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Travelers Italian: 100+ of the most useful Italian phrases for travel

Travelers’ Italian. Over 100 easy and useful Italian phrases for travel and basic Italian words that will help you make the most of your time in Italy (by a teacher)

You do not need to speak Italian to enjoy your time in Italy.

However, knowing basic Italian words or being able to express simple sentences will go a long way to improve your stay.

We Italians love it when foreigners make an effort and while I know it is daunting to express yourself in a language you do not dominate, you will see most people will react with great appreciation!

I am a qualified teacher of Italian as a second language and most of my students came to class before a trip to Italy, to learn Italian phrases tourists could learn or carry with them while in Italy for quick reference.

Today, I want to share the travelers’ Italian phrases most commonly requested in my classes.

These, we found, were the most useful Italian phrases for tourists and were all reasonably easy to learn or read out when needed!

As you will see, it is a mix of basic Italian words and Italian phrases for tourists that cover situations you may encounter while traveling in Italy.

I hope you find them useful!

This article is part of our series ‘Learn Italian’. You can find here >>> all our free Italian lessons <<<

You can hear the pronunciation of these Italian phrases for tourists copying them into google translate and clicking on the little megaphone symbol – try here

Basic Italian words and Italian phrases for travel

Before you learn specific Italian phrases for travel, you want to learn your basics.

  1. Si – yes

2. No – No

3. Grazie – thank you

Grazie is the most common way to express gratitude in Italian but there are several others you may hear or want to use. Learn how to say thank you in Italian here.

4. Prego – you are welcome / please

5. Per favore – please

Please can be tricky to express in Italian. Learn how to properly say please in Italian here.

6. Mi scusi – Excuse me

7. Scusi – Sorry

8. Non capisco – I don’t understand

9. Non parlo italiano – I don’t speak Italian

10. Aiuto! – Help!

Simple Italian phrases to make yourself understood

Parla inglese? – Do you speak English?

Mi dispiace, non parlo Italiano – Sorry, I don’t speak Italian

Piu’ piano per favore – slower please

Puo’ ripetere, per favore? – Can you say that again, please?

Common Italian phrases to greet someone

blackboard with writing; how to greet someone in Italian

Ciao – hello / goodbye, informal

Buon giorno – good morning

Buona sera – good evening

Buona notte– good night

Buon pomeriggio – good afternoon, mostly used when parting from someone, slightly formal

Arrivederci – goodbye / bye bye (formal)

A presto – see you soon

Good to know: in most interactions with tourism establishments such as your hotel owner, host, ticket officer etc, you want to use greetings that are formal and polite. The most useful to learn are: buongiono (formal hello) and arrivederci (formal goodbye, at the end of a stay or a meal).

You can learn how to say hello in Italian here

Asking for directions – basic Italian travel phrases if you are lost

Blackboard with writing: how to ask for directions in Italian

Dov’e’? – where is?

Ex Dov’e’ il Colosseo? Where is the Colosseum?

Ore more politely: ITA: Mi scusi, mi sa dire dov’e’ il Colosseo? ENG: Excuse me, would you be able to tell me where the Colosseum is?

E’ lontano? Quanto dista? – It is far? how far is?

How far is the Colosseum? Quanto e’ lontano/ Quanto dista il Colosseo?

Dritto – sraight

Destra – right

Sinistra – left

Semaforo – traffic light

Incrocio – crossroads

Ponte – bridge

Strada – street

Strisce / strisce pedonali – zebra crossing

Senso unico – one way street

Piazza – square

ZTL – Zona Traffico Limitato, an area closed to car traffic. Learn what they are and how to deal with them in this guide about driving in Italy.

Parcheggio -parking

A sample conversation may look like:

You: Scusi, dov’e’ il colosseo? Excuse me, where is the Colosseum?

Answer: vada dritto, poi al semaforo gira a destra e lo vede. Go straight, then at the traffic light turn right and you see it.

Another example can be: You: scusi, dov’e’ il bagno? (Excuse me, where is the restroom?) Answer: in fondo a destra (at the end of the room, to the right)

Transport and tickets

At train stations, airports and transport hubs, you may encounter or need to use the following Italian travel phrases and words:

Biglietto – ticket

Biglietto di sola andata – one way ticket

Biglietto di andata e ritorno – return ticket

Riduzioni / tariffe speciali / sconti – disxounts and special tariffs, usually for children/elderly/teachers/specified categories

Posto a sedere – seat

Treno – train

Binario – platform

Porto – harbor / port

Cabina – cabin (on a boat)

Traghetto – ferry

Aliscafo – hydrofoil (you will hear it to go to Capri for instance)

Prenotazione – booking / reservation

When you book a train ticket, it may come with a warning ‘prenotazione obbligatoria’, which means booking for a specific date/time/seat is mandatory.

