Italian Phrases for Shopping in Italy

Nativity Shops in Naples

Corbis  / Getty Images

When you arrive in Italy, shopping in any context—like at the bakery, the pharmacy, or just any negozio (store)—is inevitable. Plus, who doesn’t bring home a suitcase brimming with local oils and products that read “Made in Italy”?

With that in mind, here are the basic phrases you need to know that can help you get by in any shopping situation.

General Shopping Phrases/Vocabulary

  • Quant’è? - How much is it?
  • Quanto costa? - How much is it?
  • Quanto spendo? - How much do I spend?

TIP: Use “quant’è” or “quanto spendo” when you have many items and “quanto costa” when you have just one item.

  • Posso pagare con il bancomat? - Can I pay with my debit card?
  • Accettate carte di credito? - Do you (all) accept credit cards?
  • Accettiamo soltanto i contanti. - We only accept cash.
  • Sto cercando… - I’m looking for…

TIP: Notice that the phrase above does not use any preposition like “per”, for example, to stand in as “for”. Some phrases in Italian don’t need the preposition in the same way that we do in English, which serves as just another friendly reminder to be careful about directly translating from English to Italian.

  • Sto solo guardando. - I’m just looking.
  • Poi? - Anything else?
  • Qualcos’altro? - Something else?
  • Basta così. - That’s all.
  • Vorrei…, per favore. - I would like…, please.
  • Prendo… - I’ll take…
  • Ha bisogno di aiuto? - Do you need help? (formal)
  • Mi piace. - I like it.
  • Non mi piace. - I don’t like it.

TIP: If the object you like or don’t like from the above two phrases is plural, like “le scarpe - the shoes”, then say instead “Mi piacciono” or “Non mi piacciono”.

  • È troppo caro. - It’s too expensive.
  • Ha qualcosa di meno costoso? - Do you have anything cheaper? (formal)
  • È un regalo. - It’s a gift.
  • Vuole la confezione regalo? - Would you like it gift-wrapped? (formal)
  • È fatto a mano. - It’s handmade.
  • È artigianale. - It’s artisanal/small-scale.
  • La commessa - Shop assistant

Phrases for Shopping at a Market

Whether you’re going to un mercato all’aperto (an open-air market) or un supermercato (a supermarket), these phrases will help you navigate the experience.

  • Quanto costa al chilo? - How much does it cost per kilo?
  • Quelli come si chiamano? - What are those called?
  • Un etto di…(agnello). - 100 grams of…(lamb).
  • Come si può cucinare…(il vitello)? - How does one cook…(veal)?
  • (Otto) fette di…(prosciutto cotto), per favore. - (8) slices of...(cooked prosciutto), please.
  • Avete...(le patate)? - Do you have…(potatoes)?
  • Posso assaggiare (il pecorino), per favore? - Can I try (the pecorino), please?

Phrases for Shopping at a Clothing Store

Use these phrases to help you confidently shop for clothing and accessories from the trendiest shops on il corso (the main street) to i mercati delle pulci (flea markets).

  • Sono/Porto/Indosso una taglia…(media). - I’m a medium.
  • Vuole provarlo? - Do you want to try it on?
  • Vorrei provare questi, dove sono i camerini?- I’d like to try these on, where are the fitting rooms?

TIP: In the phrase above, “lo” would be used if the item were singular and masculine, like "il vestito - the dress". However, if it were singular and feminine, like la sciarpa - the scarf, it would be “Vuole provarla”? While it’s important to make everything agree, don’t stress if you can’t remember the gender of the object you have. You’ll be safe with using the pronoun “lo”.

  • Dove sono i camerini? - Where are the fitting rooms?
  • Non mi sta bene. - It doesn’t fit me well.
  • È comodo. - It’s comfortable.
  • Questi (stivali) sono scomodi. - These (boots) are uncomfortable.
  • Preferisco (la rosa). - I prefer pink.
  • Vorrei cambiare questo, per favore. - I would like to exchange this, please.
  • Stai veramente bene con (quel vestito). - You look great in that dress. (informal)
  • L’alta moda - High fashion

To get a more detailed description of how to shop for clothes in Italy, check out this article.

Types of Stores

There are an endless amount of specialty shops in Italy, so here are the names of each of the most popular ones in case you need to ask on how to get to one or need a recommendation.

  • Il centro commerciale - Shopping center
  • La bottega - Workshop
  • Il negozio - Store
  • Il negozio dell’usato - Second-hand store
  • L’edicola - Newsstand
  • La gioielleria - Jewelry shop
  • La profumeria - Perfume shop
  • La libreria - Bookshop
  • La tabaccheria - Tobacco shop

TIP: Technically this is a tobacco shop, but it is more of a convenience store where you can cigarettes, magazines, bus tickets, and recharge your phone.

  • Il supermercato - Supermarket
  • La farmacia - Pharmacy
  • La tintoria - Drycleaners
  • La pasticciera - Pastry shop
  • La macelleria- Butcher
  • La latteria - Milk & cheese shop
  • La panetteria - Bakery
  • La rosticceria - Delicatessen
  • Il fruttivendolo - Greengrocer
  • La cartoleria - Stationery shop