How to Say "Where" in Italian. Never Get Lost (in Translation) Again!

How to Say "Where" in Italian. Never Get Lost (in Translation) Again!

Getting around can be somewhat daunting if you do not know what to say. When you go to a new place, and you are not familiar with the language of communication, it will be tasking to find the places you may want to visit.

Therefore, when learning Italian, one of the most important words is “where” both as a conjunction and as an adverb. This is because it is vital to moving around. The word “dove,” which is Italian for "where" comes as a necessity for any tourist and language learner.

 Italian frequency dictionaries

Our articles aim to help you learn Italian. If you want to know more useful vocabulary, our Italian Frequency Dictionaries are a great source. They contain 10,000 most used Italian words translated into English with correct pronunciation, basic grammar, and a translated example sentence which shows you word usage in context.



It’s All About Location; How to Say “Where” in Italian


Where can I find the tourist information center? – Dove si trova l’ufficio informazioni per turisti?

Tourist information centers are designed to offer guidance on areas you might need on your visit. While finding these centers gives you access to everything at once, you might find that some cities don’t have them. This drives the need to learn more in-depth phrases used in identifying places since you will have to ask the locals. 

  • Dove means “where.” It is pronounced [ˈdove] in the IPA transcription.

Let’s take a look at some more useful phrases with this adverb:


  1. Dov’è? – Where is it?
  2. Dov’è il bagno? – Where is the toilet?
  3. Dove stai andando? – Where are you going?


Finding Amenities in the Italian Language


Being familiar with your environments ensures you are ready for any form of emergencies. Some of the phrases you need to master include:

  •  Dove posso trovare una stazione ferroviaria?  Where is a train station? 

If you are staying in a city where getting on the train in time is essential for effective transportation, it is vital to know how to find the right stations that will link you to the correct destinations. Those who are planning to use the bus need the phrase “Dove si trova la fermata dell’autobus?” which is a translation of "where is the bus stop?"

  • Dove posso trovare un ospedale? Where is a hospital?

This comes in handy in case of a medical emergency when getting an ambulance might be hectic. Once you get to the hospital, knowing where to find a doctor is essential. Thus, the phrase you need to learn is “Dove si trova un medico?

  • Dov’è il bagno?  Where is the restroom?
This is a polite inquiry and is used if you are in an unfamiliar place, but you need to use the restroom. Alternatively, the phrase "C'è un bagno pubblico nelle vicinanze?" is more common since it is a translation of "is there a public restroom nearby?"


Italian Phrases with “Where” for Tourists


Effective Exploration

There are essential things that every tourist needs no matter where they are. These include where to get money and the best way to get to the attraction sights you wish to explore.


  • Dove posso trovare una banca?  Where can I find a bank?

Identifying banks is crucial since all your activities will require money. This is because you might need one to exchange currency or withdraw cash. If a bank is not an option, you will need a money exchange counter. The phrase to use in this situation is “Dove posso trovare uno sportello per il cambio?


  • Dove posso trovare un bancomat? Where can I find an ATM?

Last but not least, you should also know how to ask where to find an ATM in Italian. You can also say C’è un bancomat qui vicino? – “Is there an ATM nearby?


  • Dove posso trovare un museo? – Where can I find a museum? 

Most cities have museums which serve as tourist attraction sights. If you have a map that you can’t figure out, or you do not have one, asking a local is the best option. Also, you might need to find an art exhibition; the phrase to use in these situations is “Dove posso trovare una mostra d'arte?"


Difference between “Dove” and “Dov’è”


When you are a tourist and need to ask a local, there’s a good chance that you will need the word “where.” Sometimes it can be shortened. We have already mentioned Dov’è? – “Where is it?”


The pronunciation is the same. However, in dove, the stress is on “o” while in dov’è, the stress is on “è.”



Let’s take a look at some other handy phrases with a shortened form of dove.


  • Dov’eri? – Where were you?


You can also hear Dove sei stato? which is closer to “Where have you been?” You might want to add a time expression. Dov’eri ieri? means “Where were you yesterday?” Leri sera means “last night.”


  • Dov’era la riunione? – Where was the meeting?


La riunione means “a meeting.” It’s an important word especially when you need to use the Italian language at work. You common in the phrase essere in riunione which you can translate as “to be in a meeting.”


  • Dov’erano i tuoi figli? – Where were your children?


This phrase shows you another contraction of the word dove and, in this case, erano, which is third-person plural imperfect indicative of the verb essere. The question Dov’erano i tuoi genitori? is translated as “Where were your parents?”


Where to now?


Knowing how to ask about the location of a thing or a person is crucial when you want to explore new places. If you are learning a new language, you should always look for opportunities to speak it with locals.


Learning how to ask these simple questions correctly will help you overcome any shyness you might have when approaching native speakers. If you have any further questions about this matter, let us know in the comments below. We’ll be happy to answer.

1 comment

  • gamal nazmi

    Very good

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