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Italian Words and Phrases: Love Phrases in Italian

Updated on March 7, 2013

How do you say "I love you" in Italian?

If you have even the slightest romantic propensity, you have surely wondered what it would be like to express your deepest feelings in Italian - the globally ordained 'language of love'. As English speakers, we may often feel that the rough-and-gruff inflection of our language is too harsh on the ears to adequately express the sentiments we entertain within. Whether this be true or not, the fact remains that many English speakers are fascinated by the Italian language, and would feel just slightly more prepared for a romantic encounter if they knew they had one or two Italian love phrases up their sleeve.

It is on this note that I warmly welcome you to Italian Words and Phrases: Love Phrases in Italian, an article which will guide you through some of the most romantic Italian words and phrases I have come across during my three years in Italy. And yes, you can rest assured that these expressions are in current use. Thanks to my other half, I get to hear them on a daily basis!

Happy Reading (or Buona Lettura!)

Photo courtesy of daodequin on Flickr

Why does Italian sound so darn romantic?

A Linguist's Perspective

There is a saying I once came across that goes: "You spit English, you gargle French, you vomit German, but you sing Italian." Though this is an obvious exaggeration, the idea of Italian as a musical and romantic language is shared by many, even the Italians themselves!

Linguistically speaking, our preference for the sound of Italian over other languages such as German most likely stems from the phonemic pattern of the Italian language. A high percentage of words in Italian are lined with and end in vowels, with the exception of imported foreign words, and some articles and prepositions. Vowels are phonemes that are clear, sonorous, and musical. This is because we produce them without restricting the air flow with our lips, teeth, tongue or throat. Consonants, on the other hand, are produced when we restrict the flow of air. They generally have a weak musical quality as they do not resonate as vowels do. As you may have already guessed, Germanic languages have a higher proportion of consonants and consonant clusters than Italian, giving them a harsh sound.

Interestingly, vowels are emphasized and lengthened when one sings. Just imagine the last opera song you listened to. The song was probably made up of "aaahs" and "ooohs" (vowels), not "chhhhs" and "brrrrs" (consonants)! This correlation between vowels and singing is probably why many people consider Italian a musical language.

A final aspect of Italian which makes it more appealing is the length of its words. While many words in English and German are short, blunt and teaming with consonants, Italian consists of many lengthy words overflowing with the aforementioned vowels. Wouldn't you rather use a mattone (ma-to-nay) to build your house than a "brick"? Doesn't eating formaggio (for-ma-joe) sound much more appealing than chowing down on some "cheese"?

For all the above reasons, coupled with the easy-going Italian lifestyle and the stereotype of smooth-talking seniores, Italian is regarded as language of love and romance.

How to Say "I Love You" in Italian

Don Giovanni will appear an amateur after you master these beautiful Italian words and phrases!

To hear the correct pronunciation of the Italian love phrases below, just click on the phrase that interests you!

Ti amo = I love you (To be used with your other half)

Ti voglio bene = I love you/I like you very much (To be used with family and friends)

Mi piaci = I like you

Mi piaci tanto = I really like you

Ti adoro = I adore you

Sono pazzo/a di the = I'm crazy for you

Tuca Tuca by Rafaella Carra' - You'll never forget the expression "mi piaci" after hearing this catchy tune!

I first heard this song at a Sicilian wedding and boy, does it ever lodge itself into your brain after a couple of listens!

Italian Love Phrases that Italians actually use!

If you end up in a relationship with an Italian, you'll be hearing these often!

To hear the correct pronunciation of the Italian love phrases below, just click on the phrase that interests you!

Tu sei il piu' bello/la piu' bella del mondo.

You are the most handsome/beautiful person in the world.

Facciamo le coccole!

Let's cuddle!

Mi dai un bacio?

Can I have a kiss?

Mi abbracci?

Can I have a hug?

Mi manchi tanto...

I miss you a lot...

Ho bisogno di the!

I need you!

Tu sei il mio bello/la mia bella.

You are my handsome/beautiful one.

Italian Romantic Phrases for the True Romeo

Warning: These Italian love phrases may unintentionally cause nausea!

To hear the correct pronunciation of the Italian love phrases below, just click on the phrase that interests you!

Sei la luce dei miei occhi!

You are the light of my eyes!

Non posso immaginare vivere senza di the!

I can't imagine living without you!

Tu sei la mia vita.

You are my life.

Sei la donna piu' bella che io abbia mai visto.

You're the prettiest girl I've ever seen.

Ti amo da morire!

I love you to death!

