probably already heard the word ciao, but here are some useful tips
when using it.
First of all,
ciao can be used as both hi and as bye.
Second of all, ciao is a very informal way of greeting, so if you
want to greet a friend, you can use it. But if you find yourself
in a more formal situation, its always best to use some of
the more formal greetings that well cover below.
Hello and good morning
When you enter
a shop, a restaurant or you see your host in the morning at breakfast,
you should use the word buongiorno, which means both hello
and good morning.
Salve is the
more formal way of saying hello. When you meet somebody
for the first time, its more respectful to say salve than
a simple ciao.
Hello and good evening
surprised if you hear Italians saying buonasera already around 2
p.m. or 3 p.m. Its their way of saying hello in the afternoon/evening
and it also means good evening.
When you want
to say goodbye in a more formal way, you can use the word arrivederci.
For example, you wouldnt say arrivederci to your friend (to
him or her youd say ciao) but you could say it to the taxi
driver or to the shop assistant.
Una buona giornata
Have a good day
If you really
want to make a good first impression when you leave, say, a restaurant,
you can wish your waiter a good day by saying una buona
Have a good/nice evening [to be used when youre leaving]
When you leave
the restaurant after an amazing dinner you can wish a good evening
in Italian using buona serata. Note buona serata is different from
buonasera, which is used as a way of greeting people when you see
them for the first time (like a hello). Buona serata is used when
people are leaving and they want to wish a nice evening.
See you soon
to someone that you think youll see again someday, its
always a good idea to add a presto to your goodbye.
See you later
A dopo, by contrast,
is something you can say to your friends if you have any intentions
of seeing them later in the day.
Must-know Italian Phrases for Shopping Addicts
Do you like
shopping? Well, who doesnt?! If you plan to do some shopping
in Italy, make sure to learn some useful phrases and words thatll
help you make the best choice!
Shopping in Italy is a must:
already made some plans for sightseeing while in Italy and maybe
youve found some cool places for dinner and drinks, but did
you add shopping to your itinerary? If havent done it yet,
make sure you leave some free time for it. Italy is the country
of fashion and you can find some good quality items over there.
Just make sure it says made in Italy on the label.
Where to go for shopping in Italy?
miss the so-called local markets. In Italy a market is called a
mercato and there you can find really nice clothes, bags, accessories
and more at a good price.
Get shopping with these useful phrases:
Mi scusi, quanto
costa? Excuse me, how much does it cost?
shopping at the local mercato, its very likely that some of
the prices might be missing. If you cant see a price you can
ask the salesperson, Mi scusi, quanto costa? Just make sure youve
learned your Italian numbers beforehand, in order to avoid further
To be even more
specific, you can say Non riesco a vedere il prezzo, quanto viene?
(I cant see the price, how much is it?).
con la carta? Can I pay with a card?
best to have cash with you when youre in Italy, because a
lot of places dont accept cardsespecially in the small
cities. However, in most cases, the big brands will have no problem
accepting your credit card. If youre not sure whether you
can pay with a card, just ask!
to ask this is Accettate carte di credito? (Do you accept credit
Dove sono i
camerini? Where are the changing rooms?
especially in the big cities, might get busy and you might not be
able to find the changing rooms. In those cases, the best solution
is to ask Dove sono i camerini?
You can also
use the phrase Dove posso provare questo? (Where can I try this?).
uno sconto? Is there a discount?
Before you pay,
always ask if theres any discount if youre not sure!
You could even ask for a discount by saying Mi può fare uno
sconto? (Can you give me a discount?).
Essential Phrases for Dining at Restaurants
cant wait to go to a beautiful restaurant in Italy and order
a glass of red wine and some amazing pasta dish, but dont
forget to learn a few phrases thatll help you order the best
Some useful tips for dining out in Italy:
If you intend
to enjoy the real Italian cuisine, try not to go to the so-called
touristy restaurants, because those are the worst. Youll
find them normally very close to the main tourist attractions and
youll see a lot of foreign people eating there.
Food is very
important for the Italian people and there are lots of great places
that you can go to. How to find the good places? Just look aroundvery
often theyre small hidden restaurants with only a couple of
things on the menu and only Italian people visiting them.
