Italian Lessons


Basics: At the Airport

Let's review some basic things to know how to say or understand when arriving in Italy after a flight from a different country. In most airports, the personnel has to know some English, but if you get into a sticky situation, you might have to deal with some Italian. At the very least, you will want to have a basic idea of what's going on. Some Italians will speak English with such a strong accent that you might not understand them.



Usually, you will have a reservation you've made online. You just hand the agent your passport and he or she will pull up your reservation. 

La prenotazione (the reservation)

Il biglietto elettronico (the electronic ticket)


On time?

Il volo (the flight). Volare is "to fly."

You will want to know if a connecting flight, in Rome, for example, is on time or delayed. 

in orario (on time, on schedule)

in ritardo (late, delayed)

Note that these words need the preposition in before them.

È un peccato che sia arrivato in ritardo all'aeroporto,

It's a shame that you got to the airport late,

Caption 65, Volare - La grande storia di Domenico Modugno Ep. 1 - Part 18

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You will be asked to show your boarding pass at various stages, such as security checks, passport control, and boarding. Sometimes you need to show your boarding pass when having a meal or buying something in the shops.

carta d'imbarco (boarding pass)

imbarco comes from the verb imbarcare, which likely comes from the noun la barca (the boat). The word existed before planes!

Imbarco is also used to mean "boarding."

Stiamo per imbarcare il volo Enitalia settantadue settanta diretto a Kingston.

We're about to board Enitalia flight seventy-two seventy to Kingston.

Caption 46, Provaci ancora prof! S2EP1 - La finestra sulla scuola - Part 7

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What kind of baggage do you have? "Check-in" is a term used internationally, but an agent may ask you if you want to check your bag or carry it with you in the cabin. 

Registrare (to check your bag)

Imbarcare (to check your bag)

In stiva (in the hold)

In cabina (in the cabin)


bagaglio a mano (carry-on or hand luggage)

pesare (to weigh)

la bilancia (the scale)


What gate?

You will want to find your gate.

uscita (gate) 

uscire means "to exit."

Quale uscita (which gate)?

Tutti i passeggeri sono pregati di recarsi all'uscita B ventuno, uscita B ventuno.

All passengers are requested to make their way to gate B twenty-one. Gate B twenty-one.

Caption 47, Provaci ancora prof! S2EP1 - La finestra sulla scuola - Part 7

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Don't forget to fasten your seat belt!

cintura di sicurezza (seat belt)

allacciare (to fasten)


Takeoff and landing

Decollare (to take off) 

La colla is glue. The plane unglues itself from the ground!

A che ora decolla esattamente?

What time does it take off, exactly?

Caption 62, Provaci ancora prof! S2EP1 - La finestra sulla scuola - Part 6

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Atterrato (landed) 

Atterrare is "to land." Touching the ground or the earth. La Terra is the planet Earth!

Ciao! Il tuo aereo è appena atterrato a Roma e in aeroporto, c'è il tuo amico che ti aspetta...

Hi! Your airplane has just landed in Rome and at the airport, there's your friend waiting for you...

Captions 1-2, Marika spiega I veicoli

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Buon viaggio (have a good trip)!


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