Beyond Italian Curse Words: Useful Italian Words and Phrases

Taking a trip to visit a country where your native tongue is not the primary spoken language can be intimidating. But there are a number of easy things you can do to make sure you are understood in Italy.

Beyond Italian Curse Words: Useful Italian Words and Phrases

Speaking louder is not one of them; and neither is the commonplace gesticulation cliché. Italians use their hands, sure, but no less than any other expressive, passionate culture. Knowing a few Italian curse words may help, but when it comes to conversing in a foreign land, Travel Belles often prefer taking the lesser traveled, more subtle and sophisticated route.

Knowing basic Italian words and phrases will make your time in Italy even more enjoyable. Here are a few key (tongue in cheek) expressions.


Ciao {chow}
Hi/Bye (informal)


Come ti chiami? {KOHmeh·teeKYAHmee}
What’s your name? (informal)


Mi piace viaggiare da sola. {mee·PYAtche·vyaJAReh·dah·SOWlah}
I like traveling alone.


Perché {pehrKEH}


Un cappuccino doppio, per favore. {OONkapooCHEEnoh dawPYO·pehrFAHvoreh}
A double cappuccino, please.


Sempre {SEHMpreh}


Mai {my}


Buon appetito! {bwonahpehTEEtoh}
Have a nice meal! (bon appetit)


Forse {FORseh}


Non so guidare con le marce. {known·SOH·gweeDAHRey·COHN·leh·MARchey}
I can’t drive a stick shift.


Mi dispiace. {mee·deeSPYAHcheh}
I’m sorry.



Amici {ahMEEchee}


Mi fa lo sconto? {mee·FAH·loh·SCONEtoh}
Will you give me a discount?


Aperitivo {ahpehreeTEEvoh}
Aperitif/Happy hour


Passami il vino, per favore. {PAHSsahmee eel VEEnohpehrFAHvoreh}
Pass the wine, please.


Ti amo. {tee·AHmow}
I love you.


Mi manchi. {mee·MAHNkey}
I miss you.


Tre carati, a goccia. {treh·cahRAHtee·ah·GOtcha}
Three carat, pear cut.


Non capisco. {knownkahPEESkoh}
I don’t understand.


Non ti preoccupare. {KNOWN·teeprehOHKkooPAHreh}
Don’t worry.


Quanto costa? {KWANtoh·KOHsta}
How much does it cost?


Paga tutto lui. {PAH gah·TOOtoh·LOUIE}
This gentleman will pay for everything.


Tenga le mani a posto. {TENgah·leh·MAHnee· ah·POSToh}
Keep your hands to yourself.


Ho una pistola. {OH·oona·PEEstohlah}
I have a gun.


Capisco benissimo l’Italiano. {capISKoh·benEES simoh·LEEtahleeanoh}
I understand Italian very well.


Sei bellissimo! {say·bellEESseemoh}
You’re very handsome!


Silenzio {seaLEHNtzeeoh}


Baciami. {BAHchahmee}
Kiss me.


Buon viaggio! {bwonVYAjoe}
Happy travels (bon voyage)

Are you ready now for lesson two – how to seduce in Italian?

Beyond Italian Curse Words: Useful Italian Words and Phrases

Eleonora Baldwin

American born, Italian raised Eleonora Baldwin lives in Rome with her son and divides her time between working on film sets, freelance writing and designing custom food holidays in Italy. She is currently editing her Italian food/lifestyle manuscript, a collection of family recipes, history, art, daily life snippets; and a lot about how Italians forage, shop, cook, eat, praise and appreciate food. Eleonora is the author/editor of three popular websites Aglio, Olio Peperoncino, Roma Every Day and Forchettine.
Beyond Italian Curse Words: Useful Italian Words and Phrases


writer // blogger // editor // photographer // serious cheese eater // chocolate addict // pizza bianca pundit || US born+ITA raised ||
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Beyond Italian Curse Words: Useful Italian Words and Phrases

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