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Buon Giorno! Key Italian Phrases Everyone Should Know

I’ve been in Italy now for a couple of weeks and I am finally starting to feel like a local rather than like a tourist. In Florence, that means a lot! Around the Duomo, a large and beautiful cathedral, there are swarms of tourists that always seem to get in the way. Going to school, I pass the Galleria dell’Accademia and David, the famous sculpture by Michelangelo. On my way, I have to fight my way through the numerous tour groups that flood the streets.

I may not have grown up in Italy or be anywhere close to being fluent in Italian, but having an address in the city definitely makes me more at home. It’s nice knowing that I’ll be living in Florence for almost 4 months. Feeling and looking like a tourist can be overwhelming, especially when locals can be condescending. But I can see their point of view: even I’ve starting getting annoyed with the tour groups that cloud the city (even though that was me just a couple of weeks ago!).

One of my biggest adventures in adjusting to life abroad has been trying to learn Italian! Some say Italian is the language of love, so why wouldn’t we all want to learn a few key phrases to impress someone special?


The above street signs reveal a lot about what is important to Italians…romance. Love and romance is not the main focus of this post (because I’m saving that for next time), but these signs contain some important Italian words! The Italians believe that if you are given good luck, you find love. And when you find love, you kiss. Sounds simple enough, right? Well like I mentioned in my last post, the Italians are all about what’s “simple”. But that doesn’t mean we can all be so lucky. So, here are a few phrases to increase your chances of impressing your crush!

Ciao = hello! (Great for starting conversations, because most people know what it means!)
Come ti chiami = what is your name? (Always important to know)
Cosa fai = what do you like to do? (You may not understand what they say in response, but just nod and smile!)
Anch’io = me too (It’ll show that you have things in common!)

And if all else fails, just ask, si parla inglese? = do you speak English?? (They’re sure to appreciate the effort and you’ll definitely be remembered!) 

Italian just makes everything sound better. You might feel like you’re in a movie (that lacks any subtitles), but it will be one of the best films you’ve ever seen! 

That’s it for now… I have an Italian presentation to study for! Wish me luck!


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