Charming Italian Words that I Love

Over the course of few months, I have read many beautiful Italian words. But some have stayed with me more than the others. What I love most about these words is how lovely they are and how musical they sound when I speak them. I hope you enjoy these charming Italian words that made me fall for the Italian language even more!


Here are a few of my favorites (so far) along with their meanings:

allora: It is one of my favorite words but it is difficult to explain its meaning. It means “well”, “so” or “then”. Love the way Italians use it ever so often in every sentence.

arancione: this means the color orange. Love the way when I speak it 😉

prego: The all purpose word which means “welcome”, “come in”, “after you” “not at all”

abbiocco: isn’t this word so beautiful? It means the the drowsiness after eating a big meal.


menefreghismo: Ha! This word is badass. It means I couldn’t care less!

magari: this is a dreamy word. It means I wish or if only it was true…

vattene: go away!

chiacchierare: this word is just like it sounds- chatty and gossipy.


sbocciare: Again I love the way it sounds. The word means to bloom 🙂

pioggia: rain <3-trasecolare: Very musical. It means to be dumbfounded.

P.S.- My most favorite words of the lot are pregochiacchierare, allora and magari 😀 Tell me yours?



90 thoughts on “Charming Italian Words that I Love

  1. Hey Ishita, my favourite word was PREGO until I discovered ALLORA, which is hands down my very favourite. I love the way you have inserted your words into your pictures. You must show me how to do that one day. Lyn

  2. I like ‘pomodoro’. if we adopted it, it would avoid all those ‘tomahto/tomayto. arguments. Also liked, when we had dealings with the Italian Air Force in the ‘way back when … ‘mariscallo’ = Warrant Officer

      1. I often wonder if Giacomo Casanova would be as romantic a figure if he’d been an Englishman named Jim Newhouse? 😀

    1. When I was a child I spent a few summers in Piemonte at my uncle’s house. His mother-in-law, a delightful old lady known as la nonna Caterina, lived with him and used to grow all sorts of things in her orto at the back of the house. She spoke Piemontese dialect and used to refer to pomodori as tomatiche! I love both words 🙂

  3. Che bello!
    I like “arcobaleno” (rainbow) and what about the sound of “ninna nanna”? (Lullaby)
    P.S. Abbiocco is with “o”. It’s very roman! I love it <3

  4. Hi. It’s fun reading everyone’s favorites here. I also like chiacchierare, but it’s doesn’t have that roll-off-the tongue feel that asciugamano does (as someone mentioned). I like that one too.

    One I recently learned is un amazzacaffe – fun to say… and drink – It can be considered the official end to a meal – often grappa, though not my favorite, can also be something like fernet branca or strega, a digestivo.

  5. “Frutti Di Mare” translates as “Fruits of the sea” or seafood. How beautiful is the Italian language! Thank you for sharing! I’m very new to the Italian language and I’ve fallen in love 🙂

  6. I love this post, and thanks for sharing. It’s so hard for me to choose my favourite Italian words since they all sound so beautiful. Here are five of my favourites though:
    1. palloncino – a balloon (the kind kids play with)
    2. ricciolino – means a kid with curly hair (my cousins used to call me this)
    3. tuffarsi – to dive … so onomatopoeic
    4. marangona – Venetian dialect for carpenter, but also the main bell in the Campanile di San Marco. My Venetian dad used to call pavlova this as a joke, because it sounds like it should mean ‘big meringue’.
    5. farfanteria – Sicilian dialect for ‘a tissue of lies’. It makes a horrible thing sound pretty!

          1. That’s also wonderful! I’ve never been to India but am very attracted by the culture … and food!

          2. I have a couple of very good friends who are Indian, but live in the USA. They are such warm people and great friends. I can believe it!

  7. I have just signed up for an on line Italian course – so hopefully I will have enough words to chose some favourites soon……….
    I do have favourite English words though:-
    No reason, just like their sound x

    1. Thanks Linda for your thoughtful comments. I hope you can learn Italian also soon just like many of us are learning out here and then make a favorite list of your own 😀

  8. There are so many parole piacevoli Italiani! It’s even one of my blog categories. Just a few I can think of right now……. Pettegolezzo (gossip) from the root word gola, strofinacci (dishrags) spira polvera (vacuum cleaner), dondolare ( to swing) and pretty much any word starting with a z……zuccheriera, zoccolo, zanzariera, zenzero, zoppicare. Oh I have to stop now😜

    1. You must keep coming by and tell me more. It’s a long list I’m making .. 😉 What do you suggest to do (being in a non Italian environment) to up my use of the language. Don’t speak in it at all 🙁

      1. Being in a non-italiano environment makes it hard to increase the vocabulary and make use of it. I think the best thing in that case is to subscribe to RAI and watch lots of Italian TV! Getting together with a few others once a week to speak is also helpful, if you know other would be italiano speakers in your area. I don’t imagine there are hordes of them in India though. In bocca al lupo! Cristina

  9. Allora is also my fav word. Bella, and the fact thats Italians call each other Bella is just beautiful. It took me 5 years to get the meaning of “magari”. Magari now I know.

  10. Loved all the words and have learned a few more from your correspondents; lists. I have just too many to mention but foodie ones like arancini, gelato and pomodoro are top of my list. But I think Grazie Tanto has been my favourite since I first read Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Biana Among the Nightingales ….. Nor heard the `Grazie tanto’ bruised To sweetness by her English mouth….
    Love your blog, will be returning to it.

  11. Sorry, two typos in original so have corrected it here. Apologise for taking up space!
    Loved all the words and have learned a few more from your correspondents; lists. I have just too many to mention but foodie ones like arancini, gelato and pomodoro are top of my list. But I think Grazie Tanto has been my favourite since I first read Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Bianca Among the Nightingales ….. Nor heard the Grazie tanto’ bruised To sweetness by her English mouth….
    Love your blog, will be returning to it.

    1. Please don’t apologize 🙂 I love comments from readers. So much fun and keeps you going. Yes grazie tanto is from the heart. lovely language. please keep visiting the blog 🙂

  12. Reblogged this on The * Grazie * Girl * and commented:
    Here’s another wonderful list of Italian words which are good to know when you travel to Italy. One of my personal favorite’s is allora, which seems to be almost on par with the use of like in the United States. Listen for it next time you go. You’ll be surprised at how much you will hear it. Also, congrats to Ishita for another wonderful article on Italophilia.

  13. Hi! 🙂

    I just found your blog and I am so happy to find other italophiles! I liked the list of words you did, I learned a few new ones, but also found some of my favourites like allora, prego e vattene! I would also add the following words and expressions:

    – incantesimo – means enchantment
    – non me ne frega niente – I couldn’t care less
    – me ne vado – I’m going
    – cara – as a way to address someone. I started using it with my dearest friends after I began to learn italian and had the strong urge to implement it in my life wherever I can 😀
    – non vedo l’ora – I can’t wait

    1. Thank you Carolina. Sorry to reply late I’m traveling at the moment. Lovely words you chose 🙂 great to meet another italophilie. Yay! Ps- didn’t know the last word 😉

  14. You have just taught me at least three new words (for “bloom”, “gossipy”, “dumbfounded”). For some reason I learnt the fastest words for vegetables, such as finocchio=fennel, sedano=celery, fave=broad beans, carciofi=artichokes. But I find myself saying “allora” very very often, somehow it’s stuck on my tongue. And “va bene” too.

    Here is something I wrote about learning Italian:

  15. I can almost picture the situation when you learnt “abbiocco” – after a huge lunch. Have I guessed? 😀 Food coma. Oh yes.

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