When in Rome, Speak Like a Roman

In Italy, there are many regional variations. These distinctions cover things like food, customs and the Italian language. How you speak Italian really depends on the part of the country you are in – and the regional dialect that prevails there. So, with that in mind, here are our top tips on how to master Romanesco – the regional dialect of Rome. 

Practise some of these useful Italian phrases and expressions ahead of your visit to the eternal city, and you’ll be able to speak like a Roman, when in Rome, and in turn earn the praise of the locals. Here in Rome, we think it very important that our visitors try to speak a little Italian – it feels like a great compliment. Also, since the language is very expressive, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to use some of these phrases when you set your eyes upon the many wonders and sights that Rome has to offer. 

Salve: A way to say ‘Hello’

This is a Latin phrase that’s particularly common in Rome. It’s a very popular informal greeting. 

Will you say hello or ‘salve’ to the beautiful city of Rome this year? 

Anvedi oh che roba: Look at that

This is a useful phrase when you are sightseeing in Rome – considering all the incredible sights we have to offer – like the Colosseum, or the Sistine Chapel. You will be wowed by what you see, and may find yourself using this phrase with your companions or tour guide. 

‘Anvedi’ is an appropriate response when you see our wonderful Colosseum

Nnamo a magna: Let’s go eat

Nnamo a magna is perhaps one of the most important phrases you can learn for your trip to Rome – given how important food is in this country. It is borne from the Italian phrase: Andiamo a mangiare. 

Abbiocco: Eaten too much 

Again, on the subject of food, this phrase is used to explain that you’ve eaten and drank so much, and that you need to go and lie down. There’s no direct translation in English, but given how good the food and wine is here in Rome, it’s certainly one that you are likely to use.  

The beautiful city of Rome, like the rest of Italy, offers everyone a wonderful cuisine to enjoy. (Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome).  

Bono or Bona: Good 

It has its roots in the word for good – buono. You can use Bono or Bona to say how good your food is, or to compliment someone who looks good.  

Ahó: Hey!

You will hear this phrase regularly in Rome. It is another informal way of saying hello, perhaps shouting on someone you know in the street – that kind of thing.  

Buonasera: Good Evening 

It is used for ‘Good Evening’ as well as ‘Good Afternoon’. In Rome, it is the standard greeting from the afternoon onwards.  

Scendi?:Do you wish to get off? 

This is a useful phrase for when you take one of the GrayLine I Love Rome Hop On, Hop Off tour buses. The driver may ask you this as you approach a particular stop.  You’ll regularly hear it on public transport too.  

Scialla: Calm 

Italians, and indeed Romans, don’t like a fuss. This word is the Roman form of tranquillity, and is used to remind people not to panic or worry.  

When you visit Rome, you’ll undoubtedly hear some of these phrases from the Roman dialect. Give them a little practise, along with some basics of the Italian language – and you’ll be speaking like a Roman in no time. We Italians do love it when our guests try to speak our language – we really appreciate the effort. We Romans also love showing off our city – so do hop over to the Gray Line I Love Rome site to peruse the tours we have on offer – from our Rome in one day tour to our tours of the Vatican and the Colloseum and Anciient Rome – we have Rome covered.  We’ll help you make the very best of your time here in Italy.  

We thoroughly look forward to welcoming you to Rome!