Not everything in Italy is bello and the life here isn’t simply dolce. In fact, there are quite a few things I’ve found to be down right BUONA.

And I made a list.

You see, the Italian language in all of its grammatically challenging and gender-orienting ways isn’t that hard to grasp. It is hard to master, but that is a topic for another day … or another blogger. Regardless, over the years I’ve learned that just about anything can be made sweeter by adding a little buona to it.

Most people know the basics …

Buon Giorno – Good day
Buon Pomeriggio – Good afternoon
Buona Sera – Good evening
Buona Notte – Good night
Buona Giornata – Have a good day
Buona Serata – Have a good evening
Buon Riposo – Have a good rest

Nice, right? There are more …

Buon Appetito – Enjoy your meal (or rather, good appetite)
Buon Pranzo – Enjoy your lunch
Buona Cena – Enjoy your dinner
and not to be outdone…
Buona Colazione – Enjoy your breakfast
oh, and Buon Caffé – Enjoy your coffee

Then there are …

Buon Divertimento – Have “good” fun
Buona Settimana – Have a good week
Buon Weekend – Have a good weekend
Buona Domenica – Have a good Sunday. This one is used a lot, even on Fridays and Saturdays as I can only assume people are in preparation for their “good” Sunday.

And there are the holidays …

Buon Natale – Merry Christmas
Buona Pasqua – Happy Easter
Buona Pasquetta – Happy Easter Monday (or, Happy “Little Easter”)
Buon Compleanno – Happy Birthday
Buon Onomastico – Happy Saint Day

Of course you have …

Buone Vacanze – Have a good vacation
Buon Viaggio – Have a good trip

Then there are some that just make me chuckle  …

Buon Gelato – Enjoy your gelato Or good gelato? Is there any other kind?
Buona Digestione – Good digestion Hmmm ….
Buon Mare – Enjoy the beach
Buon Lavoro – Enjoy your work They say this all of the time, and I mean – come on, it’s work. Italians don’t enjoy it. Why should we?
Buon Shopping – Now we are talking
Buon Cosenza – Enjoy your trip to Cosenza

Seriously. If you can add “Buon” before the name of a city and wish someone a nice trip you can add it just about anywhere you like. The list is endless.

So tell me, what are your favorite “Buon” expressions in Italian and can you add any other chuckle-worthy expressions to my list?

Happy Love Thursday or should I say Buon Giovedi d’Amore!

21 Responses
  1. I know what you mean about the “buon lavoro” thing. What’s the point?!?
    My favourite “buon” today has got to be the very polite way my 2 yr old said “buonanotte” to my husband at 4 am this morning after his massive, 1 hr temper tantrum. It was so funny!
    Oh that is funny. I guess he was like, “after all that I can at least tell them man good night!”

  2. joanne at frutto della passione

    Buona lezione, folks used to say that to me when I was teaching.
    Buon diveritimento is always nice to hear, because it’s hopeful!
    Oooh, yes. I hear that one a lot, too. It is nice.

  3. Carla

    I think you covered most of them! The “buon lavoro” always makes me chuckle, maybe b/c Italians are so laid back, they really DO enjoy work?
    I don’t know if they enjoy work, or just enjoy telling someone else “Ha. You are working and I’m not! lol 😉

  4. Wonderful post- I enjoyed it!
    Life is Italy must truely be… “Buon, Buona, Buono” Wish I were there!
    Have a Buona Love Thursday!
    Thanks, Susan. It is nice here … especially today. It is just beautiful!

  5. I like the standards:

    Buon giorno, Buona Giornata, Buona Sera and Buona Notte and of course Buon Viaggio ’cause it means I am leaving for a trip 🙂
    I like Buon Viaggio for the same reason!

  6. My friends and I add it to everything. Buona caca! Buona passeggiata alla macchina per trovare le tue chiave! Buona spesa al mercato schifoso! etc. etc.
    Ha. I love it. It *IS* fun that way, isn’t it?

  7. Mary

    Ah yes, you can “buon” everything. One of my favorites is “buon proseguimento” – literally “good continuation” – which I’ve heard to mean anything from, enjoy the rest of your day, your trip, your walk, etc.
    Buon proseguimento! 🙂
    Good God, I can’t even pronounce that! LOL

  8. Grazie mille per la tua lista 🙂 E’ vero che quelle parole si usa moltissimo in Italia. Mi piacono…forse comincero’ usarle di piu’ qui negli S.U. 🙂
    Ma, prego! It would be nice if we used these in English, as well. Good idea!

  9. About all I could think of that wasn’t on your list were “buona festa” (which I know usually means ‘enjoy the street fair’ but I always translate as “Happy Party!”), buone ferie (‘enjoy taking a month off,’ because you really need encouragement to get some excitement up for THAT), and the enigmatic “buono sportivo” (‘enjoy being a jock?’ never really understood that one).

    Inanzitutto, che bella post!
    Oh yea … buona festa and buone ferie ARE good ones and yes you are right. Who needs encouragement on the month-long vacay? I’ve never heard buon sportivo. Maybe I’m not such a good “jock?” Boh!

  10. j

    Cherrye, I didn’t see buona permanenza on your list. Surely at the B&B you use that!

    I think I like the sound of bene and bella better than buona…as in molti bene and va bene and bella donna and belle arte.
    I don’t know “buona permanenza,” J! I’ll have to check it out. Do you like the Calabrian va bono in lieu of va bene?? I do!

  11. That’s an awesome post. The same occurs, to a lesser extent, in French as well. On one hand it seems to positive, on the other sometimes counterintuitive.
    It certainly makes it easy to be pleasant, doesn’t it?

  12. Some of my favorites are buon lavoro, buona domenica, buon divertimento, and buon proseguimento (never forget the first time I heard that on TV)! But my absolute, all-time favorite has to be buona digestione. Sooooo Italian 🙂

    I think I just may riff off this post of yours and tell the story of how I learned “buona digestione” sometime 😉 Grazie for the idea (you know how I love coming up with those)!
    Peppe “reviewed” my list for me before I posted and try to say they don’t use “Buon Digestione.” Ooooh, but they do! And it is hilarious!

  13. Mine is the non è buona rule by which you must not say a girl or a woman is buona but brava. Saying she is buona means she is a pro.
    Now how long does it take your average expat to learn this and stop pleading that yes, she is a good woman?
    LOL. Yea, I made this mistake when I first visited and said P’s friend was “buono.” Poor P got made fun a LOT for that mistake.

  14. carrieitly

    I stopped dead in my tracks when a friend wished me “buon palestra” before I headed to the gym– definately not how I’d looked at working out before!
    Ha. Buon palestra is a good one. I haven’t been to the gym in, oh a year … so I haven’t heard that one lately!

  15. Cath

    My friend wished me “Buona ceretta!” (Have a nice leg wax!) Think she was joking….
    Oh that is hilarious! I have never heard that before.

  16. mike

    great list! but its actually buono shopping (irregular masculine singular when followed by s+constanant or z. also applies for the article)
    and the accent goes down, not up. caffè.

    buona giornata xD

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