In this article we’ll discuss a very important topic for anyone who has decided to learn Italian, namely means of trasport. Don’t worry, we’re not just talking about trains, cars, planes and bicycles; we know everyone knows these words! But let’s get down to specifics, with a detailed guide… for you to discover!
Means of transport and Vehicles in Italian
Means of transport used in the City
- Auto da corsa (racing car): sports vehicle used in competitions
- Auto d’epoca (vintage car): old generation vehicle (two or even more decades old), which has therefore become quite valuable as a collector’s item.
- Autobus/Corriera (local bus): wheeled public means of local transportation for passengers (the coach is generally a little smaller than the bus).
- Autobus a due piani (double-decker bus): These are typical London buses.
- Automobile/Macchina (automobile/car): A wheeled vehicle used to transport people and goods.
- Camion/Autocarro (lorry): very large vehicle capable of carrying heavy goods independently, unlike trailers or semi-trailers, which need to be towed. Two different types of lorries are the fire engine and the dustbin lorry.
- Camper (camper van): a means of transport that can turn into a house and is therefore set up to allow its passengers to live there.
- Coupé (coupé): two-doors sports car.
- Decappottabile/Cabriolet/Cabrio (convertible): vehicle provided with a folding fabric sunroof or retractable metal or plastic sunroof.
- Fuoristrada/SUV (off-road vehicle): a vehicle that works not only on asphalt roads, but also on uneven, steeply sloping and low-grip roads.
- Furgone (van): vehicle for the transport of goods, which is smaller and much more compact than a truck, since the driver’s cab is built into the car body.
- Furgoncino/Van/Camioncino (little van/delivery van): slightly bigger than a car, the area behind the front seats is used entirely for carrying goods and there are no back seats.
- Limousine (limousine): a vehicle that is much longer than the standard one, so as to achieve greater comfort; it also has a glass division that separates the driver’s seat from the passenger cabin.ara il sedile del conducente dall’abitacolo con i passeggeri.
- Macchinina/Microcar (microcar): a vehicle which is extremely small in size and engine size and can be driven from the age of 14.
- Pickup (pick-up truck): motor vehicle with a fully open cargo bed, which is separated and not accessible from the cab with seats.
- Pullman (bus): often mistaken for a coach, but in reality, this is a vehicle that can carry up to 70 passengers and is the ideal option for long journeys and distances. It may also have toilets.
- Pulmino (minibus): a medium-sized vehicle between a normal car and a bus, suitable for transporting up to nine persons including the driver.
- Quad (quad bike): a four-wheeled vehicle similar to a motorbike, suitable for off-road but also for asphalt roads.
Means of transport used in construction sites
- Autobetoniera (concrete mixer): lorry provided with a rotating tank for automatic concrete unloading.
- Autogrù (truck crane): heavy vehicle capable of material removal.
- Camion cisterna (tunk lorry): lorry provided with a tanker for fuel or water.
- Escavatore (excavator): machine used to move earth.
- Rullo compressore (road roller): machine used for compacting loosed soil or asphalt.
- Ruspa (bulldozer): earth moving machine consisting of a trailer pulled by a tractor.
- Trattore (tractor): means used in agriculture to pull a trailer or hook up specific equipment for agricultural work.
Air transport means
- Aeroplano (airplane): aircraft provided with rigid wings, able to take off and to land on rigid strips and to fly through earth’s athmosphere being controlled by one or more pilots.
- Aliante (glider): an air transport means that is similar to an airplane but is not provided with a motor.
- Biplano (biplane): airplane provided with two overlapping and parallel wings.
- Deltaplano (hang-glider): air transport means consisting of a wing (also called sail) made of special man-made fibre. The pilot hooks himself up to the harness in the lower part of the wing.
- Elicottero (helicopter): aircraft designated for the transport of people and other things for civil and/or military purposes. It is provided with one or more vertical-axis propellers that allow it to keep still, move sideways, backwards, or forwards.
- Idrovolante (seaplane): aircraft suited for taking off and landing on water surfaces.
- Jet (jet plane): airplane with a jet engine. Some of them are also used in the military field.
