I love these Pigeon Cards (also available in Spanish, German and French) They cover all the simple stuff and don't really worry about grammar or complex sentence structure. So very quickly you can be talking extremely bad, but understandable, Italian. Not for the language scholar, or experienced traveller who takes language lessons. But for a first trip or short trip, you'll be using more of the language and better (and more polite) than the majority of British tourists straight away.
What a wonderful idea! All the really useful words and phrases you will need to get you through your holiday, in an extremely handy format. This fits easily into a handbag or pocket and weighs nothing. I used the Spanish one last year so had no hesitation on buying the Italian one for me and the French one for my daughter for this year's holidays.