Talking about transport in Italian
If you’re studying Italian as a foreign language, you will soon realize it can be tricky to talk about moving and using transport. Don’t worry though, in this post you’ll get all the foundations you need to talk about moving around and using public transport in Italy!
First of all, let’s have a look at a list of the possible mezzi di trasporto (means of transportation) in Italian:
car – la macchina / l’automobile (auto)
bus – l’autobus (masculine)
train – il treno
bicycle – la bicicletta (bici)
airplaine – l’aereo (masculine)
motorbike – la motocicletta (moto)/ il motorino
boat – la barca
taxi – il taxi
Go by… in Italian
With all of the above, when you are describing “how you go somewhere”, you can use the verb andare (to go) followed by the preposition IN, which in this case stands for the English BY.
ANDARE IN bici/macchina/treno/taxi etc…
- Io vado a lavorare in macchina.
I go to work by car.
- Mi piace andare in bici.
I like riding a bike.
- Andremo in Puglia in treno, non voglio andare in aereo.
We’ll go to Puglia by train, I do not want to go by plane.
- Sono andata in taxi, non mi andava di camminare.
I went by taxi, I didn’t feel like walking.
As is the case in English, to “go on foot” uses another preposition. In this case, the preposition A.
ANDARE A piedi.
- Andiamo a piedi o in bici?
Shall we go on foot or by bike?
- Vai a piedi, non è lontano!
Go on foot, it is not far!
You can also use this same construction with other verbs of movement, such as venire (to come), arrivare (to arrive), partire (to leave/depart):
- Siamo arrivati in macchina.
We arrived by car.
- Stasera verrò a piedi.
Tonight I’ll come on foot.
- Sono partiti in aereo ieri.
They left by plane yesterday.
Talking about transport in Italian: more examples
Sometimes, you will hear the preposition CON instead of IN, especially when talking about public transport, or when we want to emphasize the means of transportation in the sentence.
This is also acceptable in Italian, although far less commonly used.
- Sono andato con l’autobus.
I went by bus.
- Sono arrivati fino alla cima con la macchina.
They arrived to the top by car.
- Si può arrivare solo con l’aereo.
You can only get there by plane.
With public transport, we use the verb prendere (to take).
- Ho preso l’autobus per venire qui.
I took the bus to come here.
- Non mi piace prendere l’aereo.
I do not like taking the plane.
- Prendiamo un taxi, no?
Shall we take a taxi?