Simply Bellissimo Food Phrases You Can Use Around Italy

Group of friends having a cheers with red wine

1.57min read

Published 16 March 2017


Let's face it. When you get to Italy, you're probably going to spend the better part of your days eating as much of that delicious, delicious Italian cuisine. From pasta to prosciutto, there are countless delightful delicacies to taste test. And to help you try as many as you possibly can, here are a few helpful Italian foodie phrases ...

Facade of an Italian restaurant
Did you know there are more than 600 pasta shapes produced around the world?

The Useful Stuff:

Ciao – Hello

Come stai? – How are you?

Grazie – Thank you

No – No

Per favore – Please

Prego – You're welcome

Si – Yes

Sto bene – I'm fine

Facade of an Italian restaurant
Pizza originated in Naples in 1889

The Restaurant Stuff:

Bon appetito – Have a good meal

Potrei vedere il menu? – May I see the menu?

Un tavolo per una/due/quattro persona, per favore – A table for one/two/four people, please

Un litro di vino della casa, per favore – A litre of house red, please

Cosa ci consiglia? – What would you recommend?

Puo portarci il conto, per favore? – May we have the check please?

Facade of an Italian restaurant
There are approximately 20 different regions in Italy, each with its own unique cuisine

The Delicious Stuff:

Al dente – Pasta cooked but firm to the bite

Antipasti – Italian hors d'oeuvre of mixed meats, marinated ingredients, salads or hot dishes

Arancini – A dish or stuffed rice balls that are coated in breadcrumbs and fried.

Bresaola – Air-dried salted beef

Caffe – An espresso

Cena –Dinner

Cioccolato – Chocolate

Colazione – Breakfast

Foccacia di Recco – A very thin, flat bread filled with cheese

Frico – Fried cheese

Fritti – Fried

Funghi – Mushrooms

Gelato – Italian ice cream

Grissini – Breadsticks

Osso buco alla Milanese – Veal shanks braised in white wine and served over vegetables

Pane – Bread

Panino – An Italian sandwich

Panini – More than one Italian sandwich

Pizza Margherita – A style of pizza originating in Naples served on a crispy, thin crust topped with olive oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Porchetta – Spit-roasted stuffed pig

Pranzo – Lunch

Prosciutto – Italian dry-cured ham

Ribollita – A traditional Tuscan stew made of various veggies and bread

Romano – In the style of Rome

Rosso/biano – Red/white (wine)

Torrone – Italian nougat with toasted nuts and citrus zest

Torta – Cake

Vino – Wine

Facade of an Italian restaurant
The estimated annual pasta consumption in Italy is estimated at 30 kilos per person

The Fun Stuff:

Sono pieno come un uovo – Literally translated, this expression means 'I'm full as an egg'. It's an expression used to express you're overstuffed.

Fare una spaghettata – The literal translation of this one means to eat spaghetti, but Italians often use it to say let's get together and eat!

Conosco i miei polli – This phrase literally means 'I know my chicken', but it's used to say 'I know my stuff'.

Non fare il salame – This one literally means don't act like salami, but it really means don't be a ham, you idiot!

Non puoi avre la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca – Word for word, this phrase means 'you can't have a full wine barrel and a drunk wife', meaning something along the lines of you can't have your cake and eat it too. 

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