- Mongolfiera (hot-air balloon): aircraft that uses hot air in order to obtain an upward push to lift from the ground.
- Paracadute (parachute): equipement used for military and civil purposes, made of synthetic material that, through belts and harness, allows people to a free-controlled falling, which is safe even from a great high.
- Aeroscafo/Hovercraft (hovercraft): a marine vehicle supported by an “air cushion” and driven by one or more propellers.
- Barca a vela (sail boat): a boat that uses the wind to move, but has a motor for support.
- Canoa (canoe): a boat support powered by a paddle which, unlike an oar, is not attached to the boat.
- Chiatta/Barcone/Zattera (raft): a rectangular-shaped float made of wood or metal, originally without engines and sometimes provided with sails.
- Galeone (galleon): warship, designed for oceanic navigation, very popular in the 16th and the first half of the 17th century.
- Gommone: (rubber dinghy): a vessel or boat characterised by the presence of tubulars made of rubberised fabric and provided with inflation/deflation valves.
- Gondola (gondola): a typical Venetian lagoon boat used for transporting people and for various services. It is normally black in colour and is characterised by an elegant, slender hull with very prominent ends.
- Kayak (kayak): similar to the canoe, but while the canoe is propelled by a single paddle, the kayak uses a double paddle.
- Moto d’acqua (Jet ski): An aquatic means of transport that uses an internal combustion engine with a water jet pump as its primary source of propulsion. It can carry one or more persons.
- Motoscafo (motorboat): craft powered by an internal combustion engine.
- Peschereccio (fishing vessel): boat used to catch fish for commercial purposes.
- Petroliera (tanker): tanker used for the transport of crude oil or its derivatives.
- Sottomarino (submarine): vessel designed to operate mainly underwater.
- Traghetto (ferryboat): A means of transport that allows a water surface to be crossed over a relatively short distance and with a regularly implemented service.
- Yacht (yacht): boat of variable size with comfortable and stylish accommodation.
Cycles and motorcycles
- Ape (Ape car): three-wheeler truck provided with a closed box separated from the passenger seats.
- Bicicletta (bycicle): a vehicle powered by the human muscular strength of the lower limbs, pushing on the pedals, and making the two aligned wheels move by means of a chain. Some may have a built-in motor to assist the ride (electric or pedal-assisted bicycles).
- Carro (wagon): animal-drawn means of transport used for the carriage of goods.
- Carrozza (carriage): animal-drawn means of transport, used exclusively for passenger transport, which was the most common means until the end of the 19th century. Today they can be found in historic city centres as a tourist attraction.
- Carrozzina (pram): means of transport for newborns and babies that has a canopy to protect the child from the sun or the wind.
- Ciclomotore/Motorino/Cinquantino (moped): two-wheeled motor vehicle characterised by low power and low engine size (never more than 50cc).
- Hoverboard (hoverboard): self-balancing electric skateboard with or without handlebars.
- Monociclo (unicycle): a single-wheeled vehicle powered by human muscle or motor propulsion.
- Monopattino (scooter): vehicle moved by muscular legs thrust. It has two or more wheels, a footboard, and handlebars. It may be equipped with a motor to help it move (electric scooter).
- Motocicletta (motorcycle): two-wheeled in-line vehicle provided with an engine for transporting one or two passengers.
- Sedia a rotelle (wheelchair): mobile wheeled device used by people who find it difficult or impossible to walk due to illness, injury, and disability.
- Skateboard (skateboard): a four-wheeled table moved by legs thrust.
- Triciclo (tricycle): a typically small, three-wheeled vehicle.
Means of transport used in the mountains
- Funivia (funicular railway): a means of cable transport whose vehicles, consisting of platforms, are suspended from a rope, and pulled by another rope. It is a typical means of transport in the mountains, as it enables considerable differences in height to be overcome in a short space of time.
- Motoslitta (snowmobile): motor vehicle that uses skis in the front to move through the snow.
- Slitta/Slittino (sled): vehicle with skids that slide instead of wheeling, used for transport on surfaces such as snow or ice.
We hope you enjoyed this lesson and recommend you take a look at our video lesson about Italian cooking verbs: essential for cooking perfect Italian recipes!