If you are planning a trip to Italy, then it would be a good idea to learn some expressions that will help you to communicate with people. The two easiest words are “Si” for yes and “No” for no. If you want to say please, you would say “Per favore”, and thanks is “Grazie”.

How to Be Polite

Since Italians tend to be very polite it would also be polite to say: “Buon giorno” which means good. If it is around lunch time, then the correct greeting would be “Buon pomeriggio” which means good afternoon and should be used until about 4 pm. At night you would say “Buona sera”, which means good evening. Before bedtime the convention is to say “Buona note”, which means good night.

“Ciao” is a friendly but informal greeting that means hello and goodbye. It should not be used for greeting older people or strangers though, but it can be used for greeting people of about your age or who you are friends with. If you want to say goodbye to someone in a formal way, then you would say “Arrivederci”.

Helpful Phrases

Other phrases that are useful to remember are: “Mi scusi” which means excuse me. This is a polite way of asking for a person to help you, since you are disturbing them by asking for their help. Certainly, if you are asking someone for assistance, then this is what you would need to say to them. Other useful expressions you can use include: “Non parlo bene l’italiano” which means I don’t speak Italian well and “Parla inglese?” which means do you speak English? Depending on which city and location you are in, the person you need to speak to may well speak English as well.

Other useful expressions to know include: “Mi sono perso” which means I am lost and, “Sto cercando il mio albergo”, which means I am looking for my hotel. In addition, it would be wise to know what to say when you don’t know something. For instance, “Non so dove sia” which you say when you don’t know where something is and “Non capisco” which translates to I don’t understand. To say that you do understand you say “Capisco”.

While Out and About

If you are shopping, it is wise to able to say “Quanto costa?” which is asking, how much does it cost? Similarly knowing how to ask where the lavatory is would be important. To do this you say: “Dov’e gabinetto?” you can similarly ask where the restaurant is by “Dov’e ristorante?”

If you are at a restaurant, you may have a waiter say “Prego?” Prego can mean you’re welcome, but is also used as intent to help, so if the waiter says “Prego?” It means they are actually saying how can I help you.

If you are out sightseeing and want to take photos, you may need to ask if taking photos is allowed. To do this you would say: “Posso fare fotografie?” Knowing these expressions will make your trip just that much easier.