How to say good afternoon in Italian in 17 contextual ways

Author

Tinamaria Colaizzi

It’s a perfect day: you’ve just finished a lovely Italian lunch at a trattoria, and you’re ready for an afternoon stroll on Italian cobblestone streets. You just need one thing to be completely prepared for whatever you encounter.

An umbrella, you ask? Well, sure…but how about brushing up on some great ways to say good afternoon in Italian and other mid-day greetings too?

We know how to say hello and good morning in Italian, as well as good evening and goodnight. But what if we want to greet someone throughout the day? This article will give you a lovely list of ways to say good afternoon in Italian as well as some other common afternoon phrases.

Read on to practice both formal and informal afternoon greetings, phrases to use in mid-day conversations, and some fun examples in context!

How to say good afternoon in Italian

Before we dive into all of our afternoon greetings, let’s go over the basics.

If you’re familiar with how to say good morning or good evening in Italian, you can follow the same formula when wishing someone a good afternoon.

The phrase is made up of “buon” and “pomeriggio”, which literally means “good” and “afternoon.” So, buon pomeriggio!

Although this is a standard greeting, it is less commonly used when compared to buongiorno and buonasera. Depending on where you are in Italy, you may hear buongiorno used throughout the early afternoon before switching to buonasera in the early evening. However, you can also use buon pomeriggio during the afternoon hours, typically from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

When it comes to these daily greetings, buon pomeriggio could be considered as the most formal of the three, typically reserved for:

  • Television or radio broadcasts
  • Situations in the workplace or school (afternoon meetings or lessons) 
  • Shopping in the afternoon

In any case, you can still use the phrase buon pomeriggio during your afternoon activities, and it’s a great way to build up your vocabulary in Italian. And later on in this article, we’ll put this greeting into some different contexts! First, let’s take a look at our list of informal and formal afternoon greetings.

English Italian Pronunciation IPA Context
Good day! Buongiorno! bwon-jor-no bwonˈdʒorno
Good afternoon! Buon pomeriggio! bwon pom-er-ee-joe ˈbwɔm pomeˈriddʒo Neutral
Good afternoon, sir! Buon pomeriggio, Signore. bwon pom-er-ee-joe seen-your-eh ˈbwɔm pomeˈriddʒo siɲˈɲore Formal, Masculine
Good afternoon, ma’am! (Formal Feminine) Buon pomeriggio, Signora. bwon pom-er-ee-joe
seen-your-ah
bwɔm pomeˈriddʒo siɲˈɲora Formal Feminine
Good afternoon! How are you? Buon pomeriggio! Come stai? bwon pom-er-ee-joe
co-meh-sty
ˈbwɔm pomeˈriddʒo ˈkome ˈsstai̯ Informal
Good afternoon! How are you? Buon pomeriggio! Come sta? bwon pom-er-ee-joe
co-meh-sta
ˈbwɔm pomeˈriddʒo ˈkome ssta Formal
Good afternoon, everyone. Buon pomeriggio a tutti! bwon pom-er-ee-joe
ah too-tee
ˈbwɔm pomeˈriddʒo a ˈttutti
Good afternoon, colleagues! Buon pomeriggio, colleghi! bwon pom-er-ee-joe ko-leh-ghee ˈbwɔm pomeˈriddʒo kolˈleɡi
Good afternoon! Nice to meet you. Buon pomeriggio! Piacere di conoscerti. bwon pom-er-ee-joe
pya-cheer-eh dee co-no-sher-tee
ˈbwɔm pomeˈriddʒo pjaˈtʃere di koˈnoʃʃerti Informal
Good afternoon! Nice to meet you. Buon pomeriggio! Piacere di conoscerla. bwon pom-er-ee-joe
pya-cheer-eh dee dee
co-no-sher-la
ˈbwɔm pomeˈriddʒo pjaˈtʃere di koˈnoʃʃerla Formal

Smiling woman waving to friend how to say good afternoon in Italian.

