There's no better way to level up your trip to Italy than by practicing your Italian! Learning a few key phrases will help you feel more confident ordering in an Italian gelateria (gelato shop) and chatting with locals over an espresso and colazione (breakfast). 

Here are the most important phrases you'll need in Italy!

Illustration of the Colosseum in Rome.

Italian 101

You don't have to be fluent to have fun with Italian. 
You're on vacation, so don't stress! Enjoy using the Italian you know and see what else you learn along the way. (And you might be pleasantly surprised that even beginners can have real conversations!)

It's the effort that counts. 
Using some Italian shows locals that you're interested in their culture and community.

Study smart, not hard. 
Focus on the most useful Italian words and phrases, and worry less about getting every grammar detail right. A few key words go a long way!


Good morning / Good afternoon Buon giorno
Good evening Buona sera
Excuse me Mi scusi
Please Per favore
Thank you Grazie
You're welcome Prego
Goodbye Arrivederci
Yes Si
No No
My name is... Mi chiamo...

Asking for help

Do you speak English? Parla inglese?
The bathroom, please? Il bagno, per favore?
I'm sorry, I don't understand. Mi dispiace, non capisco.
Can you help me? Mi può aiutare?
I'm lost [for a man] / lost [for a woman]. Mi sono perso / persa.

Getting around town

I want to go to ___. Voglio andare a ___.
How much does it cost? Quanto costa?
Where is ___? Dov'è ___?
the museum il museo
the beach il mare
the station la stazione
the city center (downtown) il centro

Ordering food

A table for 1 / 2 / 3 / 4. Un tavolo per uno / due / tre / quattro.
I would like ___. Vorrei ___.
(More) water / coffee / beer / wine. (Più) acqua / birra / vino.
The check, please. Il conto, per favore.
pay by cash / credit card in contanti / con carta di credito
with / without con / senza
breakfast la colazione
lunch il pranzo
dinner la cena
appetizer antipasti
first courses primi
second courses secondi
dessert dolci
Illustration of a man rowing a gondola on a sunny day

Local language

Buon giorno!
It's considered polite to greet people with "good morning" or "good afternoon" when you enter stores, cafés, or souvenir shops.

Soften those "k" sounds.
In Tuscany, many "k" sounds are pronounced like "h"—so order a Coca Cola by asking for a Hoha Hola!

The beginning of your journey with Italian 🇮🇹

These basics will get you far in Italy, but there's a lot more Italian where that came from. To make real connections during your trip, let Duolingo be your guide! Our bite-sized lessons make it easy to fit study time into your busy schedule, and our entire Italian course is free—so you can save your euros for souvenirs.