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How to Book Things in Italian

If you are planning to come to Italy for business or on a vacation you may be interested in learning some key Italian phrases that will make booking a restaurant, trip, or theater ticket easy. In this case you will need to ask for what you are looking for. Just keep practicing the words and phrases below, until you are comfortable and they roll off your tongue easily. Repeat them aloud, over and over, until you’ll speak them correctly and naturally. While this may seem difficult it’s really not–practice makes perfect!

In case your Italian isn’t 100%, don’t worry. Most Italians in Italy speak English, especially in touristic destinations. But if you’re going to spend any amount of time in Italy, it might be nice to try to learn how to get by using the native tongue. Italians will be grateful for the effort and you’ll find that more often than not they’ll be more than happy to help. Also, when in doubt, just speak slowly, kindly and indicate that you only speak a bit of Italian, which will surely excuse any mistakes or faux pas.


Speaking with Your Travel Agent

Here is an example of a conversation that may occur between you and your agent:

Travel Agent: Oasis Travel, come posso aiutarla? = Oasis Travel, how may I help you? George: Vorrei prenotare un volo = I would like to make a flight reservation

TA: Dove vuole andare? = What’s your destination?

George: Voglio andare a Roma = I would like to go to Rome

TA: Quando vuole partire? = When would you like to leave?

George: Il prossimo mese = Next month

Finalmente incontro i miei parenti dopo molto tempo = I’ll be meeting my relatives after a very long time.

TA: Bene, mi lasci controllare quali voli sono disponibili. E quando vuole ritornare? = Let me check what flights are available. When do you want to return?

Preferisce il posto vicino al finestrino o corridoio? = Do you prefer the window seat or an aisle seat?

George: Vorrei prendere il volo di ritorno il 21 dicembre e vorrei la business class e il posto vicino al finestrino = I’d like to catch a return flight on the twenty-first and I’d like the business class and the window seat.

Quanto costa? = How much does it cost?

TA: Well, the price for the flight is $…… = Bene, il prezzo del volo è $….

George: E’ un volo diretto? = Is it a direct flight?

TA: Si = Yes, it is

George: Avete dei posti liberi con il primo volo della mattina? = Do you have any seats left on the early flight in the morning?

TA: Aspetti un attimo, adesso controllo = Hold on please, I’ll check

Si, ho un posto libero venerdì che parte alle 9 di mattina = Yes, I have one seat on the Friday that departs at 9 am.

George: Va bene questo = That works

Per favore, quali sono gli orari di partenza e di arrivo? = What are the departure and arrival times?

TA: La partenza da Boston è alle …….e l’arrivo a Roma è alle…….. = Departure time from Boston is…and the arrival in Roma is…..

George: Mi piacerebbe richiedere un pasto vegetariano = I’d like to request a vegetarian meal


TA: Va bene, Signor George Clarks, non c’è problema = No problem, Mr. Clarks

Questo è il suo biglietto e le è permesso portare un bagaglio a mano = This is your ticket, you’re allowed one piece of carry-on luggage.

George: Potrei avere alcune informazioni riguardo il volo? = Could I have some information about the flight?

TA: Il numero del volo è 375 = The flight number is 375

George: Grazie. Potrebbe consigliarmi un buon hotel che non sia troppo caro? = Could recommend a good hotel that isn’t too expensive?

TA: Le consiglio l’hotel……. è centrale, a pochi passi c’è la metropolitana, i più importanti teatri ed i più bei negozi di Roma = I recommend the hotel…….., it has a central location, is a few steps away from the subway, the most famous theaters and the best shopping in Rome.

George: Potrei avere qualche ulteriore informazione su Roma? = Could I have further information about Rome?

TA Si, sicuramente = Yes, certainly

I negozi sono aperti dalle 9 alle 13 e dalle 15.30 alle 19.30 eccetto le domeniche ed i lunedì mattina = Shops in Rome are usually open between 9am and 1pm and 3:30pm to 6:30pm, except on Sundays and Mondays mornings.

E meritano anche una visita i più grandi, i più colorati e vivaci mercati nel centro città = The large and vibrant markets in the center of Rome are also worth a visit.

Non si dimentichi, siccome i romani amano mangiare il buon cibo, troverà molti ristoranti affollati. Le consiglio quelli frequentati da locali così non si può sbagliare = Don’t forget, as Romans love to eat good food, you’ll find many wonderful restaurants, but I recommend you try those packed by locals, as this way you can’t go wrong.

Ci sono possibilità per ogni portafoglio e per ogni gusto = There are options for every budget and for every taste and mood.

Bene Signor George, si goda il suo soggiorno in Italia = Well, Mr. George, enjoy your stay in Italy!

Ad ogni modo per qualsiasi informazione noi siamo qui e il mio nome è Lucy = If you have any further questions we are here to answer them and my name is Lucy.

George: Molte grazie, a presto = Thank you very much, see you soon.

See? Easy! Now just practise those phrases. In the meantime you can browse through the pages of LifeInItaly, where you’ll find everything you need to know about planning your dream trip to Italy.

By Elisa Bressan

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