Other afternoon greetings in Italian

While buon pomeriggio tends to be a bit on the formal side, there are more afternoon greetings that you can use informally with friends or acquaintances. The afternoon is a perfect time to ask how someone’s day is going, or to wish them a nice rest of their day.

The following table has a helpful list of friendly phrases that you can use during your afternoon conversations, phone calls, e-mails, and more. You can even use some of these phrases at any time of day (like ci vediamo or stammi bene).

English Italian Pronunciation IPA
How’s your day going? Come va la giornata? co-meh va la jor-nah-tah ˈkome vva lla dʒorˈnata
Have a nice day! Buona giornata! bwon-ah jor-nah-tah ˈbwɔna dʒorˈnata
Have a good rest of your day! Buon proseguimento! bwon pro-seg-we-men-toe ˈbwɔm prozeɡwiˈmento
I hope you have a good afternoon! Spero che passi un buon pomeriggio! speh-ro ke pass-see oon bwon pom-er-ee-joe ˈspɛro ˈke ˈppassi um ˈbwɔm pomeˈriddʒo
See you later! Ci vediamo più tardi! chee veh-dya-mo pew tar-dee tʃi veˈdjamo pju ˈtardi
See you in a bit! Ci vediamo fra un’ po! / Ci vediamo fra poco! chee veh-dya-mo fra oon po / chee veh-dya-mo fra po-co tʃi veˈdjamo fra un ˈpɔ
tʃi veˈdjamo fra ˈppɔko
Take care! Stammi bene! sta-me beh-neh stammi ˈbɛne

Turn up the volume and explore

Now that we have a list of handy phrases to use during the afternoon, it’s time to apply them to some different contexts. Earlier, we mentioned three distinct times that you’re likely to hear or use the phrase, buon pomeriggio. Let’s explore those now!

Radio, TV, and other broadcasts

First up, we have afternoon radio and television broadcasts. If you’re watching the daily afternoon news on RAI (the national public broadcasting company of Italy), you’ll likely hear the news anchor say buon pomeriggio in their greeting. Here are some examples:

Buon pomeriggio a tutti! Sono le quindici e trenta e siamo in diretta sulla RAI.

Good afternoon, everyone! It’s 3:30 PM, and we’re live on the RAI channel.

Buon pomeriggio a tutti i nostri telespettatori. Siamo in diretta da Milano!

Good afternoon to our viewers at home. We’re coming to you live from Milano!

At the shops

If you’d prefer to go shopping instead of watching the afternoon news, you can still use the same afternoon greetings! Although most smaller shops and cafès will close or take a break during the afternoon hours in Italy, some larger shops and services remain open (especially in larger cities). So, if you happen to come across an open shop during the afternoon, you can definitely use the greetings from this article!

Buon pomeriggio, Signora. Vorrei tre cannoli, per favore.

Good afternoon, ma’am. I’d like three cannoli, please.

Buon pomeriggio! Posso dare un’occhiata*?

Good afternoon! Could I take a look around?

*If you’re not looking for anything in particular, this phrase is a great way to politely enter a shop, break the ice with the salesperson, and browse at your leisure.

At school and in the workplace

Our last example involves school and workplace situations. Whether you’re gearing up for an Italian lesson or a company-wide meeting, you can start them by wishing everyone in attendance a buon pomeriggio!

Buon pomeriggio a tutti! Siete pronti per la lezione?

Good afternoon, everyone! Are you ready for our lesson?

Buon pomeriggio, colleghi! Adesso iniziamo la nostra riunione…

Good afternoon, colleagues! Let’s start our meeting now…

After the afternoon

The sun is setting, and our work on afternoon phrases in Italian is over for now…but the day is still young, and there’s a lot more to explore on our Italian language blog!

Take a look around and check out some more ways to add to your growing list of vocabulary and phrases in Italian. Buon proseguimento!

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