Sei l'amore della mia vita.

You are the love of my life.

Quando ti guardo negli occhi, mi innamoro sempre di più di the.

When I look you in the eyes, my love for you grows stronger and stronger.

Siamo fatti uno per l'altro.

We were made for one another.

Ti Amo by Umberto Tozzi - One of the most popular love songs in Italian

Pet Names in Italian

Even potatoes are romantic in Italian!

To hear the correct pronunciation of the Italian love phrases below, just click on the phrase that interests you!

Amore mio = My love

Tesoro = My treasure

Cucciolo/cucciola = Little one (literally: little cub)

Patatina = Little potato (Funny, I know!)

Piccolino/piccolina = Little one

Anima mia = My soul

Piccino/Piccina = Tiny one

Topolina = Little mouse (for girls)

Micino caro/Micina cara = Dear kitty

La mia principessa = My princess

Italians and their Pet Names

In Italy, you will never use your beloved's real name again!

If there is one thing I have noticed since being in a relationship with an Italian man, it is that Italians hardly ever call you by your given name once they are dating you.

Where I was once simply Heather, I now instinctively answer to a variety of pet names: amore, amore mio, principessa, patata, and more. And I will admit that I have conformed in turn!

As if these names weren't enough, Italians continuously add to the list. My personal favourite out of my other half's collection would have to be "Squidolina" for the hours I spend writing articles on Squidoo!

Compliment your beloved in Italian

How to say "beautiful" in Italian and more...

To hear the correct pronunciation of the Italian love phrases below, just click on the phrase that interests you!

Important: Italian adjectives end in o for males and a for females.

Sei bellissimo/bellissima!

You're handsome/beautiful!

Sei carino/carina!

You're cute!

Sei figo/figa.

You're smokin', baby.

Sei adorabile.

You're adorable.

Sei dolce.

You're sweet.

Sei stupendo/stupenda!

You're wonderful!

Italian Quotes about Love from Books and Films

Pluck your inspiration from these Italian love quotes with English translation!

Siamo angeli con un'ala sola, solo restando abbracciati possiamo volare.

(We are angels with a single wing, we embracing one another are we able to fly.)

by Luciano De Crescenzo from I pensieri di Bellavista

Tu sei tutto, Sylvia! Ma lo sai che sei tutto? You are everything, everything! Tu sei la prima donna del primo giorno della creazione, sei la madre, la sorella, l'amante, l'amica, l'angelo, il diavolo, la terra, la casa...

(You are everything, Sylvia! Do you know you are everything? You are everything, everything! You are the first woman on the first day of creation, you're the mother, the sister, the lover, the friend, the angel, the devil, the earth, the house...)

Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita

"Il tuo sorriso si espande come una farfalla sul tuo volto. Il tuo riso è come una rosa, una lancia che si sfila, un'acqua che prorompe. Il tuo riso è un'onda d'argento repentina.

(Your smile spreads like a butterfly across your face. Your laugh is like a rose, ---, water that gushes. Your laugh is a sudden silvery wave.)

Mario Ruoppolo in Il Postino

Ti amo ogni giorno di piu', molto di piu' di ieri, molto meno di domani.

I love you more each day, much more than yesterday, and much less than tomorrow.

La Dolce Vita - Marcello Mastroianni sure knows his romantic Italian love quotes!

Signing Off...

How to finish a letter, SMS or e-mail to your sweetheart

To hear the correct pronunciation of the Italian love phrases below, just click on the phrase that interests you!

Un bacione = a big kiss

Un bacione grosso = a big (wet, juicy) kiss

Un abbraccio = a hug

Un abbraccio forte = a big bear hug

Ti penso! = Thinking of you!

An Example of a Romantic Italian Letter

The modern day Romeo and Juliet share their feelings

Cara Juliet,

Non e' giusto che le nostre famiglie non ci facciano stare insieme. Per me sei tutto, e senza di the la mia vita non ha nessun senso. Cerchero' in qualsiasi modo di convincere la mia famiglia che noi due siamo fatti l'uno per l'altro. Ti amo con tutto il mio cuore e non vedo l'ora di rivederti.

Un bacione grosso dal tuo amore, Romeo

Dearest Juliet,

It isn't fair that our families will not let us be together. You are everything to me, and without you my life doesn't make sense. I will try in every way possible to convince my family that we are meant for one another. I love you with all my heart and I cannot wait to see you.

A big kiss from your love, Romeo

Books on Expressing Your Love in Italian on Amazon - Books that will teach you how to be romantic in Italian

Ti sei innamorato della lingua Italiana? - Have you fallen in love with the Italian language?

