10 Ways to Say Goodbye in Italian

Leaving Is Hard!

Italian man waving from Fiat
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As you know, when it comes to greeting others in Italian, there is more than Ciao! Now you want to know how to say goodbye to your newly found friends in Italy, whether for a short time or for good.

The good news is that you have ample choice. Here are 10 ways to say goodbye (not including Ciao, which you can use for departures as well), suitable for every level of emotion, type of friend, and expectation of return:

1. Arrivederci! Goodbye!

At the end of an everyday conversation, or a meeting on the street, or after stopping for a second in a shop, a nice way of parting is to say, Arrivederci. It means, literally, "to when we see each other again." Because of its general lack of pomp, it implies that you will see each other again. It is a routine greeting. With a woman or man alone, maybe elderly, maybe outside of your comfortable social circle, with whom you are on a formal speaking basis, you say, Arrivederla! It is not too formal: It is indeed most polite and respectful.

2. A Domani! See You Tomorrow!

This phrase speaks for itself: You use it when leaving someone you plan on seeing the next day. Feel free to say it to a barista who works at the bar where you have your morning caffè, or when leaving friends or colleagues you routinely see every day.

3. A Presto! See You Soon!

You say, A presto! when you are leaving a friend (or anyone, really) with whom you are expected to meet again. Perhaps the meeting is a routine matter that has already been set, by text or email; or perhaps you don't know when you will meet again, but you certainly hope you will. The warmth of this greeting is contextual: it can be matter-of-fact or not. If you are leaving people you care about, the weight of the implied hope of meeting again depends on the shared affection, but certainly hope colors it.

4. Ci Vediamo Presto! We’ll See Each Other Soon!

Similar to the above A presto, this phrase is used with friends you're planning on seeing later, relatively soon, or hoping to see soon. You may also hear, Ci sentiamo presto, which means that we will hear from each other soon. Comparable is, A risentirci presto, used to mean "Talk soon."

5. Alla Prossima! To the Next Time!

This is a good way to say that you are looking forward to the next time you see each other again, whenever that might be. You can use this with close friends or acquaintances, and it leaves the future hanging in a bit of suspense. Perhaps you are not sure when you will see them again, but you are hopeful it will be soon.

6. Buonanotte! Goodnight!

The best time to say goodnight is right before your friends or you are heading to bed. If you’re leaving a social situation earlier in the evening, you can wish someone a good rest of the evening by simply saying, Buona serata.

7. Torni Presto! Torna Presto! Come Back Soon!

You will hear this in formal or informal form from friends or acquaintances you made on your visit to Italy (if they liked you). Torna presto a trovarci! means, "Come visit us again soon!”

8. Buon Viaggio! Have a Good Trip!

This is a nice phrase to use when someone tells you that they’re going on a trip or are returning back home. Safe travels! If you’re visiting Italy, it’s one that you’ll hear often once you announce that you’re returning home. A noun coupled with buon, buono, or buona is used in many greetings of good wishes:

  • Buono studio! Good luck with your studies!
  • Buon lavoro! Good luck with your work!
  • Buona giornata! Have a good day!
  • Buona serata! Have a good evening!
  • Buon divertimento! Have a good time!
  • Buon rientro! Have a safe return!

9. Buon Proseguimento! Happy Pursuits!

The expression Buon proseguimento is a wish for you to enjoy the rest of whatever you were doing when the conversation (or the visit) with your interlocutor started, be it resuming a trip, or continuing a walk, or continuing a visit with someone (if a visit was interrupted). Someone might say it, for example, when walking away after stopping by your table at a restaurant to say hello. Or if you stop on the street to talk while you are out on a run. Proseguire means to continue on with something; hence, happy continuation with your pursuits, or your meal, or your voyage! Enjoy the rest!

10. And Finally...Addio!

Addio means farewell, and though in some places such as Tuscany it is not taken too literally, it is meant to be used for a final (and sad) goodbye.

For a final nicety: If before your departure and final goodbye you want to say something to tell your hosts how much you enjoyed yourself, you can say, mi è piaciuto molto, which means, "I had a great time" or "I liked it a lot." While this isn't a traditional phrase for saying goodbye, it is a great one to use if you want to express thanks and let your hosts know that their time and effort were appreciated. You can also say, È stata una bellissima giornata, or visita or serata. Or whatever time you spent together.

It was a beautiful time, indeed!

Arrivederci!