Taxi – taxi

Autista – driver

Basic Italian sentences when at the shop

Quanto costa – How much is this?

Prezzo – price

Saldi – sales

Ha il resto? – Do you have change (if you are paying with a big note)

Carta di credito – credit card

Bancomat – debit card / also ATM

Posso provare? Can I try this on?

Do’ un’occhiata – I am just browsing / having a look

Si puo’ spedire? Can you ship this?

Caro – expensive Ex. No, grazie, e’ troppo caro. No, thank you, it is too expensive. Ex. Ha qualcosa di meno caro? Do you have anythign less expensive?

Top tip! To avoid embarrassing situations, learn about the etiquette of negotiating in Italian markets and shops here (hint you don’t!)

Medical emergencies

A well equipped arsenal of travelers Italian needs Italian phrases for travel emergencies, just in case!

Sto male – I am sick / I am unwell

Ho bisogno di un dottore / chiamate un dottore – I need a doctor / call a doctor

Aiuto! – help!

Farmacia – pharmacy / chemist

Ospedale – Hospital

Pronto soccorso – A&E

Medico di guardia – doctor on call

Medicina – medicine

Ricetta – prescription

Mascherina – face mask / Mascherina chirurgica: disposable face mask (medical)

Dottore – Doctor

Infermiere / infermiera – nurse (male/female)

Blackboard with writing: how to ask for help in Italian

In hotel – useful Italian phrases about your accommodation

Camera – room

Camera matrimoniale – double room (with double bed)

Camere comunicanti – connecting rooms

Culla – baby cot/ crib

Letti a castello – bunk beds

Camerata – hostel room (with multiple beds)

Bagno in camera – en suite bathroom

Piscina – pool

Doccia – shower

Bagno – restroom

At the beach – useful Italian words for a day on the beach

Spiaggia – beach

Stabilimento – beach club

Ombrellone – sun umbrella

Sdraio – deckchair

Lettino – beach lounger

Bagnino – lifeguard

Crema solare – sunscreen

Secchiello e paletta – bucket and spade

Sabbia – sand

Scogli – rocks

Ghiaia – pebbles

At the restaurant – Italian words and sentences for a meal out

Food is such a large part of an Italian trip, my list of Italian phrases for travel needed a section about eating out, and so here it is!

Tavolo – table Ex. Ha un tavolo per quattro? Do you have a table for four?

Vino della casa – house wine

Acqua liscia / gassata – flat / sparkly water

Primo, secondo, contorno, dolce – these are the names of Italian courses. You can learn all about Italian meal structure here.

Mancia – tip (yes, you will need this one! Learn why here >>> guide to tipping in Italy

Allergia – allergy

Allergeni – allergens

Noci – walnuts / also generic word for ‘nut’

Noccioline – peanuts

Lattosio – lactose | Senza Lattosio = lactose free

Latticini / prodotti caseari – dairy products

Glutine – gluten

Kids essentials in Italian

Blackboard with writing: how to get kids essentials in Italian

Passeggino – stroller

Biberon – baby bottle

Ciuccio – soother / pacifier

Pappa – baby meal

Seggiolone – high chair

Pannolino – nappy / diaper

Pediatra – pediatrician

Scaldare – to heat: useful if you want to ask a restaurant/ cafe to heat up you child meal you brought from home (Mi puo’ scaldare la pappa per favore? Can you heat the baby food please?)

If you are about to travel to Italy with a baby, read this!

Other useful Italian words for travel you may want to use

Bello / bella – beautiful (male/neutral and female)

Presto, tardi – early, late

In ritardo – late Ex. Il treno porta un’ora di ritardo. The train is one hour late

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

Piacere – when introduced to someone, how do you do

Gratis – for free

Salute! – Cheers! You can find the many ways to say cheers in Italian here.

Stagione – season, you may find it on price lists as Alta stagione ‘high season’; bassa stagione= ‘low season’. Learn here >>> how the seasons are called in Italy

If you are in Italy for the festive seasons, you may also want to learn how to say Merry Christmas in Italian or the Italian for Happy New Year.

I hope you found these Italian phrases for travel useful and you have a wonderful time in my beautiful country. Safe travel planning!

Travelers’ Italian – pin these Italian phrases for travel so you can carry them with you!

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Marta Correale is an Italian mama of two. Born and raised in Rome, Marta has a passion for travel and especially enjoys showing off Italy to her kids, who are growing up to love it as much as she does! A classics graduate, teacher of Italian as a second language and family travel blogger, Marta launched Mama Loves Italy as a way to inspire, support and help curious visitors to make the most of a trip to Italy and learn about Italian culture on the way.