Hello in Italian

You can greet someone in Italian in many ways. You will need to determine the appropriate ways of greeting someone in Italian. Which is based on your relationship with them. The time of the day and the specific circumstances of your meeting. We will also be talking about some Italian greetings and words that you may use or hear while you are in Italy.

Hello in Italian: Ciao

What is the Way to Greet Someone in Italian?

The below are some ways to greet someone in Italian.

→ With an Informal Greeting

In Italian, ‘ciao’ (pronounced cha-oh) is the most informal way to say hello.

Italians use “greening” to greet friends whenever they see them.

A casual greeting that you use whenever you meet a person you are familiar with, usually a person you know well. When addressing a youngster or a group of people, you may hear a child use it or a person who is older could use it for example.

It’s not appropriate to use ‘ciao’ to greet an adult you don’t know, or to acknowledge your waiter at a cafe’ or restaurant, unless you know them well or you’ve had a pleasant conversation with them.

→ Formal Greeting in Italian

May be you not know hello in different languages but if you are planning to travel in Italy, your most common greeting will be ‘Buongiorno’, which means hello in Italian.

Although Buongiorno literally means good morning, it is a phrase that can be used pretty much any time of day, with the exception of the evening where the phrase Buona sera would be more appropriate.

Having a good knowledge of the phrase buongiorno is a great advantage. It is acceptable to greet someone you don’t know (this includes hoteliers and waiters). But, it stays appropriate if you see them regularly but don’t know them well.

It does not matter whether you encounter the same person every day while staying in the same hotel for a week. The proper greeting is ‘buongiorno’ rather than ciao. Since it is more informal (and perhaps even patronizing) to use the formal greeting.

→ Greeting in Italian (Evening Greeting) – Formal

If you are meeting somebody in the evening, you should respond with ‘Buona sera’. It means ‘good evening’ in English, and it is used in the same way.

A Few Other Italian Greetings

Salve –

Typically, you can use salve in formal correspondence as a greeting.

In some cases, it can also be heard in spoken language in exchanges such as these:


Despite its unusual nature, you may sometimes hear it as a greeting. It is also the name of a popular kids’ cake!

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