Home Language HacksItalian How to Introduce Yourself in Italian and Make Small Talk 📚 + FREE PDF

How to Introduce Yourself in Italian and Make Small Talk 📚 + FREE PDF

Break the ice and make friends with this step-by-step guide on how to introduce yourself in Italian

by Michele
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How to introduce yourself in Italian
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If you’re travelling to Italy or learning Italian, chances are you’re eager to connect with friendly locals. This can happen in various situations, from a serendipitous encounter during a day trip to Pisa, to a meeting your Italian colleagues in the Rome office. What better way to break the ice than by introducing yourself in Italian? Now, don’t go thinking you need to be the next Dante, spinning sonnets left and right – introducing yourself in Italian is much simpler than you think!

In this guide, I break down the basics of how to introduce yourself in Italian – so you can say your name, talk about where you’re from, and more – along with some handy tips and examples for various situations, so you can make a bella figura (good impression).

So, pour yourself a drink and prepare to master introductions that will have Italians exclaim Che bravo/a! (How impressive!) in no time! But first, make sure to download your free PDF cheat-sheet, which includes all the key points we’ll cover in this guide. Just enter your email below and I’ll send it to you straight away.

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How to Introduce Yourself in Italian Cheat-Sheet! (Free PDF Download)

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Table to Contents

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide. Click on any title to jump to each section.

Formal vs Informal introductions in Italian

When it comes to introducing yourself in Italian, there are two main approaches: formal and informal. I know, it’s the classic dilemma of learning Italian!

Formal introductions are appropriate for situations where you’re meeting someone older or a professional – think doctors, professors, or your nonna’s friends! In these cases, it’s customary to use the formal “Lei” and keep things brief and respectful. For example:

  • Sono Maria Rossi, piacere di conoscerLa – I’m Maria Rossi, pleased to meet you
  • Buongiorno signora, sono Laura, la nipote di Gina. Piacere di conoscerLa – Good morning ma’am, I’m Laura, Gina’s granddaughter. Nice to meet you.

Informal introductions, on the other hand, are suitable for meeting kids or someone younger in general. They are also quite common in casual work environments like startups. In these instances, skip the formalities and go for a friendly Ciao! (Hello!) and a relaxed tone. For example:

  • Ciao, sono Maria. Piacere! – Hello, I’m Maria. Nice to meet you!
  • Ciao, mi chiamo Paolo. Piacere di conoscerti! – Hello, my name is Paolo. Nice to meet you!

Feeling unsure? Don’t worry! Italians understand that navigating formal and informal addresses can be tricky for foreigners. Remember, you can always double-check if it’s appropriate to use informal language by asking, Possiamo darci del tu? (Can we use informal language with each other?).

How to introduce yourself in Italian - Formal and Informal introductions

Basic phrases to introduce yourself in Italian

Introducing yourself in Italian is all about getting the essentials just right – greeting with flair, confidently sharing your name, and, if you are not alone, gracefully introducing others. Let’s break down these components step by step.

Step 1: How to say hello in Italian

When being introduced to somebody or upon meeting somebody for the first time, a warm smile accompanied by a cheerful Ciao! (Hello!) or a pleasant Buongiorno! (Good morning) can truly set a positive tone for the conversation. 

These Italian greetings are fundamental in your language journey, serving as key elements of everyday talk. Depending on the time of day and how formal the situation is, here’s what you can use:

Italian greetings
Italian English Situation
Ciao Hello/Hi Informal
Salve Hi Formal
Buongiorno Good morning Formal
Buon pomeriggio Good afternoon Formal
Buonasera Good evening Formal

How to introduce yourself in Italian - How to say hello in Italian
To learn more Italian greetings, watch this video lesson.

