So many ways to say “Arrivederci!”

I get asked many times how to say “bye” when you want to leave a conversation or when you need to salute someone on the way out. As you know, the Italian language is colorful. There is no simple way. Especially when we introduce the notorious polite form. Here are my notes and common phrases.

Very informal: Ciao!
Used for both Hello and Bye. In Italy, we do not use “Ciao” if we don’t know the person or if we are not related to them (friends or family). As a tourist, no problem! Say it anytime and people won’t be offended. You will actually make them smile and reply with another CIAO!

NOTE: The exclamation point is because you have to end this with a smile!

Informal: Arrivederci!
Literally translates: “See you again”. Watch that ending smile!

Somewhat formal: Buona giornata (Have a good day) or Buona serata (Have a good evening).
No ending smile needed…

Very formal: Arrivederla
As you know in Italy, we have a formal way to address a person that we don’t know. Or when we want to keep a formal, or polite, or professional distance.

Other colloquial phrases:
Ci Vediamo (“See you”)
Alla prossima (“Till next time”)
A piu’ tardi (“Till later”)