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At a hotel: some useful Italian words

Do you know what to say in a hotel in Italy?


When travelling to Italy and staying in a hotel, there is little risk people will not understand English: every receptionist speaks at least one foreign language and English is always a must. However, if you are staying in smaller, family run hotels in the countryside, you may sometimes need to speak in Italian to some members of staff.


In any case, even if you do not find communication problems when spending your holidays at a hotel it would be nice to learn some of the Italian vocabulary in this field, which could always turn out to be useful.


Here are the most common words you will use while staying at a hotel:


Ascensore: elevator.

You can find elevators in almost every hotel you go to. However, you may come across some hotels without it, especially when they are located in older buildings: because of their architecture and structure, installing elevators may not be possible.


Chiavi: keys.

Queste sono le chiavi della sua camera”, these are the keys of your room, would be a typical sentence uttered by the receptionist.


Chiedere Informazioni Turistiche: asking for tourist information.

Every hotel includes an information desk offering brochures or leaflets about the most interesting places and monuments to visit in town. Sometimes they also have special agreements, so they can offer tourists discounts or offers.If your hotel does not have a tourist information desk, ask the receptionist: they are usually pretty knowledgeable about the area’s attractions.


Conto: bill.

Some hotels require immediate payment of the room, while others will let you pay when leaving. The verb “to pay” is the equivalent to “pagare” and “pagamento” means “payment”.


Mancia: tip.

Unlike the USA, in Italy the tip, mancia, is not compulsory nor expected.. Italians usually leave a tip when they think that a member of the staff was kind and worked efficiently. You can decide the amount of money you want to leave.


Mezza Pensione: half-board.

Several hotels in Italy offer half-board solutions, which include breakfast and offer dinners at a special price.  This is often a very convenient option if you would like to save some cash. Keep in mind, though, that the menu is usually fixed and special price dinners are usually served at specific times.  The other options are pensione completa (full board), colazione inclusa (breakfast only is included). If nothing is mentioned, probably there is no food included.


Prenotare: to book.

Fare una prenotazione” and “ho una prenotazione” are translated as “make a reservation” and “I have a reservation”, which will be followed by the question “a nome di” meaning “under/in which name?”


Servizio in Camera: room service. 

There is always an extra to pay when you ask for room service but not all the hotels offer it, depending on the category and stars of the hotels.


Valigia: this is the general word for suitcase.

Three-star hotels do not always have staff bringing your suitcase to the selected bedroom, but you can always ask.



If you do not speak Italian or do not want to use Italian terms, you should not worry, though. A lot of English words are used in the field of tourism and in the hotel industry: terms like hall, reception, badge, traveller’s cheque are commonly used well-established in the Italian vocabulary.

The only words left to learn are  le auguriamo un buon soggiorno, enjoy your stay!

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