Buon San Valentino! Do you want to speak of love? Why don’t you do it in Italian?
They always say that Italian is the language of love, right? So, it is useful to know some nice Italian words to use if you want to impress your loved one – be he or she Italian or not.
This is why, on this very special day, I decided to write a blog post sharing with you some Italian words related to love. You may use them to enrich your Italian vocabulary, to show off at your local bar or simply to whisper in the ears of your significant other.
First of all, let’s begin with the nicest word: bacio (kiss). It can be used in its lovely diminutive forms too, that are bacino or bacetto. Both of them basically mean little kisses and are just a sweeter way of using this word. Un bacio can be dolce (sweet), appassionato (passionate), gentile (gentle), affettuoso (tender) or romantico (romantic) – and many other things, of course!
There are different types of kisses: un bacio sulla guancia (a kiss on the cheek), un bacio sulle labbra (a kiss on the lips) or un bacio sulla bocca (a kiss on the mouth). Actually, there is also the French kiss, which should be translated as bacio alla francese, but this is an expression that hardly anyone uses: we Italians less romantically call it bacio con la lingua (a kiss with the tongue).
Bacio is undoubtedly something sweet, in Italian.
As a matter of fact, it is also the name of two different types of sweets. One is Bacio Perugina, an iconic chocolate candy topped with a whole hazelnut and coated with dark chocolate. What makes it special – apart from the fact that it’s super yummy – is that each candy is wrapped with a different love note, making Baci Perugina the most common chocolates to be gifted on February 14th.
The other sweet is bacio di dama, literally lady kiss, small cookies that come from Piedmont – Tortona precisely. They have this name because they are made of two pieces of dough which resemble two lips kissing, with chocolate in the middle. Actually, bacio is the name of different other cookies, mostly with chocolate, that you can find in many Italian cities – basically, a lot of Italian cities have their own, typical bacio.
Bacio is a kiss, but what about the act of kissing? It’s baciare (to kiss). But you can also use other verbs: dare un bacio (to give a kiss), scambiarsi un bacio (to exchange a kiss), rubare un bacio (to steal a kiss), mandare un bacio (to send a kiss), for example.
But love doesn’t mean just kisses, right?
There are also abbracci (hugs), carezze (caresses), and coccole (cuddles). And you have the corresponding verbs, which are abbracciare (to hug), accarezzare (to caress) and coccolare (to cuddle). Baci e abbracci (kisses and hugs) is also a common way to say goodbye to people, most likely in correspondence.
Other verbs are amare (to love), innamorarsi (to fall in love), fare l’amore (to make love), lasciarsi (to break up), which doesn’t have much to do with love but sometimes comes after it, unfortunately. There’s also a very quintessentially Italian verb, voler bene or volersi bene, but it doesn’t have an English equivalent. Voler bene is a little different than love, it’s less passionate, less strong, but it involves a lot of affection and fondness. It is generally used for platonic love.
One of the most important things in love is actually letting the other person know that you like him or her.
Therefore, there here are some of the sentences you need. If you are at the beginning of a relationship, you can say “mi piaci moltissimo” (I like you a lot), “sei bellissimo/a” (you are really handsome/gorgeous), “mi fai impazzire” (you drive me crazy) or “sono pazzo/a di te” (I am crazy about you) and maybe “ti penso ogni giorno” (I think about you every day).
If you fall in love, you need to say “ti amo” (I love you), “ti adoro” (I adore you), “sei l’amore della mia vita” (you are the love of my life), “non posso vivere senza di te” (I can’t live without you), and – if you feel ready – “voglio passare il resto della mia vita con te” (I want to spend the rest of my life with you) and finally “mi vuoi sposare?” (will you marry me?) or “ci sposiamo?” (shall we get married?).
If you need some pet names for your loved one, you can use amore (love), tesoro (treasure), cucciolo/a (puppy), cuore (heart) and you can use it with a possessive, just to make it stronger: amore mio, tesoro mio, cucciolo mio, cuore mio. Actually, there are endless other words you can use as pet names, like biscottino/a (little cookie) or patatino/a (little potato) for example.
Valentine’s Day is undoubtedly about love but it is about presents as well.
So you may need to give un regalo (present) or un regalino (little present) to your significant other. You don’t need to give much but un pensiero (a thought) or un pensierino (a little thought), something nice and small will surely be appreciated. In case of a lady, you may also give her un mazzo di fiori (a bunch of flowers) or un mazzo di rose (a bunch of roses), usually rose rosse (red roses), since they represent love. Don’t forget cioccolatini (chocolates) and un biglietto d’amore (a love card) as well!
Now tell me, what is the Italian word related to love you like the most?
In order to make this post more useful for you, I have created a downloadable pdf file, so that you can keep it for future reference.
If you want to get it, you simply have to subscribe to my newsletter. By doing so, you will get access to Your Italian Toolbox, a library of Italian-related materials that includes the above-mentioned pdf file as well (you’ll find it in the Festivities section). I hope you’ll find it useful and interesting!
If you are interested in improving your Italian language skills, I’d suggest you check Chiacchieriamo, your way of chatting with an Italian without moving from home.
Chiacchieriamo is a Skype chat which helps you practice and improve your Italian with a native speaker. If you want to give it a try, you can request a 30-minute free chat, so that we can meet each other and see if you like the service.