Speaking in Italian to introduce yourself: our guide

Speaking in Italian to introduce yourself: our guide 1200 732 Maria

How to choose the way to introduce yourself speaking in Italian?

Speaking in Italian is not always as hard as it seems!

Moving to a new town or a metropolis like Milan, might seem difficult at first. There’s a lot of adjustments you have to go through, a lot of processing and learning to do. Speaking a new language, introducing someone as well as yourself in Italian, might seem difficult but, with our [Italian courses], your journey in this new environment will be a lot easier than you expect, even if your stay in Milan is short and you want to learn Italian for holiday, as example.

The Basics

The language is the first thing to learn when you move to Milan. As a beginner, you must learn the basics,  for example the appropriate way to greet someone or the proper way to introduce yourself in every and any kind of context you’re going to be in. The greetings and presentations may result quite tricky. As a matter of fact, there are different ways to do so. 

Self-introduction (and greetings)

When you meet Italians and you want to introduce yourself, pay attention to whom you’re meeting: is it a formal or an informal context? 

Before introducing yourself, you greet the person you meet: 

  • formally “Buongiorno” (if it is daytime), “Buonasera” (if it is nighttime); 
  • informally “Ciao”, “Salve”, and not “Pronto!” 

Fun Fact:

Once a friend of mine from Germany went to the petrol station and when she came back, she told me: “After paying, I greeted the man and I said “pronto pronto” but he looked at me with a puzzled face and didn’t answer. Did I say anything wrong?” I started laughing… and she looked at me saying “But… you always say “pronto pronto” on the telephone! Doesn’t it mean “Hello”…”  No, definitely not.

The word “pronto” means “ready” in Italian, and the use of this word when Italians answer at the telephone goes back to the very beginning of the telephone itself: in that time you couldn’t dial the telephone number and talk directly with the person you wanted to contact. You could dial only an operator number and ask for connection with the person you wanted to talk with. So, when the connection was ready, the operator said “pronto”. That’s why, still today, even using mobile phones, Italians say “pronto”. 

Furthermore, mainly, it is used to say that something or someone is ready or, under these circumstances, to greet someone on the phone.

On to the specifics

Depending on the circumstances, you can either choose to introduce yourself in a formal manner or the other way around. For instance, in a formal context, you can start by saying your name and surname then end it with a “Piacere”, which means “nice to meet you”. 

  • John Doe, piacere!”

Meanwhile, in an informal context, you can simply say your name then “Piacere”. This is basically the first approach that you’re going to have by meeting new people.

  • John, piacere!”

If you want to greet and introduce yourself in italian, you can say: 

  • Formally: “Buongiorno! John Doe, piacere.”
  • Informally: “Ciao! John Doe, piacere.”

You can add a little formula before your name, like “my name is…”

  • “Buongiorno/Ciao! Mi chiamo John Doe, piacere.”

Different scenarios to introduce yourself

Already booked a flight to Milan and thrilled to learn italian for Holiday? Are you wondering “how can I introduce myself properly”?

Once you’ve landed you might already find someone from the hotel holding a sign with your name and/or surname on it, waiting to pick you up. You may start your Italian journey by saying the following: 

“Buongiorno, sono John Doe” 

This kind of presentation may also work in other formal contexts such as:

  • At the hotel reception where you can introduce yourself in this way: 

“Buongiorno, sono il signor/la signora Doe. Ho prenotato una stanza per tre notti” (“Good morning, I am Mr/Ms Doe. I’ve reserved a room for three nights”)

  • At a gala

“Buonasera, sono John Doe, molto lieto di conoscerla” (Good evening, I am John Doe, really nice to meet you)

  • At the entrance of an event where they will ask you: 

“Buonasera, come si chiama?” (Good evening, what’s your name?) and you’ll answer: “Mi chiamo John Doe” (My name is John Doe).

Meanwhile in informal contexts like:

  • At school, you can try introducing yourself by saying your name, age, where are you from and what do you do or your job title: 

Ciao, io sono John, abito a Milano. Ho 25 anni e sono ingegnere.” (Hello, I’m John, I live in Milan. I am 25 years old and I’m an engineer.”

  • At a night out with your italian friends introducing you to other people, in this case, you could say: 

“Ciao, John! Piacere” (Hello, John! Nice to meet you)

If speaking Italian properly, learning in a quick and effective way is what you are looking for, then you’re at the right place. 

L’Italiano A Portata Di Mano (IAPDM), indeed, offers guided courses both in classroom and all over the city, that’s why we love to call them “experiential courses”. And if you prefer, you can easily learn Italian during Holidays thanks to our short period courses.

By attending lessons in classroom and practising outdoors, you can learn Italian more easily and quickly; you can talk with locals and make new experiences. We are going to be addressing subjects regarding job titles, interviews, the “movida italiana” and many other more.

What do you think? Are you ready to turn your Italian language course into an adventure?

Prepare yourself to have fun while making mistakes because your Italian journey awaits!



Ciao, nice to meet you! My name is Maria Pagano and I’m passionate about languages. I’ve studied Modern Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Catania. I’m a teacher of Italian L2 and I got the second level DITALS certification issued by the University for Foreigners of Siena. I’ve taught and still teach Italian language to foreign students, as a volunteer in schools, like Penny Wirton and Mamme A Scuola ONLUS where Italian language is taught for free. My mission is to teach the Italian language to let students discover and live the Italian culture through direct contacts with people and in different context from the classroom, in order to satisfy the needs, the wishes and the curiosities of people who want to know Italy and its features. Learning the language and live the culture. How? With an experiential course which alternates lessons in classroom with practice outside the classroom, all over the city. At the end of this journey Milan will have no secrets for you. And neither will the Italian language. During my academic course (and after it as well) I’ve had the opportunity to study foreign languages and I’ve experienced and lived the impact with foreign cultures in foreign countries. I know what happens when you “go out of the school” and face the world around you. These experiences have turned into moments of reflection which led me to think about a different way of teaching and learning a foreign language: an EXPERIENTIAL COURSE.

Author: Maria
1 Comment
  • דירות דיסקרטיות במרכז 15 July 2022 at 11:30

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I do think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but typically folks dont discuss these issues. To the next! All the best!!