Seven Easy Italian Words to add to Your Vocab

Italian is arguably one of the most beautifully seductive languages in the world but that doesn’t mean it is easy to learn. I’ve written quite a bit about my favorite Italian words, some nice … others not-so-sweet, and this month I’ve asked some of my fellow Italophile bloggers for their input.

To kick off the month, here are seven easy Italian words to get you started.

Ti vedo bene
Ahhh … a phrase I love to both say-and hear!-as often as possible. It means, “You look good” or more literally “I see you good,” but somehow it sounds different … no sweeter, in Italian than in English, so you can see why it is one of my favorites.

Ex: Ti vedo bene oggi
You look good today.

Mi fa piacere
This phrase has several meanings, including “it makes me happy,” “it’s a pleasure,” or “it gives me pleasure.”

Ex: Mi fa piacere a vederti.
It makes me happy to see you.

… another sweet one, if I can say so myself!

It means, “chit-chat,” and is something I am quite famous for in my group here in Florence. The word itself took me a long time to learn to pronounce correctly and even now, I have think a bit to make sure I say it correctly.

Ex: Mi piace chiacchierare.
I like to chit-chat.

Porca Miseria
It literally means “pig misery,” but is used to express something more like “damn it,” or maybe “darn!”
I learned this word from a great Sicilian friend who used it so often that it became engrained in my Italian vocabulary. I love how Italians put the emphasis on miseria. It comes in handy when you are upset, too.

Ex: Porca miseria! Fiorentina hanno perso la partita!
Damn it! Fiorentina lost the match!

Oh the token fill-in word or question word that in English we’d substitute for “so.”
I fell in love with Allora back in 2002 when my art and architecture teacher, Vera, used it over and over … and over … again.

Ex: Allora … Come stai?
So … How are you?

It means “wake up,” and I often think this to myself when I am not following a conversation.

Ex: Svegliati, e` tardi!
Wake up, it’s late!

It means “beauty or fairness,” and as such, I find I’m very attracted to this word.
It is used not only when referring to the beauty of a landscape, but can also describe someone’s inner beauty. It is a distinctive word and I love how the vibrations of the ZZ’s echo throughout my mouth when I say it.

Ex: Che bellezza, Oggi e` una bella giornata!
How beautiful, Today is a beautiful day!

Thanks, Katie. What other easy Italian words can you share with us today?

Katie Greenaway is a freelance travel writer and is the local expert of Florence for Nile Guide.

Traveling to southern Italy? Click here to see how I can help you plan your trip to Calabria or southern Italy.

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