basic Italian phrases for travel

Visiting Italy? Must-Learn Italian Phrases For Travel



In this article, we’ll pretend we are traveling together so that I can help you speak in Italian in every common situation you might encounter during your Italy travels. For each situation, I will provide a list of useful Italian phrases to memorize or jot down somewhere. 

For easy accessibility, you have the graphic with the summary of the basic Italian phrases for travel we will be covering in this article. Screenshot it or save this page to your browser so you can come back later.

Pronti? Si parte.
(Ready? Let’s depart.)

basic italian phrases for travel

Basic Italian Phrases For Tourists At The Airport

Your plane has landed at Marco Polo Airport, Venice. You’ve collected your luggage and are trying to grab a taxi, but can’t find your way around. Here are some useful phrases to help you communicate with the locals.

1. Mi scusi. – Excuse me.

When interrupting someone to ask for help, it’s polite to use these two words before asking for anything.

2. Dov’è .. ? – Where is.. ?

You might need to ask where are the restrooms, or where is the airport shuttle, or where is the taxi station. Here’s how to do it in Italian.

3. La ringrazio. – Thank you (polite form).

Once you have gotten your answer, use this phrase to thank the person who helped you politely. If you want to go a step further, you can add one of these phrases:

4. Buona giornata. – Good day.

5. Buona serata. – Good evening

Italian phrases for travel - transport related

Phrases for Transport & Getting Around

You have found your way to the airport taxi stand, the bus stop or the train terminal. Now, you need to figure out how to get to your accommodation. Use these Italian phrases when the need arises.

For Train/Bus

6. Dove compro il biglietto? – Where do I buy the ticket?

PS: I suggest you research this before getting to the train or bus terminal, or ask the information desk inside the airport, as it’s likely you’ll need to buy the tickets from a shop inside the Arrivals. However, you’ll probably find a machine next to the terminals too.

6. Quanto costa il biglietto? – How much is the ticket?

8. A che ora parte l’autobus / il treno? – At what time does the bus/train depart?

9. Dov’è la corsia 10? – Where is platform 10? (replace with your specific number or letter)

For Taxi

10. Quanto tempo ci vuole per arrivare in città? – How long does it take to get to the city? 

11. Ci porti a questo indirizzo, per favore. – Please, take us to this address. (inside the taxi)

Common Italian Greetings For Every Situation

Once you get to your accommodation, your host or hotel receptionist will likely be there to meet you. In Italy, it’s common for Airbnb hosts to meet the guests, if the time of arrival is suitable for the other party.

Use these Italian greeting phrases to start your conversation with the host. Even if you end up speaking in English, it’s always nice to show the effort of saying a word or two in Italian.

Of course, you’ll be able to use these phrases throughout your holiday, whether you are greeting the barista or the ticket assistant at a museum.

12. Ciao – Hello and Buy

13. Buongiorno – Good morning

Read this article to learn all the ways to say good morning in Italian.

14. Buon pomeriggio – Good afternoon

15. Buona giornata – Good day

16. Buonasera – Good evening

17. Buona notte – Good night

If you are curious, here are other ways to say good night like a local.

18. Arrivederci / Arrivederla. – Goodbye until we meet again (informal/formal).

basic Italian phrases for travel - greetings & conversation

Italian Conversation Phrases – Formal & Informal

Whether you are chatting with your receptionist or getting to know the waiter who has been serving your coffee every morning, here are some basic conversation phrases in Italian. I am providing you with both casual and formal options.

PS: The rule is that if you don’t know someone you’ll use the polite form until the other person tells you to speak casually. However, if you are much older or have gotten very friendly, you can opt for the informal.

19. Come ti chiami/Come si chiama? – What’s your name (informal/formal)?

20. Mi chiamo Alessia/Sono Alessia. – My name is Alessia/I am Alessia.

21. Piacere di conoscerti / Piacere di conoscerla. – Nice to meet you (informal/formal).

22. Come stai / Come sta? – How are you (informal/formal)?

23. Bene. grazie; e tu? / Bene, grazie; e lei? – Well, thank you; and you? (informal/formal)

24. Da dove vieni/viene/venite? – Where do you come from? (informal, formal, plural)

25. Vengo / veniamo da Seattle. – I come from / we come from Seattle. (singular, plural)

Italian Phrases For Restaurants

Regardless of the time you get to Italy, it’s likely you’ll want to grab breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack. Why wouldn’t you, with so many delicious food options?

Below is a list of useful phrases to help you make a reservation, get a table, order your food, and chit-chat with the waiter.

26. Buongiorno, vorrei prenotare un tavolo per due per stasera alle 20:00.

Good morning, I’d like to book a table for two for tonight at 8:00 pm.

Then, the person on the phone will likely ask you your name (il suo nome) and your number (mi dia il suo recapito).