Step 2: How to ask “What is your name?” in Italian

Once the greetings are over, it’s time to introduce yourself by your name. You can do this using either the verb essere (to be) or chiamarsi (to be called):

Saying your name in Italian
Italian English
Mi chiamo [nome] I am called [name]
Il mio nome è [nome] My name is [name]
Sono [nome] I am [name]

Typically, if you share your name first, it’s natural to ask for the other person’s name in return. How you do this can depend on how formal or casual the situation is. Here are some common ways to do it:

Asking the name in Italian
Italian English Situation
Mi chiamo [nome] e tu? I am called [name] and you? Informal
Sono [nome] e tu? I am [name] and you? Informal 
Come ti chiami? / Tu come ti chiami? What is your name? Informal
Come si chiama? / Lei come si chiama? What is your name? Formal

How to introduce yourself in Italian - How to say What is your name in Italian

Step 3: How to say “It’s nice to meet you” in Italian

Now that you’ve exchanged names, it’s nice to express how delightful it is to have made each other’s acquaintance. After all, there’s something magical about meeting someone new! Again, depending on the vibe and setting, there are different ways to to express your delight and respond accordingly.

Note: while English uses the verb “to meet” for such circumstances, in Italian, this sentiment is conveyed through the verb conoscersi (to know), emphasizing the act of knowing rather than simply meeting.

What to say in informal conversations

Piacere – Nice to meet you: simple yet effective, great for any situation. You can add molto (very) at the beginning for a sprinkle of excitement. Examples:

  • Ciao, sono Maria. Piacere! – Hello, I’m Maria. Nice to meet you!
  • Ciao, mi chiamo Andrea. Molto piacere! – Hello, my name is Andrea. Very nice to meet you!

Piacere di conoscerti – Pleasure to meet you: though not widely used, this informal expression is handy in various scenarios, from chatting at work to meeting a kid. Examples:

  • Ciao, sono Luca. Piacere di conoscerti! – Hi, I’m Luca. Pleasure to meet you! [In the office]
  • Ciao Claudio, io sono Lucia. Piacere di conoscerti! – Hello Claudio, my name is Lucia. Pleasure to meet you! [Talking to a kid]

How to reply in informal conversations:

  • Piacere / Piacere mio – It’s a pleasure /  The pleasure is mine: simple and easy, perfect in all informal situations.

What to say in formal conversations:

Piacere di conoscerLa – Pleasure to meet you: polite, respectful, and just the right touch of warmth for formal settings. Examples:

  • Salve, sono Anna Bianchi. Piacere di conoscerLa. – Hi, I’m Anna Bianchi. Pleasure to meet you! [Introducing yourself to your new boss]
  • Buonasera, sono Paolo. Piacere di conoscerLa. – Good evening, I’m Paolo. Pleasure to meet you. [Meeting your future mother-in-law]

È un vero piacere – It’s a real pleasure: 

  • Professoressa Rossi, sono Paola Grandi, la mamma di Cesare. È un vero piacere. – Professor Rossi, I’m Paola Grandi, Cesare’s mother. It’s a real pleasure.
  • Buonasera a tutti, è un vero piacere conoscervi e presentarvi il nostro nuovo progetto. – Good evening, everyone, it’s a real pleasure to meet you and present our new project.

Molto lieto/a – Very pleased: a classy option for the most formal meetings. It varies based on the gender of the speaker. You can also say Lieto/a di conoscerLa (Pleased to meet you) and Molto lieto/a di conoscerLa (Very pleased to meet you). Examples:

  • Buonasera, sono Mario Rossi. Molto lieto. – Good evening, I’m Mario Rossi. Very pleased.
  • Salve, mi chiamo Anna Bianchi. Lieta di conoscervi. – Hi, my name is Anna Bianchi. Very pleased to meet you.

Felice di fare la sua conoscenza – Delighted to make your acquaintance: this one’s for super formal settings, showing genuine pleasure in meeting someone. Examples:

  • Buongiorno Professore. Sono la dottoressa Bianchi, felice di fare la sua conoscenza. – Good morning, Professor. I’m doctor Bianchi, delighted to make your acquaintance.
  • Salve Dottor Rossi, sono l’Ingegner Grassi, felice di fare la sua conoscenza. – Hi Doctor Rossi. I’m Engineer Grassi, delighted to make your acquaintance.

How to reply in formal conversations:

  • Piacere mio / Il piacere è mio – The pleasure is mine: a polite classic that fits well in formal conversations.
  • Altrettanto – Likewise: a slightly less common option, but equally graceful

Here’s a fun fact: according to etiquette, Italians should avoid using Piacere (Pleasure/Nice to meet you) and its variants because you can never be entirely sure if an encounter will genuinely be a pleasure. A classic Ciao (Hello), Salve (Hi), or the ever-polite Buongiorno/Buonasera should be used instead. Sounds logical, right? However, these expressions are so ingrained in everyday Italian that tradition takes precedence over sincerity!

