Last Updated on 30th October 2018 by Sophie Nadeau
When travelling to a new country, it’s always courteous to learn a few words and sentences in the local language. And when you travel to Italy on any European adventure, it’s no different. Here’s your ultimate guide to Italian phrases. How to say ‘thank you in Italian,’ how to say ‘good morning in Italian,’ how to say ‘hello in Italian’ and more!
Thank you in Italian
Grazie: Thanks! The simplest way of saying ‘thank you’ in Italian is simply to say ‘Grazie’ Of all the Italian phrases you’ll want to master before heading to the boot-shaped country, ‘grazie’ (pronounced ‘grat-zhee’) should be it.
Grazie Mille: A thousand thank yous! If you want to say thank you with a little something added, then use this easy phrase to give thanks to someone who has gone above and beyond your expectation, or even if you want to give an extra thank you for a marvellous Italian meal you’ve just consumed!
You’re Welcome in Italian
Prego: Often if you say ‘thank you’ for something or a service (i.e. receiving your coffee or ice cream in café), the person will often reply with ‘prego’ (pronounced prey-go). This word just means ‘you’re welcome’. However, the word ‘prego’ can also be used as a greeting to welcome guests, so don’t be surprised if you’re host announces ‘prego’ upon your arrival!
Sorry in Italian
Scusami: Also shortened to ‘scusi’ (pronounced ‘sku-zi’) is a quick and informal way of telling someone that you’re sorry, for example, if you’ve bumped into them.
Mi dispiace: If a simple ‘scusi’ won’t cut it, then you’ll want to use the more formal phrase of ‘mi dispiace’ which is pronounced as ‘me dis-peeachy’.
Please in Italian
Per favore: The easiest way to say please in Italian is simply to use this two-word phrase, pronounced ‘per fav-or-ay’.
Good morning and Good Afternoon in Italian
Buongiorno: This word can be used throughout the day to say hello to someone, or simply to say ‘have a nice day’ as long as it’s still light outside. Pronounced ‘bon jaw-no’ it literally translates as ‘good day’.
Good evening in Italian
Buonasera: After the sun has set, it’s common to use ‘Buonasera,’ to say ‘good evening.’ Also written as ‘Buona Sera’ it’s one of the most common Italian phrases you’ll hear if you head out to a restaurant or eatery for dinner.
Goodnight in Italian
Buonanotte!: Depending on the situation, using ‘buonanotte’ can be either formal or informal. It’s often used between loved ones and parents with their children and is a way of saying goodnight, or even ‘sweet dreams’. If friends having a conversation are looking to put an end to the matter, they can also say ‘buanonotte’.
Hello in Italian
Ciao: The easiest way to say hello and goodbye in Italian is simply to say ‘ciao’. This is an incredibly informal greeting and is typically used between family, friends, and sometimes acquaintances. A variation on ‘ciao’ is ‘ciao a tutti,’ which should be used when you want to greet a large group of people at the same time.
Goodbye in Italian
Salve: A good alternative to using ‘ciao’ is simply ‘salve’. This Italian word comes directly from the Latin word ‘Salve’ and can be used for hellos and goodbyes. Although an informal greeting, ‘salve’ can be used to greet someone when you’re passing them on the street or leaving a restaurant.
My name is in Italian
Mi Chiamo…: When it comes to introductions, there’s nothing as easy to remember as ‘my name is’. Pronounced ‘me key-amo’ remember this and you’ll find meeting new people in Italy that much easier!
How are you? in Italian
Come sta?: After introducing yourself and starting your first conversation in Italian, you’ll want to ask someone how they are and is pronounced exactly as it’s written. This is a formal way of asking a person how they’re doing and replies you’ll hear include: ‘così così’ (so-so), ‘sto bene’ (I’m great), and ‘non c’è male’ (not too bad).
I love you in Italian
Ti amo: Much like French, Italy is a language of love and so at one point or another, you may want to learn how to say those three little words in English (or two in Italian) to another person. Although there are literally a hundred ways to say ‘I love you’ to someone in Italian, ‘ti amo’ is a way of telling your partner you love them completely! Here’s how to say ‘I love You’ in forty more languages!
More Italian Phrases and Words for Italy Help
If you learn the above phrases, you’ll have everything you need to start your Italian adventure. After all, it’s only polite to learn a few phrases in the local language of where you’re visiting. However, if you’re still a little nervous, then here are some tips.
Travelling to somewhere where you don’t speak the language: If it’s your first time travelling to a place where you don’t speak the local language, then it can definitely be daunting! Read my guide on tips for when you don’t speak the language for extra advice.
Consider purchasing a phrase book: For extra back up (and for when technology fails, as it so often does), think about purchasing a simple Italian phrase book that you can carry around in your bag like this one here.