To start with, it can be a bit annoying to constantly hear noisy passengers saying the same old Italian words and phrases before each stop, rather than the sound of the stop button being pressed. The locals seem to have an irrational fear that they won’t be able to get off the bus for some reason, so they go out of their way to check where the people around them are travelling to.
Here are some handy words and phrases that should avoid you staring back at people with a confused look on your face…
– “Permesso” (pronounced as you’d expect) means something along the lines of “May I”. This is used by Italians to ask other passengers to move when they’re getting ready to get off the bus.
– “Scende/Scendi” (pronounced: Schende, Schendi) means “Are you getting off here?” Italians will ask you this when they want to get off at the next stop, so they can get past everyone and make their way to the door in plenty of time. (In more than plenty of time if you ask me – especially when you think about how laid back they are usually). They also seem to expect other passengers to ask them this before they want to get off themselves…
– “Si” or “No” (pronounced as you’d expect) mean “Yes” and “No”. So now you know how to answer the previous question.