In those places,
youll definitely use some Italian, since almost no tourists
go there and the staff wont be used to talking in English.
Whats il bar in Italian?
Before we get
to the phrases below, heres a language quirk thats very
important to understand. Il bar in Italian doesnt refer to
a bar, like a place where you can go for a drink with your best
friend. Il bar is the place where Italians drink their coffee and
where you can go for an espresso or for breakfast.
Learn how to order the best pasta while in Italy, using these Italian
un tavolo per due? Can I book a table for two?
If you want
to go to a nice restaurant and try high-quality Italian food, its
always best to book a table. Italians frequently go out for dinner,
so if you dont book a table you might not be able to eat where
to try out is Siamo in due, possiamo prenotare? (We are two, can
Can we order?
made your choice and are ready to order, just call your waiter and
ask him or her, Possiamo ordinare?
e vorremmo ordinare. (We are ready and we would like to order.)
is another phrase you can use.
una bottiglia di vino rosso, quale mi suggerisce? I want
to order a bottle of red wine, which one would you recommend?
Wine is a must
in Italy. If youre not familiar with the Italian wines, dont
be afraid and ask for help using the phrase above.
una specialità locale? Is there a speciality of the
in Italy has different speciality and its always a good idea
to ask the waiters if there is any.
un dolce. I would like to order a dessert.
the dolci. A tiramisù is never a bad choice!
il conto, per favore? Can we please have the bill?
ready to pay, simply ask your waiter for the bill. Just dont
be surprised when you see the coperto (cover fee) on it. Its
an added fee per-person and its usually somewhere around two
or three Euros.
Dont Get Lost! Learn How to Ask for Directions in Italian
Italy is full
of lovely small streets and if you want to experience the real Italian
lifestyle, you shouldnt miss those hidden places.
But theres something to consider be really careful not
to get lost, as it can be a bit difficult to find someone that can
help you out in English.
Or you could
just learn how to ask for directions in Italian!
These are the must-know Italian phrases if you dont want to
To the right
To the left
Mi scusi, per
andare in centro? Excuse me, how can we go to the center?
posso trovare la fermata dellautobus? Sorry, where
can I find the bus stop?
Dove si trova
la stazione del treno? Where is the train station?
At some point
youll probably have to take the train in Italy. Please remember
to always validate your ticket before going on the train.
Dove posso comprare
i biglietti per lautobus? Where can I buy tickets for
buy bus tickets when youre already on the bus, so youll
need take care of that before you board. You can buy the tickets
from the station or from the tabaccheria (tobacco store or the tiny
shops that sell cigarettes and bus tickets!).
Italian Phrases You Wont Find in Your Textbook
a little bonus for you as youre teaching yourself Italian10
great Italian phrases that youll probably hear very often,
but wont be able to find in your textbook or dictionary.
10 phrases that only native speakers use:
nero Im really mad/pissed off
is often used and if you hear somebody saying that, it means that
he or she is very mad. For example:
Ho perso il
mio cellulare, sono incazzato nero! I lost my cell phone
and Im really mad!
lo sciopero dei treni, non riesco ad andare al lavoro e sono incazzata
nera! Theres a train strike today, I cant go
to work and Im pissed off!
giro To make fun of
common Italian expression thats used when people make fun
of each other.
In quattro gatti
Only a few people
means with four cats, and its used to describe
situations where there are only a few people or almost nobody.
Me ne frega
I dont care/I couldnt care less
This is probably
one of the most used Italian expressions!
In bocca al
lupo Good luck
can be literally translated as In the mouth of a wolf,
but its used to wish good luck.
Sono solo come
un cane Im a loner/ lonely
People use this
phrase when they want to say that theyre very lonely, and
it literally means Im alone as a god.
Ogni morte di
papa Hardly ever/almost never happens
translation would be when the Pope dies. You can use
it when youre talking about something that happens very rarely
or almost never.
Non vedo lora
I cant wait
is also very common. People use it when theyre excited and
cant wait for something to happen.
What a pain
literally means what balls. Its another phrase
that Italians use when they want to complain about something.
E un ricco
sfondato Hes very rich
talking about someone whos extremely rich, this is the phrase
that you should use if you want to sound like a native!