If you are planning to travel in Italy, I recommend taking a minidictionary with you. Sure, you can probably Google the translation of a word if you need to, but this assumes you have access to wifi when you need it or you are okay with incurring roaming data charges while you look up the meaning of “gamberetti” on your cell phone before ordering at a restaurant in Siracusa.
I took the Oxford Italian Minidictionary with me during my three visits to Italy. It was a handy tool that fit in my pocket and provided quick access to the meanings of the many strange words I encountered during my travels. Even if you are relatively competent in Italian, you are likely to encounter words that you have never heard before. A pocket-sized dictionary can help bridge the gap between what you have learned and what you will actually encounter in Italy.
Many of the business owners in the popular tourist places speak some English. However, if you are learning Italian, why not try to speak their language, instead of insisting they speak yours? After all, you are the visitor to their homeland.
I like the Oxford Italian Minidictionary because of its size (about an inch thick and 3 inches tall) and its content. Along with thousands of words and definitions, it has a list of helpful phrases in the middle of the book separating the the Italian to English section from the English to Italian section. This small investment will reap big rewards in your Italian adventure.