27. Salve, un tavolo per due per favore. – Hi (polite), a table for two, please.

28. Avete un tavolo fuori, per favore? – Do you have a table outdoors, please?

29. Il menu, per favore. – The menu, please.

30. Qual’è il piatto del giorno? – What’s the specialty of the day?

31. Cosa ci consiglia? – What do you suggest (we order, in polite form)?

You can find more useful phrases to use at restaurants in this article – Italian Food Glossary/ sayings.

If you love Italian food, you’ll likely want to learn more about it. Check out these other food articles I wrote. Each one covers a list of food, but also language and culture.

Italian Breakfast
Italian Dinner
Italian Aperitivo

basic Italian phrases for travel when shopping

Basic Italian Phrases For Shopping In Italy

I am pretty sure you won’t leave Italy without a souvenir or two, likely food-related, and maybe a classic handbag or a pair of leather shoes.

Even if you don’t have time for clothes shopping, you are likely to have to go to a supermarket once or twice. When you do, these phrases will come in handy.

At the Supermarket or Bakery

32. Dove trovo le noccioline, per favore? – Where can I find the nuts, please?

33. Mi dia due di questi, per favore? – Please, give me two of these.

At the Pharmacy

34. Mi serve una protezione solare. – I need a sunscreen.

35. Mi dia delle pastiglie per la gola, per favore. – Please, give some throat lozenges.

At the Shops

36. Avete la taglia M (media)? – Do you have a medium size?

37. Quanto costa questo .. maglione? – How much is this .. sweater?

For All Your Shopping

38. Posso pagare con il bancomat? – Can I pay with a card?

39. Accettate contanti? – Do you accept cash?

Useful Italian Phrases For Museums

Chances are you already booked all your museums online before getting on your plane to Italy. If you haven’t, here you will find useful phrases to use at museums when in line to buy tickets, as well as other general phrases to ask for information.

40. Dove compro i biglietti? – Where do I buy the tickets?

41. Dov’è l’entrata / l’uscita? – Where is the entrance / exit?

42. É possibile utilizzare la video camera? – Can I use my video camera?

43. A che ora chiude il museo? – At what time does the museum close?

How to ask for help in Italian

Italian Phrases To Ask For Help

Whether you are lost, need help with finding a location, or need special assistance these phrases will cover your basic needs.

44. Mi serve aiuto, per favore. – I need help, please.

45. Mi sono persa. Mi aiuta per favore? – I am lost. Can you help me, please?

46. Mi scusi, mi potrebbe aiutare a.. – Excuse me, could you help with..

Mi aiuterebbe a.. (Could you help me with ..)

47. Che ora è? – What time is it?

48. Parla Inglese? – Do you speak English?

49. Non parlo bene l’Italiano. – I don’t speak Italian well.

50. Non la capisco. – I can’t understand you.

BONUS: 56 Must-Know Italian Words & Phrases When Traveling To Italy

Si – Yes 

No – No

Per favore – Please

Grazie – Thanks

Prego – Welcome

Mi dispiace – I am sorry

Aiuto – Help

Dove – Where

Quando – When

Chi – Who

Come – How

Cosa – What

Vorrei – I’d like

Mi dia – Give me (polite)

Prendiamo – We’ll take

Davanti – Front

Dietro – Back

Destra – Right

Sinistra – Left

Entrata – Entrance

Uscita – Exit

Parcheggio – Parking

Aeroporto – Airport

Stazione – Station

Ufficio – Office

Biglietto – Ticket

Albergo – Hotel

Ristorante – Restaurant

Bar – Cafe

Museo – Museum

Farmacia – Pharmacy

Ospedale – Hospital

Polizia – Police

Autobus – Bus

Tassi – Taxi

Macchina – Car

Treno – Train

Aereo – Airplane

Mattina – Morning

Pomeriggio – Afternoon

Sera – Evening

Notte – Night

Giorno – Day

Ora – Time

Tempo – Weather

Sole – Sun

Pioggia – Rain

Vento – Wind

Freddo – Cold

Caldo – Warm

Telefono – Phone

Borsa – Bag

Chiavi – Keys

Portafoglio – Wallet

Passaporto – Passport

Carta d’identità – ID card

Other Things To Know

As you can see, I’ve tried to keep the list of Italian phrases for travel concise so as not to overwhelm you, while still covering the essentials.

I’ve also given you a list of must-know Italian words to help you speak the phrases more easily. Make sure to learn those first.

I suggest you read these other articles in preparation for your Italian holiday.

Numbers in Italian

Italian days of the week

With all of this info, you are set to go and have a wonderful time in Italy, without having to worry you won’t know what to say when a certain situation arises.

Overall, the number of Italians who can speak English keeps increasing, so if you need to speak English, you will be fine. However, if you are planning to visit very small villages and towns, knowing these basic Italian phrases for travel will come in handy.

Enjoy your time in Italy. Buon viaggio!

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