How to introduce yourself in Italian - How to say It's nice to meet you in Italian

Step 4: How to introduce someone else (friend/partner/relative)

Whether you’re unveiling your new flame to your friends or introducing your partner at a formal occasion, the following table gives you the best expressions to use in all situations:

Introducing others in Italian
Italian English Situation
Questo/a è [nome] – Questi/e sono [nomi]  This is [name] – These are [names] Formal/Informal
Lui/Lei è [nome] – Loro sono [nomi]  He/She is [name] – They are [name] Formal/Informal
Ti presento [nome] Let me introduce you to [name] Informal
Le presento [nome] Let me introduce you to [name] Formal
Posso presentarti [nome] May I introduce you to [name] Informal
Posso presentarle [nome] May I introduce you to [name] Formal
Conosci [nome]? Have you met [name]? Informal
Conosce [nome]? Have you met [name]? Formal

Remember, adding a touch of personal detail or a descriptive element can make the introduction more engaging. Here are some examples:

  • Le presento Anna Bianchi, responsabile marketing dell’azienda, nonché mia moglie – Let me introduce you to Anna, the marketing manager of the company, as well as my wife.
  • Questi sono Gianni e Luigi, miei amici di vecchia data – These are Gianni and Luigi, longtime friends of mine.
  • Lei è Stefania, mia sorella maggiore che si è trasferita a Londra – She is Stefania, my older sister who moved to London.
  • Conosci Andrea, il mio collega che si occupa di PR? – Have you met Andrea, my colleague who handles PR?

How to introduce yourself in Italian - How to introduce someone else in Italian

How to Make Small Talk in Italian

When meeting someone new, it is common to engage in basic conversation topics to break the ice and get a feel for each other. Remember, the key is to keep it light, casual, and let the conversation flow naturally. Let’s explore some of the most common small talk topics to kickstart your conversations!

Keep practising!
How to Introduce Yourself in Italian Cheat-Sheet! (Free PDF Download)

Don't let the learning stop here. Download your free PDF guide to introducing yourself in Italian.Includes essential vocabulary and grammar, word lists and example sentences. Impariamo insieme! (Let's learn together!)

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How to say “How are you?” in Italian

Starting with the classic “how are you” in Italian sets the perfect tone for a friendly exchange. Here are some common ways to ask the question and respond:

  • Come va? – How’s it going? (Formal/Informal)
  • Come stai? – How are you? (Informal)
  • Come sta? – How are you? (Formal)
  • Bene, grazie. Tu? – Good, thanks. You? (Informal])
  • Bene grazie. Lei? – Good, thanks. You? (Formal)
  • Non c’è male, tu? – Not bad, you? (Informal)
  • Non c’è male, Lei? – Not bad, you? (Formal)

How to introduce yourself in Italian - How to say how are you in Italian

How to say “Where are you from?” in Italian

Inquiring about someone’s place of origin often piques curiosity and keeps the conversation flowing. These simple expressions will help you discuss this topic: 

  • Di dove sei? – Where are you from? (Informal)
  • Di dov’è? – Where are you from? (Formal)
  • Da dove vieni? – Where do you come from? (Informal)
  • Da dove viene? – Where do you come from? (Formal)
  • Sono… [nationality] – I’m… [nationality] 
  • Sono di… [hometown] – I’m from… [hometown] 
  • Vengo da/dalla… [hometown/home country] – I come from… [hometown/home country]

How to introduce yourself in Italian - How to say Where are you from in Italian

How to say “Where do you live?” in Italian

Similarly, if they’re not originally from their current location, you can delve deeper by asking about their hometown with these questions:

  • Dove vivi/Dove abiti? – Where do you live? (Informal)
  • Dove vive/Dove abita? – Where do you live (Formal)

Remember, when discussing your place of residence, vivere and abitare are interchangeable, both meaning “to live.”

  • Vivo/Abito a… [place] – I live in… [place]

How to introduce yourself in Italian - How to say Where do you live in Italian

How to say “What do you do?” in Italian

Work-related chatter is another common topic for initial interactions, one often leading to engaging conversations.

