Conversational Italian for Travelers – Book Review

Photoby Kathy Occhipinti

Occasionally I like to introduce an author or  feature a book about Italy or anything Italian. Today I am honored to recommend a book I recently discovered, and I think you’ll like it too.

Conversational Italian for Travelers Just the Important Phrases by Kathryn Occhipinti is the perfect travel companion for your trip to Italy. Concise and well organized, only 4 inches by 6 inches, this pocket-sized Italian language book can travel with you wherever you go in Italy. Beginning with pronunciation of the Italian alphabet this book is full of practical information about every aspect of travel in Italy.

Conversational Italian is what you need in Italy and you can learn it so quickly here  with the author’s focus on “just the important phrases.”

From meeting people to transportation, to renting a car, to shopping, to ordering food in a restaurant,  to money, all topics of importance are covered. I am impressed with the ease of  learning the Italian language, especially since I have studied it for several years.

I guess what I am saying is that a traveler doesn’t need to know all the rules of grammar and verb conjugation. Kathryn hones in on what is important and even explains certain phrases that are used for casual conversation versus more formal situations.

One example I particularly like from the book is the following excerpt:

Excerpt Conversational Italian by Kahryn Occhipinti

Even if you are not going to Italy anytime soon, this book makes it fun and easy to learn to understand and speak the Italian language. I highly recommend it for anyone who has an interest in Italy.

You can purchase Conversational Italian for Travelers Just the Important Phrases on Amazon

photo by Kathryn Occhipinti

Follow Kathryn on her website, Stella Lucente and on her blogTwitter and Facebook

photo by Kathryn Occhipinti

I’d love to hear your feedback. Please leave a comment for Kathryn.

Grazie and Ciao

And in case you haven’t been to my FaceBook Author page, please check it out. There’s always something new there. Grazie amici.

15 Responses

  1. Sherry Rentschler

    This is awesome and so much easier to use than the dictionary. When I was stationed in Italy with the Air Force (YEARS ago), I took 6 months of Italian. It wasn’t enough to make me fluent but it was enough to get me started with my landlady, and the butcher, and the church downtown where I lived…and the more I tried, the more they tried to speak English and together we learned. It was the most wonderful three years because the people knew I was trying to blend in and they helped and tolerated me while I learned. Even the butcher would say, “what is this?” in Italian and point to things. I learned. He laughed. Then he practiced English while wrapping my meat. Stuff like that counts. All this to say that a book like this is so welcome and necessary and can make the difference when you travel. People appreciate when you try to speak with them in their language (unless you are French. haha).

    • stellalucentellc

      Sherry, thank you so much for your comments! You hit on exactly what I am trying to do! Make communicating basic things easy for the adult English speaker. People then feel more comfortable on both sides, more relaxed when traveling. This then starts a wonderful relationship. I would love to send you a phrase book.

    • stellalucentellc

      Thank you for your comment, Lori! I have tried with my book to set out a simple method that allows the traveler to ask for what they need/want in a way that is easy for them to remember. Just say, “Puo” for “could you?” or “Posso” for “may I?” and use the infinitive verb to ask for what you need!

  2. bonniegm

    It would be really helpful, when looking at the book on Amazon, if the “Look Inside” feature were available for this book. I am teaching an Italian for Travelers course and this book could be very useful. Thank you!

    • imarancher

      I wonder if your students have tried the “Slow Spanish, French and Italian” news casts that NPR is talking about.?That sounded like a great way to get an ear for the language. Speed comes with practice and that is something natives forget. Listening to a slower version of Spanish is very helpful and I suspect it would be the same for all languages.

      • stellalucentellc

        I’ve tried the “Slow Italian” newscasts and have to say they are very good. I also have interactive dialogues that focus on simple traveling situations taken from my textbook on Click on: audio tab (homepage), interactive dialogues (drop down bar) and 18 dialogues recorded with native speakers will come up that can be listened to and read line by line at your own pace, such as “Taking the Train,” or “Shopping.”

  3. imarancher

    People approach a new language as though they must learn every word and tense in the dictionary. Just saying hello makes people happy to know you are trying to communicate. I think this book is a great idea!

    • stellalucentellc

      I have found this to be true during my visits to Italy. Italians really appreciate any attempt we make to speak their language and will quickly make friends with anyone who tries!

I'm always interested in your thoughts, so please leave a comment.