Basic Italian Vocabulary for Travelers | ELLCI

Basic Italian Vocabulary and Phrases for travellers

basic italian vocabulary for travellers

Basic Italian Vocabulary and Phrases for travellers

If you are planning to visit Italy, then this selection of basic Italian vocabulary for travellers is the perfect tool for your holidays. 

With this guide, we walk you through the most phrases to communicate during your trip to Italy.

English is a widespread language in Italy, especially in big cities and resort towns, but not everyone speaks English. Despite this, sometimes, a word in Italian here and there will generally get you what you need.  

Knowing some Italian words and phrases will make your trip easier and more enjoyable. Furthermore, Italians will appreciate any attempt you make to speak their language.

For the main experiences of your trip, this selection of basic Italian vocabulary for travellers will be enough.  Scroll till the end to download your pdf guide.

In any case, important places like hospitals and hotels will have someone who speaks English and can always help you.


Let’s go!


A small basic Italian Vocabulary for travellers 

basic italian vocabulary for travelers

Discover our Study Holiday Italian language courses to combine culture and fun.

Greetings for any occasion

“Il buongiorno inizia dal mattino/ A good day starts in the morning” is an Italian saying according to which when the day starts well, it ends well.

In Italy, saying “Buongiorno/ good morning” is polite education in any place: when you enter a hotel, a shop, a museum, a hotel, or on the bus.

A friendly “good morning!” is the way to get off on the right foot.


You generally use the formal with people you don’t know, especially older people. The informal is used between friends.


Here are the most common greetings and their context


Formal (people you don’t know) Informal (family, friends)

Buongiorno/ Good morning

Ciao/ Hello

Buonasera/ Good evening

Come sta?/ How are you? – Bene e lei?/ Good and you? 

Come stai?/ How are you? – Bene e tu?/ Fine and you?

Come si chiama?/ What’s your name? – Mi chiamo … e lei? / My name is… and yours?

Come ti chiami? What’s your name? – Mi chiamo … e tu? / My name is… and yours?

Piacere di conoscerla/ Pleased to meet you.

Piacere di conoscerti/ Pleased to meet you.


Basic Italian Travel Words and Phrases

Here are a few basic Italian words and phrases that will get you anywhere.



I would like… (ordering food or buying a ticket)

Dov’è …?

Where is?


The airport

La stazione dei treni

The train station

La fermata dell’autobus

The bus stop

Dove posso fare il biglietto?

Where can I buy the ticket?

Auto a noleggio

Rental car

La spiaggia

The beach

Il negozio

The store


At the restaurant

Not only restaurants but also trattorias, pizzerias, taverns, in Italy you have a great variety of national and regional dishes and different types of places where you can have an excellent meal. Restaurants are distinguished by the different menus, but also by the type of price. Usually trattorias, inns and taverns offer simpler and cheaper dishes.


In Italy, some restaurants offer tourist menus. They usually include multiple courses and allow you to enjoy different dishes, but might be more expensive than single dishes.

If you ask for water, they will usually bring you (sometimes overpriced) bottled water. If you prefer tap water, you will need to specify it.


It is not customary to leave a tip at the end of the service, but you can do it if you wish.

Sometimes, however, in the bill, you will find the item coperto. Usually a few euros, coperto is a cost item that is applied for each person at the table.


To be able to order your favourite dish, here are some useful phrases in Italian to use at the restaurant.


Il menu, per favore  Menu, please
Che cosa ci consiglia?  What do you recommend?
Avete il vino della casa?  Do you have house wine?
Vorrei ½ litro di vino rosso/bianco della casa. I would like ½ litre of house red/ white wine.
Vorrei un bicchiere/una bottiglia di vino. I would like a glass/bottle of wine.
Il conto, per favore. The check, please.
Posso pagare con la carta? Can I pay with a card?


Scroll to the bottom to download basic Italian vocabulary for travellers with the correct pronunciation.


Visit the museums


With nearly 5,000 museums, archaeological areas and monuments and as many as 55 UNESCO sites, visiting attractions is an important part of many Italian itineraries.

 In this section, we have provided you with some useful phrases in Italian to help you purchase tickets and ask common questions.


Quando apre/chiude? When does it open / close?
Ci sono prezzi ridotti per bambini/ studenti/ pensionati? Are there reduced prices for children / students / pensioners?
Un ridotto per favore.  A reduced please.
Un biglietto intero e due ridotti. One regular ticket and two reduced tickets.
Dov’è il guardaroba? Where is the wardrobe?


Download our basic Italian vocabulary for travellers guide to have the right phrases at hand for every occasion!