  • Cosa fai nella vita? – What do you do for a living? (Informal)
  • Che lavoro fai? – What is your job? (Informal)
  • Di cosa ti occupi? – What do you do for a living? (Informal)
  • Di cosa si occupa? – What do you do for a living? (Formal)
  • Sono… [job title] – I am… [job title] 
  • Faccio il/la… [job title] – I am… [job title]
  • Lavoro come… [job title] – I work as… [job title]
  • Lavoro per… [company name] – I work for… [company name]
  • Mi occupo di… [field of work] – I work in… [field of work]

How to introduce yourself in Italian - How to say What do you do in Italian

How to say “How old are you?” in Italian

While talking about your age and birthday is not typically a first-time conversation topic, this question may arise, especially among younger individuals or when chatting with children. Therefore, it’s always good to know how to ask and respond.

  • Quanti anni hai? – How old are you? (Informal)
  • Quanti anni ha? – How old are you? (Formal)
  • Ho… anni  – I am… years old  

How to introduce yourself in Italian - How to say How old are you in Italian

How to ask about relationship status

Imagine chatting with someone you find attractive. Naturally, you might be curious about their relationship status. Like, are they already taken, or perhaps they have kids? While not typically brought up in initial conversations, it’s handy to know how to slide into these topics if you need to.

  • Sei sposato/a? – Are you married? (Informal)
  • Sei fidanzato/a? – Do you have a boyfriend/girlfrien? (Informal)
  • Hai figli? – Do you have kids? (Informal)
  • Sì, sono sposato/a – Yes, I’m married
  • Sì, sono fidanzato/a – Yes, I have a boyfriend/girlfriend
  • No, sono single – No, I’m single
  • Sì, ho figli – Yes, I have kids
  • No, non ho figli – No, I don’t have kids

How to introduce yourself in Italian - How to ask about relationship status

How to say goodbye in Italian

As the conversation draws to a close, it’s time to exchange those parting words. Saying goodbye in Italian encapsulates a spectrum of emotions, mirroring the atmosphere of the interaction. Here are some of the most common expressions: 

Saying goodbye in Italian
Italian English Situation Usage
Ciao Bye Informal Simple and friendly, suitable for casual farewells.
Arrivederci Goodbye Formal/Informal The classic wave goodbye, fitting for any occasion.
ArrivederLa Goodbye Formal Adds a touch of class to your departure, perfect for more formal settings.
A presto See you soon Formal/Informal Planting a little seed of anticipation for your next encounter.
Alla prossima See you next time Formal/Informal Ideal for setting the stage for future rendezvous.
È stato un piacere It’s been a pleasure Formal/Informal Sprinkles gratitude into your farewell, adding warmth and sincerity.
Ci vediamo See you Informal A casual, breezy way to say goodbye, suitable for friends and acquaintances.
Buon proseguimento Enjoy the rest of the day/event Formal/Informal Wishes well for the continuation of something.
Restiamo in contatto Let’s keep in touch Formal/Informal Seals the deal for ongoing communication.

How to introduce yourself in Italian - How to say goodbye Italian

Let’s practice putting it all together!

Now that we’ve seen the main components for introducing yourself in Italian, let’s take a look at a couple of example dialogues that may occur between two people who have just met. Both include basic introductions, questions about where they are from and what they do, and a bit of small talk.

Informal conversation:

