Goodbye in Italian: arrivederci

until next time arrivederci
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You were just with your friends at dinner in the center city of Firenze. The clock strikes midnight.  You hear your friends yelling, so you turn.  They are leaving yelling, “Arrivederci!”

You are left standing there thinking, what does arrivederci mean?

arrivederci = see you later

Arrivederci: how to say Goodbye

Arrivederci is used to express goodbye, including a see you later when parting from an individual or a group of people.

It is the simple form of goodbye in the present, sometimes with a “see you soon” attached. It is also the formal way of saying goodbye to people you do not know.

You can not go wrong speaking Arrivederci when you want to say “Goodbye.”

It is the formal saying of “ciao, ciao,” which means declaring goodbye to your classmates or family friends.

Let’s assume you are in a shop buying some lovely Murano glass figurines. You make the purchase, and then you proceed to leave.

The shop clerk answers, “Arrivederci.” Now what? How do you respond? You should be responding, “Grazie e arrivederci.” Which means “Thank you and goodbye.”

That is with a single person; now, let’s imagine you went to a work meeting to show the project you just prepared. You finish and are about to leave.

You would say to everyone all at once, “Arrivederci.”

Goodbye in Italian, the word broken down

Arrivederci is one of the primary words you will learn when studying Italian.

It originates from the reflexive verb rivedersi, meaning (“until we see each other again“).

As you see with arrivederci and rivedersi, the inside is made up with the verb vederewhich means (“to see”). The a on arrivederci means (“to”).

The last part is the pronoun ci which means (“we”).

Since it is “we”, it gives the word arrivederci the permission to use with not only one person but many people.

Putting it all together

arrivederci = until we meet again

Let us recap with some sentences.

Below is a simple sentence saying goodbye to your friends.

È stato un piacere conoscerti stasera, arrivederci e buona serata

Nice to meet you tonight, goodbye and have a great evening

Here are some other phrases.

Ho lasciato la festa salutando e dicendo, “Arrivederci”.

I left the party waving and saying, “See you later.”

Arrivederci also replaces farewell in many sentences.

Ci siamo divertiti, ora arrivederci, ragazzi!

We had a good time, now farewell, guys!

Use arrivederci in place of any of these phrases

Funny forms to say farewell

  • See you later, alligator!
  • In a while, crocodile!

Formal forms of “see you later”

  • Have a nice day!
  • Have a good…
  • I look forward to…
  • It was nice to see you again
  • Stay in touch!
  • Goodnight!

Informal forms of goodbye

  • Bye!
  • Bye-bye!
  • Talk to you soon!
  • I’ve got to get going…
  • Take it easy!
  • I’m off!
  • Cheers!
  • Take care

Some Italian music and movies titled Arrivederci

A popular song called “Arrivederci Roma” (1955) was sung by Renato Rascel, with Pietro Garinei.

Another version of this same hit was written in 1955 but with a new set of English lyrics, titled “Arrivederci Darling.”

Songs with the word Arrivederci seemed to be a favorite in the ’50s. One tune was sung by Claudio Baglioni, written in 1959 by Giorgio Calabrese, Umberto Bindi.

Listen here to hear the song “Arrivederci” sung by Claudio Baglioni.

In 2008, an Italian movie entitled “Arrivederci” was developed. Valeriu Jereghi directed the film. The lead protagonists in the documentary were Ion Babenco and Mihaela Babenco.

The movie is a drama taking place in Moldavia, Romania. About a Moldavian boy that adapts to his new life as an adult made of harsh realities and small joys.

Only hard work can help him survive and provide basic necessities for himself and his younger sister, Mihaela. The film is a set of true stories that form just a small part of the tragedies of the Moldavian people, the result of the phenomenon of immigration. I wrote an English translation of the movie’s description; find out more about the film written in Italian.

You might know the Spanish phrase said by Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Hasta la vista, baby,” in the movie Terminator is translated to Italian “Arrivederci, piccola.”

arrivederci piccola

Arrivederla

But what if someone says “Arrivederla” to you?

Arrivederla is best used when talking to one person. Never use this word for saying goodbye to a group.

Arrivederla is the formal of the word arrivederci for when a person does not know you on a personal level.  Some uses of arrivederla are speaking respectfully to a person of authority or the elderly.

arrivederla

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Examples of when to use arrivederla will be for people you encounter, like shop owners, doctors, receptionists,  and other people in this category.

They do not know you; personally, therefore they will use “Arrivederla. “  The most that will occur is they will respond to you that it is too formal, but better to be too polite than disrespectful.

Here is an example for arrivederla.

Arrivederla, Dottoressa Santucci! Grazie.

Goodbye, Doctor Santucci! Thanks.

Remember that arrivederla is for talking formally and only to one person; if there is a group that you wish to say goodbye to, then say arrivederci.

arrivederci amore mio

Arrivederci amore mio

Italian phrase words for specific forms of Goodbye

Here are a few other Italian words used for Goodbye in certain circumstances.

Buona notte

Goodnight

Buonasera

Good evening

A word to not use because it is not appropriate is “Salve.” Another word is “Addio” because it is very outdated.

If you know when you will see the person again, you can state something like:

A domani

See you tomorrow

A più tardi

See you later

A presto

See you soon

A stasera

See you tonight

Ci vediamo presto

See you soon

Let’s suppose you know the person is leaving on a trip or vacation. You can reply:

Buon viaggio

Have a good trip

If you want the person to have good health:

Stammi bene

take care

Si riguardi

take care of yourself

Some words with actions to convey goodbye:

un bacio

a kiss  (usually with a single blown kiss)

un abbraccio

a hug

baci

double kisses (usually the kiss on both sides of the cheeks)

Arrivederci: Until next time

Remember,  arrivederci is the catch-all word for saying goodbye to your friends and family. Arrivederla is the ultimate formal way used when you want to show respect.

If you do not wish to use arrivederci to respond, you have a few other suggestions.

The Italian language is wonderful with the one word that can mean many things or a gesture replacing speaking.

It is time to conclude this post by saying Arrivederci: Until we meet again!

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

Stefano

Italian language tutor, course author, and polyglot. After learning 12 languages, I can tell you that we all master languages by listening and mimicking. With my method, you'll be speaking Italian from Lesson 1.

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