Bella Italia y la Dolce vita

Italian Slang  is the guide to colloquial Italian phrases as spoken on the streets of Italia and Svizzera

Italy, or rather Rome it’s capital is the home of every Latin language that is spoken today. The standard Italian that is taught in schools comes from the nearby city of Florence, the Italian capital of the Renaissance. Italians often speak so expressively that they can’t talk without using their hands. And their men who love to flirt have undoubtedly developed a rich vocabulary around the art of “civatteria” (coming from the word ‘owl’ meaning to be wise like an owl).  Also the Italians have developed a rich culture around the food which came to them via China (noodles) and tomato (from the Americas) based dishes, so to sample the best of their wonderful gastronomy, the vocabulary for food would be important for the Italians.

Italy like many other European cultures has many different dialects, ranging from Venetian, Calabrese, Sicilian, Sardinian, Piemont in the north and the most important Florentine the standard.


Greetings and Salutations

Ciao ragazzi/o
Hi guys/girls

A dopo
See You Later!

Buon cumpleanno
Happy birthday

Good evening

Buona giornata!
Have a nice day

Good day

Che c’è di nuovo?
What’s New?

Nothing Much
Non molto

Buona notte!
Good Night!


Good Bye!

Nice To Meet You!
è un piacere conoscerti!/  è un piacere conoscerla (polite)

You’re Very Kind!
Sei molto gentile!/ lei è molto gentile (polite)

Piacere di conoscerti/ Piacere di conoscerla
Pleased to meet you

How Old Are You? I’m (twenty, thirty…) Years Old.
Quanti anni hai? Ho (venti, trenta …) anni.

Good Luck!
Buona fortuna!

Happy Birthday!
Buon compleanno!

Sweet Dreams!
sogni d’oro!

Benvenuto!/ Benvenuta! (female)

Come stai?/ Come state (polite)?
How Are You?

I’m Fine, Thanks! And You?
Bene, grazie e tu? e lei? (formal)

Mille grazie
A thousand thanks

Good/ So-So.
Bene/ così e così

Thank You (Very Much)!
Grazie (molto)!

Is all well? How is it going?
Tutto bene?

Un bacione grande
A big kiss

That would be nice.

You’re Welcome!

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The Colosseum



Giornata temporal, di bufera
Thundery weather

Piove a catinelle Piove a dirotto Piove che Dio la manda
It’s raining like from basins/excessively/[as if] God sends it

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Giornata di bufera- a day to wear a scarf


At The Bar

Andiamo a farci un goccio
Let’s go for a drink.

Beviamo qualcosa!
Let’s have a drink

Devi meigliorare le tue relazione sociali
I need to drink to enhance my social skills

Due birra alla spina
2 beers from the tap

Facciamo le ore piccole
Let’s drink to the small hours

Io sono il  ubriacone della villagio
I’m the village drunk

Lui beve come una spugna
He drinks like a fish

Mi piacere un goccio grandissimo
I would like the a big drop.

Offre la casa
Drinks are on the house

Offro io!
The drinks are on me

Posso offrirti qualcosa da bere?
Can I get you a drink?

Sono fuori
I’m out of it. (alcohol or drugs)

Stasera tirammo su balla
Let’s get drunk tonight

Una birra grazie
One beer please

Italy - Birra Moretti

A common beer consumed in Italy- Image by roger4336 via Flickr



Facciamo festone Let’s make a big, party/ do some serious drinking.

The antidote. Hair of the dog.

Chiodo schiaccia chiodo Removing one nail with another. Hair of the dog.













Hai gli occhi piu larghi della bocca
Your eyes are biger than your stomach (mouth)

I am a vegan – male/female
Sono un vegano/ una vegana.

Is there a vegetarian restaurant near here
C’e’ un ristorante vegetariano qui vicino?

She/he is a good fork. Big eater
È una forchetta buona

Mangia senza fondo
He’s a bootmless pit (A big eater)

Ho una fame da lupi
I’m hungry like the wolf.

Sono un vegano/ una vegana
I am a vegan – male/female

C’e’ un ristorante vegetariano qui vicino?
Is there a vegetarian restaurant near here?

Mi mangerei un cavallo
I could eat a horse

Finger-licking good.
Da leccarsi le dita

It makes your mouth water.
Fa venire l’acquolina in bocca

Let’s go for a quick, cheeky pizza
Ci facciamo una pizzetta?.


Pizza night




Acqua cheta rovina i ponti
Still waters run deep

Ani ha moglie ha doglie
A wife means pain

A rubar poco si va in galera, a rubar tanto si fa cariera
Steal a little go to jail, steal a lot make a career of it

Bacco,tobacco e venere riducuno l’uomo in cenere
Wine, women & tobacco reduces a man to ashes

Esssere o non essere
to be or not to be

Essere fuori mano
To be off the beaten track

È una favola!
It’s a fairy tale.

Fate l’amore, non fate la guerra
Make love not war

La dolce vita
The sweet life

Meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domain!
A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush

Non tutto il male viene per nuocere
Every cloud has a silver lining

Ogni immagine racconta una storia/ dietro ogni immagine c’ è una storia
Every picture tells a story

Ognuno ama il proprio paese
Everybody loves their own country

Paese che vai, unsanza che trovi
When in Rome, do as Romans do

You can kiss your money goodbye
Puoi Dire addio ai tuoi soldi



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Pisa- great Italian architecture



Having a laugh

Io sono un porco
I am  a filthy pig

Io sono uno pollo senza testa
I am a chicken without a head

Non mangio cane
I don’t eat dog



That’s Cool

Che bello!
How nice/cool!



Very cool


Tongue Twisters/Scioglilingua

Sopra la panca la capra campa, sotto la panca la capra crepa
On the bench the goat lives, under the bench the goat dies.

Trentatré trentini entrarono a Trento tutti e trentatré trotterellando.
Thirty-three dwellers of Trent came into Trent, all thirty-three trotting and toddling.

Tre tigri contro tre tigri.
Three tigers against three tigers.

Se l’arcivescovo di Costantinopoli si disarcivescoviscostantinopolizzasse, vi disarcivescoviscostantinopolizzereste voi come si è disarcivescoviscostantinopolizzato l’arcivescovo di Costantinopoli?
If the archibishop of Constantinople debishopconstantinoplized himself, would you debishopconstantinoplize yourselves in the same way as the archibishop of Constantinople debishopconstantinoplized?




On the Street

Ora di punta
Rush hour



That’s Cool

Che figata
How cool.

È di luna buona
He/she is in a good mood (good m0on)




Sto da Dio
I’m with God (happy)


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