A: Ciao! Mi chiamo Kristy. Piacere di conoscerti. (Hello! My name is Kristy. Nice to meet you.)
B: Ciao Kristy, piacere mio. Io sono Marco. Come va? (Hello Kristy, nice to meet you too. I’m Marco. How are you?)
A: Bene, grazie. Anche se questo viaggio è interminabile, non vedo l’ora di arrivare. (Good, thank you. Although, this journey seems endless, I can’t wait to arrive.)
B: Ti capisco… Di dove sei, Kristy? (I hear you… Where are you from, Kristy?)
A: Sono inglese, ma vivo a Milano. E tu? (I’m English, but I live in Milan. And you?)
B: Vengo dalla Puglia ma abito anch’io a Milano! Cosa fai nella vita? (I come from Puglia but I also live in Milan! What do you do for a living?)
A: Lavoro come marketing manager per un’azienda di cosmetici. E tu? (I work as a marketing manager for a cosmetics company. And you?)
B: Sono un architetto. Come ti trovi a Milano? (I’m an architect. How do you find it in Milan?)
A: Mi piace molto. È una città che offre tante opportunità, c’è sempre qualcosa da fare. (I like it a lot. It’s a city that offers many opportunities, there’s always something to do.)
B: Dai, allora potremmo fare qualcosa insieme uno di questi giorni. (Maybe we could do something together one of these days.)
A: Certo, mi piacerebbe! Adesso devo andare, ti lascio il mio numero. (Sure, I would like that! I have to go now, I leave you my number.)
B: Perfetto, allora ti chiamo nei prossimi giorni. È stato un piacere conoscerti, Kristy. A presto! (Perfect, then I’ll call you in the next few days. It was a pleasure to meet you, Kristy. See you soon!)
A: Ci vediamo, ciao Marco! (See you soon, bye Marco!)

Formal conversation:

A: Professor Bianchi, buongiorno. Sono Mario Rossi, primario di chirurgia di questo ospedale. Sono davvero felice di fare la sua conoscenza, ammiro molto il suo lavoro. (Professor Bianchi, good morning. I am Mario Rossi, head of surgery at this hospital. I am truly delighted to meet you, I greatly admire your work.)
B: Piacere mio, dottor Rossi. La ringrazio per la stima. (My pleasure, Dr. Rossi. Thank you for the esteem.)
A: Questo è il mio collega, il dottor Giordano. (This is my colleague, Dr. Giordano.)
C: Lieto di conoscerla, Professor Bianchi, è un vero piacere. (Pleased to meet you, Professor Bianchi, it’s a true pleasure.)
B: Altrettanto. Ma lei non è di qui, vero? Da dove viene? (Likewise. But you’re not from around here, are you? Where are you from?)
C: No, sono piemontese, ma sono anni ormai che vivo qui a Roma. (No, I am from Piedmont, but I have been living here in Rome for years now.)
B: Ah, il Piemonte! Mio padre era originario di lì, per questo mi è sembrato di riconoscere l’accento! Lei di cosa si occupa, dottor Giordano? (Ah, Piedmont! My father was from there, that’s why your accent sounded familiar! What’s your area of expertise, Dr. Giordano?)
C: Sono un chirurgo anch’io. (I am a surgeon too.)
A: Professore ci scusi, ma dobbiamo scappare, ci aspettano in reparto. È stato un piacere. (Professor, forgive us, but we have to run, they’re waiting for us in the ward. It’s been a pleasure.)
C: Arrivederla, Professore. (Goodbye, Professor.)
B: Arrivederci e buon lavoro! (Goodbye and good work!)

Keep practising!
How to Introduce Yourself in Italian Cheat-Sheet! (Free PDF Download)

Don't let the learning stop here. Download your free PDF guide to introducing yourself in Italian.Includes essential vocabulary and grammar, word lists and example sentences. Impariamo insieme! (Let's learn together!)

I promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
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5 top tips to remember when introducing yourself in Italian

Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. So, here are some key things to keep in mind for making those initial moments count:

  • Smile sincerely: Italians appreciate genuine warmth, so don’t be shy about showing off those beautiful smiles! It really helps create a friendly atmosphere right from the start.
  • Master the handshake: when it comes to greetings, a firm handshake is essential. Please avoid limp ones, they just kill the vibe.
  • Know when to wave: In more relaxed settings, a friendly hand wave or nod can be enough as a greeting, especially when meeting a group of people at once. It’s a casual yet respectful way to say hi.
  • Cheek kisses are for close relationships: While Italians are all about warmth, cheek kisses (or baci sulle guance) are reserved for close friends and family. Kissing someone you’ve just met on the cheek may come off as overly familiar and will definitely raise a few eyebrows! 
  • The art of kissing hands: the baciamano, or hand-kiss, is a classy move for a gentleman to greet women, but it’s reserved for fancy events and high society gatherings only. So, while you’ll be tempted to channel your inner Mr Darcy with Italian ladies, please save it for the super formal occasions to avoid looking too dramatic.

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