By Francesca Romana Onofri, Karen Antje Moller, Teresa L. Picarazzi

Part of Italian For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Knowing Italian greetings can make a good impression, whether you’re speaking Italian for business or while traveling. The Italian culture places importance on introductions and salutations as it is often considered a foundational way of showing respect. There are different expressions you can use depending on if the situation is formal (business meeting) or informal (meeting someone at a restaurant). Offer polite greetings to friends and associates or as a way to break the ice when meeting new people.

Practice using these common Italian greetings:

  • Buongiorno! (bwohn-johr-noh) (Hello! and Good morning!)

  • Arrivederci! (ahr-ree-veh-dehr-chee) (Goodbye!) (Formal)

  • Ciao! (chou) (Hello! and Good-bye!) (Informal)

  • Salve! (sahl-veh) (Hello! and Good-bye!) (Neutral)

  • Buonasera! (bwoh-nah-seh-rah) (Good afternoon! Good evening!) (Formal)

  • Buonanotte! (bwoh-nah-noht-teh) (Good night!) (Informal)

  • Come si chiama? (koh-meh see kyah-mah) (What is your name?) (Formal)

  • Come ti chiami? (koh-meh tee kyah-mee) (What is your name?) (Informal)

  • Mi chiamo…(mee kyah-moh) (My name is. . .)

  • Come sta? (koh-meh stah) (How are you?) (Formal)

  • Come stai? (koh-meh stahy) (How are you?) (Informal)

  • Bene, grazie. (beh-neh grah-tsee-eh) (Fine, thank you.)