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    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 5 years ago from USA

      Amore!

    • sherridan profile image

      sherridan 5 years ago

      My favourite language! And the best thing about Italians is that they love it if you have a go - they understand even if you have it all back to front - very encouraging.

    • joannalynn lm profile image

      joannalynn lm 5 years ago

      But he calls you potato and not little potato :). You look more like a patatina than a patata to me. We do this in my family, and I have multiple pet names for my boys and all of the animals, particularly my dog. I'm doing it again....I'm always putting my dog on the same level as my kids! People never know what to call anyone around here. This is a cute lens, and you are adorable with your Italian.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      Bellissimo! Blessed and featured on "Still Wing-ing it on Squidoo."

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 5 years ago

      I have! I hope my child can speak it one day! The coral color you chose is romantic and beautiful. I wish I could easily memories all the Italian you provided. I really love Italy!

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 4 years ago

      I have fallen in love with the language and an Italian man. I shall being trying these out on him. You made me laugh with the part on how Italians stop using your given name - I think he has said my name only 3 or 4 times in as many years. A lovely lens. Thank you.*blessed*

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 4 years ago

      I have fallen in love with the language and an Italian man. I shall being trying these out on him. You made me laugh with the part on how Italians stop using your given name - I think he has said my name only 3 or 4 times in as many years. A lovely lens. Thank you.*blessed*

    • MelissaRodgz profile image

      MelissaRodgz 4 years ago

      Ti adoro. This is just lovely and so romantic.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 4 years ago from London UK

      Hi I married a beautiful Italian woman and learned to speak Italian in 8 weeks to impress her! I am fluent now and so is my son. We are very happy bilinguals I can tell you - and when we go to Italy we love to see that our son fits in just like a local! One day he'll probably be saying 'ti amo' to a bellissima ragazza Italiana too. We love this lens - great idea. Ciao x e Buon Anno

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      I love that someone uses the term "Squidalina" for affection - very cute x

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for helping me learn some new words for my love. He calls me his mami and wants me to call him papi. So beautiful and I can't wait to use more of these phrases with him!

    • SusanSuggests profile image

      SusanSuggests 4 years ago

      Great, well written lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wow, this has helped me so much with my story especially with my Italian character in this. Thank you so much for posting this!

    • profile image

      Primomotore 4 years ago

      Do not over use it.Whatever you say be be used against you! :)

    • Vortrek Grafix profile image

      Vortrek Grafix 4 years ago

      Yes, Italian sounds very romantic. There is greater emphasis on the pronunciation of vowels and the consonants just seem to flow more smoothly. But that's only part. It's also cultural nuance. Italian men are generally more open about sharing emotions, and it's traditional for men to be demonstrably more passionate in their pursuit of the fairer gender. Whether fashion, food, cars, language, architecture, the arts, romance, or whatever, Italians just seem to take the extra step towards enjoying what life has to offer.

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      Yes, we do not use our real names. My husband and I are now married from many years but I am still principessa or gattina and... paperetta!

    • Marinna profile image

      Marinna 3 years ago

      Great lens. Grazie tanto!

    • profile image

      MissDainty100 3 years ago

      Chow Admin, I'm Asian... I'm a student! I am very fascinated in learning or speaking Italian language! I come To your page And I really love it! You inspired ME Not To stop Now hahaha, my boyfriend is Italiano... very, very, Very romantic, I'm So lucky girl! He call ME little mouse, He never Call ME topolina... but he Use to call ME In English "little mouse "I wasn't aware of This, I thought I act like a mouse some kind of weird things To say but very unique endearment now if I didn't read your blog I would not know because I never asks him Why He call ME that name Now I know hahaha... Oh he call ME schimmiata Too OR monkey! That's only the Italian pet name he Use To call ME... but I doubt It If it's really a name of monkey... Is It correct? He actually bought ME Italian language book... And I'm learning!!! I've plan To visit him next year So I'm preparing My visa requirements, yet I have To focus with My school this year... We were thinking In The summer probably on May 2015,.Everything related with him I'm elated too..It Is really necessary for a foreigner like ME Be fluent In their language To find a job In Italy... after I finish school I intend To work And planning To study The language Too... I hope We Can Be friends, you inspired ME.. I never ever tried To comment On every blogs I read but by far I like To comment here! I was a journalist In Our school paper but I'm good with My own language, and I started learning English 4 years ago... if you wonder where I come from, I'm from The Philippines; )

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