How To Say Goodbye In Italian

Ciao, bella!
January 7, 2020
How To Say Goodbye In Italian

Goodbyes are inevitable, but look on the bright side: learning to say goodbye in Italian can help you exit conversations while implying that you’ll soon be speaking again. (If you need to learn how to break up with someone, that’s probably a matter for a different article.) Familiarizing yourself with the basics will help you manage social situations with ease and also know how to sign off in an appropriate way.

Here are some of the most common ways to say goodbye in Italian. To hear how they’re pronounced, click the play button on the words highlighted in gray.

How To Say Goodbye In Italian

On The More Formal Side Of Things…

Generally speaking, if you’re talking to a stranger or would like to err on the more formal side of things, your most basic, no-frills “goodbye” is arrivederci.

Buongiorno and buonasera — which translate to “good day” and “good evening,” respectively — can be used both at the beginning and end of a conversation, and they tend to work in both formal and informal contexts.

If it’s late at night and you’re about to go to bed, you can also say goodnight with a buonanotte. This shouldn’t be confused with buona giornata or buona serata, which you can sign off with if you’d like to wish the person a nice rest of their day or evening.

Ciao And Other Casual Exits

Italians aren’t the only people in the world who say ciao, but they invented ciao, and don’t you forget it.

Ciao is your casual, all-purpose “bye” — and yes, it also means “hi.” It’s probably best not to lead with ciao if you’re not sure how to address someone, but if you talk to them for a while and you get the sense that you’re on that level, go ahead and offer them a ciao as you depart.

Here are a couple other relaxed ways to say “peace out”:

  • A domani — see you tomorrow
  • Alla prossima — until next time
  • A dopo — see you later
  • A presto — see you soon

Some Specific Goodbyes

Now that you’ve got a basic sense of how to say goodbye in Italian, here are a couple examples of how to work these into a more complex sentence.

  • Ciao, vado al lavoro adesso. — Bye, I’m going to work now.
  • Perfetto! A più tardi! — Perfect! See you later!
  • Oh, ciao, Giulia. Ciao, Luca. Alla prossima!* — Oh, bye, Giulia. Bye, Luca. Until next time!

*As you can hear in the audio, it’s common to offer a kiss on each cheek when you’re saying hello or goodbye in Italian. These are air kisses — your mouth doesn’t actually touch the other person’s cheek!

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Author Headshot
Steph Koyfman
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.

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