We may think that we are prepared to be set loose in Italy with our vast knowledge of worts like tortellini and spaghetti. The truth is, that is simply not enough to navigate cities like Venice, Rome, and Milan.

Before you fly out to the home of couture fashion and great food, there are some words and phrases you should know, all in Italian, of course!


No matter what party of the boot you find yourself in, you’ll want to use those manners your grandma taught you.

To say ‘hello’ or ‘good-bye,’ you only need one word: ciao! If you want to really ramp up that American charm, you can use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ with per favore and grazie.

That’s not all! If your stomach won’t stop fumbling and the smell of authentic Italian food is making your mouth water, don’t be afraid to ask for ‘food’ or a ‘restaurant’ with cibo and ristorante. Once you’ve found the food that you’ve been craving, you’ll have to ask for the check, which is conto. 

Before you leave that ristorante, stop by the toilette before heading out to sight-see!



Sometimes, single words just aren’t enough to get your point across. Sometimes, you have to string them together in a phrase!

One of the great things about Italy is how full of history it is, which means there are countless places to visit! When you’re looking for one place in particular, simply ask dove si trova [name of place]? 

You may come across a certain store or shop that you just have to go into. In that store, there could be the most beautiful scarf or funniest postcard you’ve ever seen. If there isn’t a price tag, don’t be afraid to ask: quanto costa questo? 

Finally, if you forgot your Jarvisen Translator, you may have to ask someone if they speak English. There is no shame in this, and I am sure your honesty will be appreciated! To ask if someone speaks English, say: lei parla inglese? 

With all these words and phrases, not to mention your Jarvisen in hand, you will be ready for anything Italy has to throw at you! Ciao!

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