Italian Language: Shopping

Sat, 09/20/2014 - 04:00

We all like to take advantage of a bit of shopping when on holiday, especially when visiting Italy. I love going to the supermarket and stocking up on treats that can be difficult to get in the UK, like Pocket Coffee (Ferrero coffee chocolate), some nice after dinner liquers or digestivi, and some of my favourite pasta shapes like mezze maniche and paccheri.

When we talk about going to the mercato (market) or supermercato (supermarket) to buy food or common household items, in Italian we say fare la spesa

Today I’m going to go grocery shopping

Oggi vado a fare la spesa

When we go shopping for other items, e.g. clothes, accessories, electronics, furniture etc., we can use a variety of expressions:

- fare shopping

- fare spese

- fare acquisti

- fare compere

For example:

This afternoon I’m going shopping

Questo pomeriggio vado a fare spese

Sometimes we just feel like a walk around the shops, or some window shopping. You could use any of the general shopping expressions above or one that suggests walking around the shops such as:

- fare un giro per negozi

- fare un giro in centro

- guardare le vetrine

Every Saturday my friends go for a walk around the shop

Ogni sabato i miei amici fanno un giro per negozi

Happy shopping!

[Check our vocabulary guide for fashion shopping in Italy.]

Alesha Allen is an Oxford graduate of Italian who is now back in London after years spent living and working in Rome as a language teacher and PR consultant. Alesha is CEO and Italian teacher at Alesha’s Italian Masterclass, which runs Italian immersion courses at authentic Italian cafe Nonna Rosa’s in Coulsdon, Surrey. You can contact her at or through Facebook or Twitter. Her website is

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