Guide: How to Say “Take Away” in Italian

Ciao! Whether you’re traveling to Italy or simply want to impress your Italian friends, knowing how to say “take away” in Italian can be incredibly helpful. In this guide, we will explore both the formal and informal ways to express this concept, as well as a few regional variations. So, let’s dive right in!

Formal Expressions for “Take Away” in Italian

When it comes to formal situations, such as interacting with waitstaff or using polite language, you can use the following expressions:

1. “Portare Via”

The most common and straightforward way to say “take away” in Italian is “portare via.” This expression is widely understood across Italy and can be used in various contexts. For example, you can say:

Vorrei portare via questa pizza, per favore. [I would like to take away this pizza, please.]

2. “Asporto”

Another formal term you can use is “asporto.” It is commonly seen on signs outside restaurants or cafes, indicating their offering of take-away service. You might say:

Potrei avere il menu del servizio asporto? [Could I have the take-away menu, please?]

Informal Expressions for “Take Away” in Italian

When you’re among friends or in a casual setting, the following expressions are more suitable:

1. “Portar Via”

The informal version of “portare via” is simply “portar via.” It is less formal and more commonly used in everyday conversations. For example:

Dai, facciamo un giro in macchina e portiamo via un po’ di gelato. [Come on, let’s take a drive and get some ice cream to go.]

2. “Da Asporto”

An informal alternative to “asporto” is “da asporto.” This expression can be heard in laid-back conversations or when referring to take-away food items:

Oggi ho preso una pizza da asporto per cena. [Today, I bought a take-away pizza for dinner.]

Regional Variations

Italian is a language rich in regional variations. While the phrases mentioned earlier can be used throughout Italy, some regions have their distinctive expressions for “take away.” Here are a few examples:

1. “Portare Via” in Northern Italy

In Northern Italy, especially in cities like Milan or Turin, the locals may prefer to use “prendere da portar via” instead of “portare via.” This longer phrase is still widely understood:

Vuoi prendere qualche cannolo da portar via? [Do you want to get some cannoli to go?]

2. “Portar Via” vs. “Asporto” in Southern Italy

In Southern Italy, including Naples and Sicily, “portar via” is often favored over “asporto” as the primary expression for take-away:

Mi puoi passare quel pacchetto da portar via? [Can you hand me that take-away package?]

Tips for Using “Take Away” in Italian

Now that you have learned the different ways to say “take away” in Italian, here are a few tips to make your usage more natural:

1. Politeness Goes a Long Way

Always remember to be polite when using these expressions. Adding “per favore” (please) or “gentilmente” (kindly) will make your request even more polite and well-received:

Posso avere una brioche, per favore, da portare via? [Can I have a croissant, please, to take away?]

2. Pay Attention to Delivery Services

If you’re in need of food delivery, you can use the phrases mentioned earlier along with “consegna a domicilio” (home delivery) to communicate your request:

Vorrei ordinare una pizza da asporto con consegna a domicilio, per favore. [I would like to order a take-away pizza with home delivery, please.]

3. Take Advantage of Hand Gestures

Italians are known for their expressive hand gestures, and you can enhance your “take away” request with a simple gesture of holding your hand out outwardly, as if holding an imaginary object. This non-verbal communication can come in handy, especially in noisy environments:

Scusa, vorrei due panini da portar via. [Sorry, I would like two sandwiches to go.] (while making the hand gesture)

With these helpful tips and examples, you’re well-equipped to navigate various situations where you need to express “take away” in Italian. Enjoy your delicious take-away experiences as you explore Italy’s culinary delights!

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