Useful Italian Words and Phrases Part 2 Public Transport
useful italian words and phrases public transport

Useful Italian Words and Phrases Part 2 Public Transport

Whether you come for a weekend or for a month, you will have to use public or private transport to move around Italy. It can be a tricky business especially if your knowledge of the Italian language is limited to Grazie – Thank You (note: not Gracias, different language) and Prego – You’re Welcome.

You absolutely must know the words and phrases related to buying tickets, using metro or even hailing a taxi to feel more relaxed and comfortable.

In this post you will find some basic Italian words and phrases and a bit of humor that will definitely facilitate the communication and transportation.

So let’s cover the most common and the most adventurous one, Public Transport – Trasporto Pubblico

It works fine, especially in the north of Italy (not so much in the south, but hey, the food there is awesome). To take a Bus – Pullman, Autobus, you have to find the Bus Stop – Fermata del Autobus, Pullman first, to do so you can ask people on the street (passersby are usually polite especially in the south, not so much in the north, but hey that’s where Ferrari’s made) “Mi scusi, mi sa dire dove si trova la fermata del autobus?”- “Excuse me, can you tell me where is the bus stop?”

validate tickets on the bus
Use this machine to validate your ticket on the bus.

In the north of Italy, cities like Milan or Bologna you can buy your bus ticket directly on the bus, but in Rome we like to complicate our lives, so you have to buy your ticket at the Ticket Office – Biglietteria, news stands, tobacco stores or a special vending machines, and then validate your ticket once on the bus, in Italy we say obliterate the ticket using – Obliteratrice. To find the right bus and Itinerary – Percorso you can use apps like moovit app , if you want to learn more follow this link. You are on the bus now, holding on to your little map like a life-vest, avoiding all eye contact with locals, but how do you know where to get off? You can always ask the Driver – Autista: “Mi puo dire quale la fermata per i Musei Vaticani?” – Can you tell me which stop is for the Vatican Museums? Also on the same bus, people will ask you (especially if you’re standing near the doors) – “Deve scendere?” – Are you getting off? Do not panic! They are just trying to politely warn you that you should move and make way. It’s a Yes or No question so the answer should be Yes or No 🙂

useful italinan words and phrasese public transport
Don’t forget to validate your tickets before you get on train too!

A the bus stop you can hear people ask:”Quando passa il sessanta?” – “What time does number 60 arrive?” So you can use this phrases: Quando passa or A che ora passa, to know when it’s coming, and if it’s coming at all. And there are two words that will bring fear even to the most seasoned users and most cold-blooded riders: Controllore – Inspector (a person checking the tickets on the buses. Always have your tickets stamped or validated to avoid a Fine – Una Multa) and Sciopero – Strike (strikes are very frequent in Rome, be prepared and plan ahead). Another thing you have to watch out for is the pickpockets so purses must be guarded! We hope these little tips will come in handy on your next trip to Italy. If you think we forgot to mention something or have any questions, leave them in comments. To learn more about the public transport in Rome, follow this LINK.

Here are some of the most useful Italian words translated  to English

  • Bus – Bus, Pullman

  • Tramway – Tram

  • Trolley – Filobus

  • Treno – Train
  • Subway – Metro

  • Taxi – Taxi, Tassi

  • Car – Macchina

  • Car-for-hire – NCC (Noleggio Con Conducente)

  • Scooter – Motorino

  • Bicycle – Bici, Bicicletta

  • Walk – A Piedi

  • Bus Stop – Fermata

  • Station – Stazione

  • Direction – Direzione

  • Terminus – Capolinea

  • Ticket – Biglietto

  • Ticket Office – La Biglietteria

  • Machine to validate bus or train tickets – Obliteratrice

  • A ride – Corsa

  • Seat – Posto

  • Row – Fila

  • Doors – Porte

  • Gate – Porta

  • Inspector – Controllore

  • Strike – Sciopero

  • Driver – Conducente, Autista, Tassista (taxi driver)

  • Drivers License – Patente di Guida

  • Car Rental – Noleggio Auto

  • Parking – Parcheggio

  • Gas – Benzina

  • Diesel – Diesel, Gasolio

  • Street – Strada, Via, Viale

  • Road – Strada

  • City Highway – Tangenziale

  • Motorway – Autostrada

  • Tollbooth – Casello

  • Fine, Ticket – Multa


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