With so much beauty everywhere in Italy, how to say beautiful in Italian?
How to Say Beautiful in Italian
The most popular and straightforward way to say beautiful in Italian is ‘bello.’
You may have heard the phrase ‘Ciao bello,’ which means ‘hello, beautiful’ in many TV shows.
It’s mainly used as an adjective and it can be adapted to suit any noun in the Italian language.
‘Bello’ is the masculine variation of the word, because of its ending in ‘o.’ That changes, of course, after the noun it’s describing.
- bello = masculine singular (bambino bello = beautiful boy)
- bella = feminine singular (bambina bella = beautiful girl)
- belli = masculine plural (bambini belli = beautiful boys)
- belle = feminine plural (bambine belle = beautiful girls)
When it stands before the noun, it follows the same rule as definitive articles.
This only applies to the adjective bello. Indeed, beauty has a special place in the Italian language!
- bel = masculine singular (bel bambino = beautiful boy)
- bello = masculine singular (bello sguardo = beautiful gaze)
- bella = feminine singular (bella bambina = beautiful girl)
- bell’ = in front of singular nouns starting with a vowel (bell’albero)
- bei = masculine plural (bei bambini = beautiful boys)
- begli = masculine plural (begli anni = beautiful years)
- belle = feminine plural (belle bambine = beautiful girls)
Keep in mind that bello / bella can be translated in many other ways besides beautiful including handsome, nice, fair, good, and virtuous.
So, the most common word for beautiful in Italian is ‘bello’, but of course, it’s not the only one.
‘Bellissimo’ means ‘very beautiful,’ or ‘extremely beautiful.’ It’s a very emphatic way of expression your appreciations towards something or someone and it behaves just like ‘bello’ in terms of grammar.
The feminine and plural forms are as follows: bellissima (feminine), bellissimi (masculine plural) and bellissime (feminine plural).
- Quasi tutte le fiabe hanno una bellissima principessa che vive in un mondo incantato.
Almost all fairy tales have a beautiful princess who lives in an enchanted world.
Here’s a song: “Sei bellissima”.
‘Molto bello’ and ‘bellissimo’ are very similar. They both mean ‘very beautiful,’ but ‘molto bello’ is formed by adding the adverb ‘molto’ in front of the adjective ‘bello.’ Unlike ‘bello’ or ‘bellissimo,’ ‘molto bello’ can be only used after the noun.
- Lei ha un viso molto bello e un sorriso ammaliante.
She has a very beautiful face and a bewitching smile.
Even though in English we don’t use this word very often, in Italy it is a very popular phrase. It translates to ‘stupendous’ which means ‘incredibly impressive.’
Stupdendo is the masculine form, whereas stupenda is the feminine. Their respective plural forms are stupendi and stupende.
- Sofia Loren è una donna stupenda e una grande attrice!
Sofia Loren is a beautiful woman and a great actress!
If you want to tell someone how extraordinary they are, you can use ‘meraviglioso.’ Even if you wouldn’t use this word in English too often, in Italian it’s quite common. It works as a very plausible translation for beautiful.
‘Meraviglioso’ is the masculine form, but you can use ‘meravigliosa’ for feminine, or ‘meravigliosi’ and ‘meravigliose’ for plural.
- Che tramonto meraviglioso che abbiamo visto!
What a beautiful sunset we saw!
If you want to tell someone that they are completely magnificent, you can use the word ‘magnifico.’ This one doesn’t translate as beautiful in its regular way, but it’s still a very popular way of expressing your feelings.
As with every other on this list, ‘magnifico’ is the masculine form, but if you change the last letter, it can become ‘magnifica,’ ‘magnifice,’ or ‘magnifici.’
- Ho visto un magnifico gatto rosso con gli occhi verdi.
I saw a beautiful orange cat with green eyes.
In general, people use superlatives in order to describe a person or object that’s incredibly beautiful, or the most beautiful. Even though in English there are some optinos of expressing it, in Italian you can add the suffix ‘-issima’ or ‘-issimo’ to emphasize the adjective.
As the case with ‘bellissimo,’ you simply add the suffix the the word ‘bello,’ after removing the last vowel.
More beautiful expressions
It’s important to know how to express yourself, and beautiful in Italian can help you fully describe what you feel about your dearest one, or maybe the most beautiful architecture you’ve seen.
Now that you know how to say beautiful in Italian, check out these posts with more beautiful expressions: