It’s 3 p.m.)
Sono le ventidue meno dieci. (It’s 9:50 p.m.)
In Italian, 9:50 p.m. is spoken as ventidue meno dieci. (9:50 p.m.) However, informally, it is usually written as 9,50. Notice that the colon has been replaced with a comma.
Here are some important Italian phrases to know about opening hours and departure times.
A che ora parte il treno? (At what time does the train leave?)
Parte all’una. (It leaves at 1.)
A che ora inizia l’opera? (At what time does the opera begin?)
Inizia alle venti. (It begins at 8 p.m.)
A che ora chiude l’ostello? (At what time does the hostel close?)
Chiude a mezzanotte e mezzo. (It closes at 12:30 a.m.)
With these easy Italian phrases, you can survive during your trip to Italy.
How to talk about your family in Italian
How to talk about family in Italian? You probably need that in a basic Italian conversation.
Here are some useful Italian phrases about family members.
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 in Italian to make easy Italian phrases:
- 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 words for “The” in Italian (definite articles).
- my grandfathers – i miei nonni
- her aunts – le sue zie
- their brothers – i loro fratelli
- my sisters – le mie sorelle
Italian phrases for lovers
Italian is, after all, one of the most romantic languages in the world.
Learn the Italian phrases for lovers you’ll need to successfully navigate a romantic candlelit dinner with your lover.
First, you need some pet names:
- Tesoro mio – My treasure
- Cuore mio – My heart
- Amore mio – My love
- Caro/cara – Dear
Oh, they’ve got a present for you!
- Un mazzolino di fiori – A bouquet of flowers
- Un mazzolino di rose – A bouquet of roses
- Un pensierino – A little gift (literally a little thought)
- Una scatola di cioccolatini – A box of chocolates
Here’s a list of romantic Italian phrases:
- Ti amo. – I love you (romantically).
- Sono attratto/a da te. – I’m attracted to you.
- Mi hai cambiato la vita. – You changed my life.
- Sei bellissimo/a. – You are beautiful.
- Sono pazzo/a di te. – I’m crazy about you.
- Sei l’uomo/la donna dei miei sogni. – You’re the man/woman of my dreams.
- Dammi un bacio. Give me a kiss.
- Ho un debole per te. – I’m weak for you.
- Sei l’unico/a per me. – You’re the only one for me.
- Non posso vivere senza di te. — I can’t live without you.
- Sei tutto per me. – You’re everything to me.
- Sono innamorato/a di te. – I’m in love with you.
- Ti penso ogni giorno. – I think about you every day.
Useful Italian phrases… with swear words (!)
A list of the most common Italian phrases would not be complete without some colorful expressions.
Be it about politics, romance, or the weather, the Italians love arguing, possibly with swear words.
These are Italian phrases to know if you want to win an argument.
I’m not showing them in this post, but here’s a collection of Italian swear words with audio.
It’s a lesson made up of 30 basic Italian phrases with… you know.
Italian hand gestures
Some common Italian phrases are better expressed through typical Italian hand gestures.
Some are funny, some are aggressive, some are just rude. That’s Italian culture, too!
Sometimes, these Italian phrases in English just don’t feel the same. That’s why you use gestures!
Basic Italian phrases PDF
I collected the most important basic Italian phrases in a 13-page PDF file.
Just tell me where I should send it and you’ll receive it immediately.
To download the basic Italian phrases PDF, click the link in the email you receive from me.
Bonus resources to practice Italian
If this list of common phrases in Italian is not enough, check out these free resources:
- Take free Italian lessons
- Check your Italian level and get instant feedback
- Listen to my first 10 audio lessons for free
- Check out my list of 21 tools to learn Italian
- Learn Italian with songs
To expand your repertoire of expressions, check out my collection of Italian idioms, Italian sayings, Italian proverbs, or Italian quotes.
If you want a more structured approach, download the best Italian audio course and start speaking today.
It includes tons of Italian conversational phrases in English:
- Basic Italian phrases
- Intermediate Italian phrases
- Advanced Italian phrases
It’s also an excellent way to learn Italian while driving.
Are you still afraid of having a basic Italian conversation or watching the news in Italian?
Try these lessons and you’ll be speaking and thinking in Italian in a couple of days!