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The Art of Professing Love in Italian: A Beginner’s Guide

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Professing Love in Italian

Italy is by far one of the most romantic countries in the world. Millennia of culture and history, often frozen in time, means the quaint cobblestone roads, gorgeous sunsets, and vibrant colors combine into an unforgettable picture of romance. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the top global destinations for couples looking to pop the question or just snag a romantic getaway in a picturesque country.

Traverse the narrow alleys and canals of Venice, where the gentle lapping of the water lends privacy to tender moments and expressions of love. The gondolier’s serenade echoes through the city, somehow both comfortingly romantic and expressive of the exotic locale.

Visit the tourist hotspots of Rome, from the iconic landscape and world-recognized architecture to the less well-traveled streets and sights. A mesmerizing and private experience awaits as they explore the ancient ruins at night. Guided tours by the light of the moon at landmarks like the Colosseum or the Roman Forum make the city’s history come alive. This adds a bit of mystery to their romantic adventure.

Watch the city come alive in the morning, and experience the nightlife as it doesn’t quite go to sleep as the sun shines golden over the ancient buildings.

Or take your itinerary to Tuscany, itself a love letter written in the hills and valleys coated in well-tended vines, destined for the romantic glass of wine you’ll have with dinner. From sunny landscapes to historic vineyards to the unique Tuscan cuisine, there’s no better place to deepen a romantic connection.

If the hustle and bustle of the cities, laid-back as they are, aren’t quite for you, there’s always the immense selection of beautiful villages to visit, places where time seems to have stopped entirely, where life continues at its own pace. The constant press and din of modern life fade away, and it’s ever so hard to leave.

Italy isn’t just another place to visit, take pictures, and write home about; it’s a country so suffused with culture that it’s impossible to resist immersing yourself in what it has to offer. Romance is a key feature to any visit, whether you’re a single traveler looking to meet someone special or you’re a long-time couple hoping to capture a new spark. It’s one of our favorites and with good reason.

When you’re visiting Italy for romance, it’s well worthwhile to learn how to express that romance in the native tongue of the land. How can you profess your love in Italian? Settle in for a crash course in the language of love itself so you can make the most of the moment when you’re there.

Learning the Basics of Italian Pronunciation

When you listen to fluent Italian, it can seem daunting to learn. We English speakers are used to a wild and inconsistent language, which makes sense; English is a mish-mash of other languages, from grammar to pronunciation, and it’s all slapped together in ways that often contradict themselves or don’t make sense. In fact, one of the languages that English borrowed from is Italian, so there’s a decent chance you already know some of how to speak it, even if you don’t recognize it.

Italian has one benefit for anyone looking to learn the language, from the simplest phrases to the deepest fluency: it’s a completely phonetic language with pronunciation rules that are constant no matter the situation. Once you learn what the phonetics are and how they are represented in letters, you can accurately pronounce anything you can read. And, since the Italian alphabet is the same as ours, that’s not a very high bar to clear.

The Basics of Italian Pronunciation

Many letters are pronounced the same as they are in English, like B, F, J, K, M, S, T, and W; others have their own rules. Let’s talk about some of the more important letters.

  • A: This one is an “ah” sound like the a in “bar” every time.
  • C: C can be pronounced like Ch in “cheese” if it has an E, I, or C next to it; otherwise, it’s a hard C like a K sound. “Cane,” the word for dog, is a hard C; the word for chocolate, cioccolato, uses the “ch” sound.
  • E: This can be open like “net” or closed like “say,” and it depends on the location of the letter in the word. It’s also regional and part of an accent, so don’t worry about getting it too wrong; almost no one says it the same way all the time.
  • G: If G is followed by I, it’s a soft G like a J. If it’s followed by N, it’s more like the Spanish ñ, if you’re familiar with that. Otherwise, it’s a hard G like in “gong.”
  • I: This one is simple; it’s always the long “ee” sound like in “bee.”
  • Q: Think of it like a K, and you’re right where you need to be.
  • R: One of the hardest letters for an English native to pronounce, it has a slight roll to it, which can be tricky for novices to get right. Don’t worry, though; Italian natives are used to tourists not quite getting it right.

Some of the trickier combinations of letters have their own rules. GN is covered in G (and if you’re ordering Gnocci, you’ll get it right fairly quickly), but a couple more include:

  • GLI: If you ignore the G entirely, you’re almost exactly right; it’s pronounced a lot more like LLI, as in “billion,” than anything else.
  • SCI: the “SC” combination, when followed by an E or I, should be read more like “SH.” When you want to order the fish dish, Pesce is pronounced “pe-she,” to use a common example.

Got it? You’re 90% of the way there with just these few tips.

Italian is a very expressive, forceful, and rolling language. Many people feel like they’re almost acting like caricatures, exaggerations of stereotypes when they’re learning; that’s good! In fact, the more exaggerated you are with your speaking, the more likely you are to be correct.

It’s not a bad idea to take a few basic language lessons or sign up for Italian courses from a program like Duolingo, but if all you plan to do is make a romantic moment a little more Italian, you don’t need to pursue full fluency.

The Most Romantic Words and Phrases

While we can’t tell you what your partner (or your date) is going to find the most romantic, there are certainly a few words and phrases worth learning.

