Simple Italian Phrases to Get You Started Around Rome at John Cabot University

American universities in Italy

If you want to have a truly memorable Roman experience when you study abroad in Italy, you should try learning a few Italian phrases. Being able to speak a bit of Italian can help you forge connections with locals, make it easier to navigate the city, and empower you to better understand your surroundings. Plus, you’ll be speaking a bit of a language that many consider to be one of the most beautiful in the world!

Check out the following simple phrases to help you get started on your Italian adventure studying abroad at John Cabot University.

Learning How to Say Hello and Goodbye Can Help You Break the Ice

There are many ways you can say hello and goodbye in Italian, depending on who you’re speaking to and the time of day. “Buongiorno” means “good morning,” although many Italians use it during the early afternoon as well. Later in the evening, you’ll use “buona sera,” which means “good evening.” These are excellent phrases to say when meeting new people, or speaking to professors, shop attendants, or waiters.

When it’s time to leave, you have many options. “Arrivederci” is especially popular and means “until we see each other again.” Or you could say “arrivederla,” which means the same thing, except it’s more formal. Alternatively, “a più tardi” means “see you later,” “alla prossima” means “until next time,” and “buona giornata” means “have a nice day.”

Use “Buon giorno” to greet people in the morning and afternoon

Use “buongiorno” to greet people in the morning and early afternoon

Also, don’t forget about “ciao.” This means both “hi” and “bye,” but it is informal so it should typically be used for friends and people you know personally. A more formal version of “hi” (but not “bye”) that you can use with shopkeepers and other strangers is “salve”.

A Few Polite Words Can Go a Long Way

When you study abroad in Italy, knowing a few polite phrases can help you experience the country in a whole new way. Make sure you say “per favore” (please) and “grazie” (thank you) as much as possible. Or, if you want to show you’re really appreciative, use “grazie mille,” which literally means “a thousand thank yous.”

Perhaps one of the most useful Italian words is “prego.” While “prego” means “you’re welcome,” it has a lot of other uses as well. For example, if you are offering to let somebody go ahead of you, saying “prego” loosely means “go ahead.” You may even encounter employees at shops asking you “prego,” which means “can I help you?” This little word is very versatile and one you’ll encounter many times while in Italy.

When Studying in Rome, Knowing Some Food Phrases is Essential

No trip to Italy is complete without eating delicious Italian cuisine. While you can visit a “supermercato” (supermarket) to get most groceries, we also recommend the “mercati” (open-air markets) that are within walking distance of John Cabot University for fresh food. Also, check out some of the smaller stores, such the “macelleria” (butcher) for “carne” (meat) and “forno” (bakery) for “pane” (bread).

Rome’s “mercatos” are great places to find fresh food

Rome’s “mercati” are great places to find fresh food

When you’re at any of these stores you can ask for something by saying “vorrei…,” which means “I would like.” Don’t forget to say “per favore” right afterwards! Additionally, if you want to know how much something costs, ask “quanto costa,” which means “how much is it?”

Are you interested in American universities in Italy?

Contact John Cabot University to learn about studying abroad in Rome.

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