With just a few days to go to Valentine’s Day I’ve been looking at how to say I love you in Italian, just in case I meet the love of my life in the streets of Venice! Magari! (If only!) And not surprisingly for the language of love, there are an almost infinite number of ways to say I love you so here are just a few of my favourites along with the essential Happy Valentine’s Day!
Who was Valentine?
Despite having a day devoted to him, very little is known about who Saint Valentine actually was. All that is reliably known is that he was a 3rd century Roman, martyred on February 14th and buried in a cemetery on the Via Flaminia near the Milvian Bridge in north Rome. He died because he refused to stop marrying people, despite an edict from the Emperor, but wasn’t strongly linked with the tradition of love and lovers until the middle ages. Since then Valentine’s Day has been celebrated both by the church and by lovers around the world.
Happy Valentine’s Day in Italian
Saying Happy Valentine’s Day or I wish you a Happy Valentines Day in Italian is actually quite simple.
There are two ways to say, or write, it – Buon San Valentino, pronounced Bwon San Vah-lehn-tee-noh, or Felice San Valentino, pronounced Feh-lee-chay San Vah-lehn-tee-noh.
If you want to embellish it a little bit, and who wouldn’t as it is Valentine’s Day when embellishment is almost a legal requirement(!), you could say Ti auguro un buon San Valentino, pronounced Tee ow-goo-roh un bwon San Vah-lehn-tee-noh and meaning I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.
If you’re writing a birthday card, you would start it Caro David or Cara Angela , meaning Dear David or Dear Angela, depending on whether your beloved is a chap or a lady. But for Valentine’s day you need to raise your game and use Al mio amore David meaning To my darling David! Better eh?! Or for a lady, you could write Alla mia cara Sarah.
And you could sign off with Baci e abbracci, meaning kisses and hugs, or Baccioni e abbraccioni, meaning big kisses and big hugs. But as its St Valentine’s Day I think its time to wear your heart on your sleeve and go wild with your declarations of love! Here are a few suggestions for you…..!
I love you in Italian!
In Italian there are two ways to say I love you.
Between a parent and a child you’d use the verb volersi bene. For example, you could say Ti voglio bene Mamma! meaning I love you Mum. But, as this is more like saying I care for you and is more commonly used between relatives or friends, if you said this to a boyfriend or girlfriend, your relationship may end up on the slides! Be careful!
So, to make sure your Valentine’s Day goes well, and ends with a kiss from your wife or boyfriend (rather than tears and slamming doors!) you would use the verb amare. For example, you might say Ti amo, angelo mio, pronounced Tee ahmoh, ah-jell-oh mee-oh, and meaning I love you, my angel. Note : this example is the same for men and women.
Other variations include –
Ti amo, amore mio, pronounced Tee ah-moh ah-mor-ray mee-oh and meaning I love you, my darling. And again this works for men and women.
Ti amo, mia piccolina, pronounced Tee ah-moh mee-ah pee-coh-lee-nah and meaning I love you my little one, my little love or baby. For a man you might say Ti amo, mio piccolino!
Piccolina is just one example of the adorable terms of endearment that Italians use – ahhh those romantic latin lovers eh!!! Others include tesoro (treasure, sweetheart or love) pronounced teh-zoh-roh and usable for both men and women, cucciolotta (little puppy) pronounced coo-choh-loh-tah, or zuccherino (sugar) pronounced zoo-keh-ree-noh. To use these in a phrase you’d say ti amo tesoro mio, ti amo piccolina, ti amo cucciolotta or ti amo zuccherino.
Or you could just go old-skool-simple and say ti amo, mia cara to a girl or ti amo, mio caro for a boy, meaning I love you my darling (literally cara means dear).
So with any one of these suggestions you should be well on your way to that kiss by now, or hopefully, who knows, maybe even a few if you’re lucky! But if you still want to demonstrate or prove your love I’ll leave you with some of my favourites found over the last few days as I searched for something to bring me luck in love! And, of course, if you want to go the whole hog and ask your love to marry you in the perfect Italian location, pop over to the DreamDiscoverItalia post on How to ask will you marry me? Or why not leave me a comment with your favourite declarations of love. And in the meantime Vi auguro un buon San Valentino – I wish you all a Happy St Valentines Day!
More ideas on saying I love you in Italian….
- Sei il mio angelo: non cambiare mai – You are my angel, don’t ever change
- Ti penso sempre – I think of you, always
- Mi manchi – I miss you
- Tu sei una stella, la mia stella, e voglio vederti stasera! – You are a star, my star, and I want to see you tonight!
- Sono inamorata (from a woman) / Sono inamorato (from a man) – I am in love
- Sono pazzo di te (from a man) / Sono pazza di te (from a woman) – I am mad/passionate about you
- Mi rendi felice – You make me happy
- Sei l’amore della mia vita – You are the love of my life
- Ti adoro – I adore you
- Voglio stare con te per sempre – I want to be with you forever
- Ho bisogno di te – I need you
- Baciami, baciami ancora! – Kiss me, kiss me again!
- Abbracciami – Hug me
- Sei tutto per me – You are everything to me
- Senza di te non posso più vivere – I can’t live without you
- Io sono tuo (to a man) / Io sono tua (to a woman) – I am yours
- Senza di te non sono niente – Without you I am nothing
- Sei l’uomo / la donna dei miei sogni! – You’re the man / woman of my dreams!
- Sono abbagliato da te – I am dazzled by you
- Per te farei di tutto! – I would do anything for you!
- Sei il grande amore della mia vita – You are the love of my life
- Senza di te la vita non ha più senso – Without you, life has no meaning
- Hai conquistato il mio cuore – You have won my heart
- Il mio cuore è solo tuo (to a man) / Il mio cuore è solo tua (to a woman) – My heart is yours
- Con te voglio invecchiare – I want to grow old with you
- Senza di te la vita è un inferno – Without you life is hell
- Nei tuoi occhi c’è il cielo – Heaven is in your eyes
- Giorno e notte sogno solo di te – Day and night I dream only of you
- Sei il sole della mia vita – You are the sunshine of my life
PS If you’ve found this useful you might want to check out more of our DreamDiscoverItalia Italian 101 ideas such as How to say Happy Birthday, How to say hello or How to say please, thank you and you’re welcome all of which are easy to learn! I can’t promise that we’ll make you fluent in Italian overnight, but with the help our our Italian 101 posts you can learn a little and often and hopefully have a bit of fun doing it!
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