A Couple in Italy

These include:

  • Mi piaci – I like you
  • Ti voglio bene – I care for you
  • Ti amo – I love you
  • Vuoi uscire con me – Will you go out with me?
  • Mi manchi – I miss you
  • Sei Bellissima/Bellissimo – You’re beautiful/handsome
  • Sei dolce – You’re sweet
  • Sei il mio Tesoro – You’re my treasure
  • Sei il sole dell amia vita – You’re my life’s sunshine
  • Amore – love
  • Relazione – Relationship
  • Anima gemella – Soulmate
  • Bacio – Kiss
  • Abbraccio – Hug

Of course, learning a few romantic phrases is only enough to show you’re putting a bit of effort in. It’s the context that really matters.

So, with your newfound mastery of the language of love, it’s time to take it on the road. Here are our favorite romantic destinations in Italy to visit.

Taking Love on the Road to Italy

Whether you’re visiting the largest cities or the smallest villages, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes somewhere in the ancient country. Here’s a selection of our favorite places to visit.


Venice offers more than just gondola rides for couples. Couples have the opportunity to enroll in authentic Venetian mask-making workshops, creating a one-of-a-kind symbol of their love. Plus, they can savor intimate meals in hidden eateries serving up traditional Venetian cuisine. This adds to the city’s overall romantic vibe.

Venice is well-known for its canals, but there’s more to it than just the gondolas and the water. Foggy mornings bring an air of close companionship even on a busy street, and the island of Burano is a colorful and exotic getaway, even for Italy.

A Gondola in Venice

The gondola rides are romantic, of course, but sometimes, just sitting at the edge of a canal and enjoying the sights can be romantic enough.


Home of Romeo and Juliet, Verona is a wonderful town with tall viewpoints, a seemingly endless expanse of historic architecture, and, of course, plenty of romantic locations for everything from a quick bite to eat to a lengthy stroll or a bit of local entertainment.

The Town of Verona in Italy

You can also have enchanting experiences such as wine tasting right there in the Valpolicella region. It’s a short trip from the city, see? The region is known for Amarone wine, which is a treat for wine-lovers. You’ve got the city’s panoramic views too, which you can admire from the Torre dei Lamberti – a perfect setting for couples. It’s even more stunning during sunset, actually.

Even if you want to avoid the potentially tragic connotations of a visit to Juliet’s house, there’s plenty to do throughout the town.


Long recognized as one of the best places in all of Italy for couples to visit, the stunning beauty of every angle of this city is like something out of a fantasy.

The City of Florence

You can check out the Statue of David, admire the skyline, enjoy the local treats, or just explore the streets at your leisure. And leisure you’ll have in spades; spending a romantic time immersed in history will leave you feeling utterly disconnected from the modern world.


An island on the Amalfi Coast, Capri is an incredibly romantic destination with thousands of years of history embedded in every stone. People have been professing their love, popping the question, and celebrating their milestones on the island for as long as people have existed in the area.

The Island of Capri

Whether you swing through on a boat tour or spend a few days on the island to explore, it’s a perfect romantic destination. Be sure to read up on the legend of the Faraglioni rock formations!

Cinque Terre

A series of beautiful, colorful, terraced villages along the coastline, Cinque Terre made our list of the most beautiful Italian villages for a very good reason.

Cinque Terre captivates not just with its picturesque villages but the scenic trails that link them too. Stunning views of the Ligurian coast are what you see when you hike these paths. Each village exudes a unique character, begging to be explored. When it comes to food, small, family-run trattorias offer the chance to immerse yourself in the regional cuisine. It’s a joy to taste local seafood dishes and the well-known Ligurian pesto.

Cinque Terre in Italy

Each village is utterly unique, and while you can explore each of them in a few hours or a day, sometimes they’ll hook you, and you’ll never want to leave. Be careful of watching the sunset; that’s how it gets you.


One of the most romantic spots in all of Sicily, this small city has stunning views of the sea, all backed by the mountain. You can even hike your way up Mount Etna, taking one of the numerous paths… at least, once it’s back open again. It’s been closed for a little while due to volcanic activity.

The City of Taormina

Still, the city below has much to offer, and the fact that you have either stunning views of the mountain or the sea, no matter where you are, is incredible. There’s nowhere else quite like it.

Tips for Making the Most of a Romantic Trip to Italy

If you’ve chosen Italy as a romantic destination, whether you’re planning to make a major life milestone happen in a scenic destination or you just want to experience an unforgettable time together, there are a few things you can do to make the trip easier.

First, of course, learning as much of the language as you can before you go will smooth out much of the stress of spending time in a foreign country. As we covered above, Italian is a relatively simple and very consistent language, so learning the basics can get you a lot further than you might imagine.

You’ll also want to pick the right time for your trip. Summer is the peak timing, which means your destinations will be crowded, your expenses will be higher, and you’ll be fighting for your space much more frequently. On the other hand, the off-season – October through April – will be much easier to visit. Be sure to check the weather in advance and know what you’re getting into.

A Couple on a Romantic Trip in Italy

Remember, even if you’re kept inside due to inclement weather, you can still make the most of your trip. The architecture of Italy isn’t just on the outside; there’s so much to be seen indoors that you barely even need to experience the sights. And really, what could beat a romantic dinner and some drinking chocolate or wine in a cozy villa?

Don’t forget to figure out your photography. As stereotypical as they are, even something as simple as a selfie stick can help you savor the unforgettable memories. And, for those more precious moments you may have planned, asking a bystander for a picture might be exactly what you need.

Finally, don’t rush yourself. Italy is a laid-back country where leisure takes center stage, and that means the more packed you make your itinerary, the less you’ll truly experience what makes Italy the romantic destination it truly is. Give yourself a few goals but a lot of open flexibility in how you reach them, and you’ll love the trip all the more.

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