How to say “good afternoon” in Italian

How to say good afternoon in Italian? In Italy, it is normal for people to wish each other Buona giornata! as a farewell greeting in the morning or afternoon, or Buona serata! at around 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. when the sun begins to set. So, what happens between dawn and evening? Do Italians actually say “Good afternoon” or “Have a good afternoon”?
how to say “good afternoon” in italian

Good afternoon in Italian

The basics of Italian greetings and farewells are simpler than you would imagine.

Sure, there are some nuances, both formal and informal, but when you’re initially learning, the general hellos and goodbyes that Italians use come rather quickly.

After all, you’re likely to know more than a few Italian words – and not just food-related ones.

You’ve probably heard “prego,” “arrivederci,” and “molto bene” hundreds of times in the Italian language.

So, if you’re in Italy and you want to say good afternoon you can simply say Buon pomeriggio!

good afternoon in italian

Do Italians really say “Good afternoon”?

As it turns out, no, they generally don’t. In fact, the phrase buon pomeriggio is now almost solely heard on the radio or television, and it is viewed rather formally.

Buon pomeriggio a tutti i nostri telespettatori e ben ritrovati.

Good afternoon everyone, and welcome back.

The explanation of why buon pomeriggio isn’t used all that much in day-to-day conversations may be because Italians tend to think of the day in terms of daytime (light) and evening (dark).

In some ways, pomeriggio isn’t required to define the day. However, on television and radio, buon pomeriggio may be more used because it suggests the broadcast’s time of day.

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So, if you walk into a pasticceria (a “patisserie”) at 2:00 p.m., you can say either buon pomeriggio, buongiorno or buona sera.

Here is an example of how to use it:

Buon pomeriggio, due bomboloni, per favore!

Good afternoon, two doughnuts, please!

Which one is your favorite Italian greeting?

So here you go, now you know how to say good afternoon in Italian.

Remember to check out different ways to say hello and the meaning of Ciao in Italian.

Still translating in your head? Wanna speak Italian for real? Check out Stefano's courses to think directly in Italian and become fluent fast!

FAQs on How to say “good afternoon” in Italian

What is the most common greeting in Italy?

People use “Ciao” (Hello) as a casual verbal greeting. If you wish to be more formal, you may use “Buongiorno” (Good day) or “Buonasera” (Good evening).

Is Buon Pomeriggio used?

"Buon pomeriggio" is a less common way to say hello. You use it to express hope that someone has a good afternoon in italian.

Do Italians say Buongiorno in the afternoon?

To express “good afternoon” in Italian, you might say “buon pomeriggio.” However, wishing someone a literal good afternoon is not very conventional. “Buongiorno” (good day) is more frequently switched to “Buona sera” (good evening) as the afternoon progresses, as natives do.


I was born in Italy but after graduating from University I decided to travel around the world. I loved Asia and that’s why I decided to move, first to South Korea and then to China where I am currently working as a teacher.

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