Let’s speak Italian at the supermarket

Italian at the supermarketIf you’ve spent a medium-long period of time in Italy, I’m pretty sure that you have entered a supermarket.

If you don’t speak Italian very well, shopping in a supermarket in Italy can be scary. Indeed, everything in supermarkets is written in Italian and if you decide to ask for help, you’ll soon realize that the majority of people understand Italian only.

However, with just a few tips you’ll start to speak Italian at the supermarket without any problem.

So, today you’re going to learn some useful words and sentences so you can speak Italian at the supermarket without problems.

Let’s start.


When you get to the supermarket the first thing you search for is il carrelloa shopping cart – or il cestino/cestelloa basket – in case you want to buy only few things.

Remember that you need a coin to unlock il carrello – usually 50 cents or 1 euro.

If you don’t have coins with you, you can go in and ask alla commessathe cashier – to change 5 euros in coins:

Può/potrebbe cambiarmi 5 euro in moneta, per favore?
Can/could you change 5 euros in coins, please?


As every other supermarket, Italian supermarkets are divided in reparti/corridoiaisles.

So, if you can’t find something you can just ask an employee:

Mi scusi, dov’è lo zucchero?
Excuse me, where can I find sugar?

The employee will answer you telling the number of the aisle where you can find it:

E’ nel reparto/corridoio 5
It’s on aisle 5

If you ask for something that the store never offers, the employee will tell you:

Mi dispiace, ma non teniamo l’acqua di cocco
Mi dispiace, ma non abbiamo mai avuto l’acqua di cocco
Sorry, we don’t carry coconut water

In Italian supermarkets you’ll find sections dedicated to deli, and meat.

When you get to these sections, remember to head to the – usually red – machine and take a ticket with a number first.

When someone calls out your number, it’s your turn to place your order.


Deli usually sells cured meat, cheese and other delicious stuff.

When it’s your turn, the man/woman behind the counter will probably ask you:

(Mi) dica
What can I get you?

And you’ll say:

Un etto/Cento grammi di prosciutto
A/one hundred grams of ham

Due etti/Ducento grammi di Gorgonzola
Two hundred grams of Gorgonzola

Tre etti/trecento grammi di salame
Three hudred grams of salami

Finally, the man/woman behind the counter will ask you:

Basta così?
Is that everything?

(Desidera) altro?
Do you need something else?

And you’ll answer either si or no.

The same rules apply for the meat counter.

Due etti/duecento grammi di macinato di manzo
Two hundred grams of ground beef

When you’ve everything you need, you go to the checkout to pay.


At the checkout la cassiera the cashier – usually asks you:

Contanti o carta?
In cash or with credit/debit card?

Here are some sentences you might hear if you choose to pay with credit card.

Inserisca il PIN
Please enter your PIN

(Faccia) una firma
Please sign here


Ok. These are all the simplest and most useful sentences you need to know to speak Italian at the supermarket without worries.


Original image by Alexas_Fotos

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