The best Italian sayings with English translation to learn the Italian language
The value of Italian sayings
Here’s a list of Italian sayings together with their English translation. A treasure of popular wisdom!
Nothing defines a culture as distinctly as its language, and the element of language that best encapsulates a society’s values and beliefs is its sayings.
Italian sayings are used in conversation by adults more than children, partially because adults have learned more sayings than children.
With this list of Italian sayings, you can show off your wisdom and understanding of the Italian culture during your next conversation with a native speaker.
Italian sayings add color to a language and make you sound competent and comfortable.
Using sayings (may) make Italians think you know more of their language than you actually do.
Following are common Italian sayings that not only will make you sound more Italian but also will help you to understand Italian better.
Whether you’re a beginner in learning Italian or an advanced speaker, learning some Italian sayings and colloquialisms can really help you in your studies.
Undoubtedly, Italian sayings and colloquialisms reflect the historical and cultural circumstances in which they have evolved.
Italian sayings are useful to understand native material like news and stories.
Best Italian sayings and meanings
Here’s a collection of sayings, phrases, and sayings in Italian by famous poets, proverbs, actors, etc. together with their English translation.
Feel free to use them on a t-shirt design, for a piece of writing, or a tattoo.
The Italian language is derived from the language of the Ancient Romans.
Although Latin can never be surpassed as the language of wisdom, brevity, and gravitas, Italian has its own charm and beauty. Italian sayings are often used in art and music.
Great inventors and artists often have more to say than what they can convey through their work.
Are you curious about what wisdom well-known have Italians shared with the world? Here’s a list of Italian sayings!
Italian sayings about life can help you
A saying is a brief saying or phrase that expresses an opinion or makes a statement of wisdom without the flowery language of a proverb.
The Italian sayings below are all conveying some sort of truth in a direct, sometimes witty, manner that makes this kind of message powerful.
After all, everyone needs a little inspiration from time to time.
Whether you’re going through a breakup, you’ve just lost your job, or you simply woke up feeling a little insecure this morning—we’ve all had these days.
Feeding your mind inspiring sayings daily is a great practice to boost your positivity.
Famous Italian sayings about love and friends
Here’s a collection of famous Italian sayings about life:
La gatta frettolosa ha fatto i gattini ciechi.
The hasty cat gave birth to blind kittens.
Al povero mancano tante cose, all’avaro tutte.
The poor man is lacking many things, the greedy man all.
Chi non va non vede, chi non vede non sa e chi non sa se lo prende sempre in culo.
If you don’t go you won’t see, if you don’t see you won’t know, if you don’t know you’ll take it in the ass every time.
Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco.
Not all doughnuts come out with a hole
Bevici su – Il bar non porta i ricordi. Sono i ricordi che portano al bar.
Drink up, the bar doesn’t bring memories. Memories bring you to the bar.
Chi lavora mangia. Chi non lavora, mangia, beve e dorme.
He who works, eats. He who doesn’t work, eats, drinks and sleeps.
A buon intenditor poche parole.
Few words are needed for a good listener.
Old Italian sayings
Some old Italian sayings:
Dai nemici mi guardo io, dagli amici mi guardi Iddio!
I will protect myself from my enemies, may God protect me from my friends.
Noi non potremo avere perfetta vita senza amici.
We can’t have a perfect life without friends.
La povertà è la madre di tutte le arti
Necessity is the mother of invention
Mal comune, mezzo gaudio
A shared trouble is half joy
Meglio tardi che mai
Better late than never
Fa quello che ami.
Do what you love.
Let life surprise you.
Lascia che la vita ti sorprenda.
Niente che valga la pena di avere è facile.
Nothing worth having comes easy.
Il meglio deve ancora venire.
The best is yet to come.
Ogni muro è una porta.
Every wall is a door.
Non rimpiangere mai ciò che ti ha fatto sorridere.
Never regret anything that made you smile.
Se puoi sognarlo, puoi farlo.
If you can dream it, you can do it.
Tutto ciò di cui hai bisogno è l’amore.
All you need is love.
Italian sayings about life and family
My favorite Italian sayings about life:
Ogni pazzo vuol dar consiglio
Every fool is ready with advice
Parla bene, ma parla poco
Speak well, but speak little
Quel ch’è fatto, è fatto
What is done is done
Rosso di sera, bel tempo si spera
Red sky in the evening, one hopes for good weather
Tempo al tempo
All in good time
Tutte le strade conducono a Roma
All roads lead to Rome
Tutto è bene ciò che finisce bene
All is well that ends well
A tavola non si invecchia.
At the table, you don’t get old.
Funny Italian sayings
Here are some funny Italian sayings:
Se obbedisci alle regole, ti perdi tutto il divertimento.
If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
Due cose sono infinite: l’universo e la stupidità umana; ma riguardo l’universo ho ancora qualche dubbio.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe!
Non aspettare. Non sarà mai il momento giusto.
Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.
Fate ciò che potete, con ciò che avete, dove siete.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Il modo migliore per predire il futuro è crearlo.
The best way to predict your future is to create it.
Una buona mamma vale cento maestre.
A good mother is worth a hundred teachers.
L’ affetto verso i genitori è fondamento di ogni virtù.
Loving one’s parents is fundamentally the greatest virtue.
Chi si volta, e chi si gira, sempre a casa va finire.
No matter where you go or turn, you’ll always end up at home.
A ogni uccello il suo nido è bello.
Every bird finds his own nest beautiful.
Popular Italian sayings about food
Here’s a list of popular Italian sayings:
Tutto fa brodo
Everything makes broth, soup
Fare polpette di qualcuno
To make meatballs of someone
Cercare il pelo nell’uovo
To look for hair in the egg
Essere in un bel pasticcio
To be in a nice pie
Avere le mani in pasta
To have your hands in dough
L’erba del vicino è sempre più verde
Neighbor’s grass is always greener
I frutti proibiti sono i più dolci
Forbidden fruit is sweetest
Il vero segno dell’intelligenza non è la conoscenza, ma l’immaginazione.
The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
Morta la bestia, morto il veneno
When the beast is dead, the venom is dead
Necessità non ha legge
Necessity knows no law
A buon intenditor poche parole
Few words (are sufficient) for the good listener
A chi fa male, mai mancano scuse
Who does evil, is never short of excuses
A nemico che fugge, fa un ponte d’oro
Make a golden bridge for a fleeing foe
More insight into Italian culture
What’s your favorite Italian saying?
Do you need more wisdom? Check out this collection of Italian proverbs, Italian idioms, and Italian quotes. Italian hand gestures are fun, too!
For more insight into Italian culture, learn Italian with Lucrezia Borgia and the Italian experiment Galileo Galilei.
If you want something more practical, here’s a list of common Italian sentences for travel.
Basic Italian for travel includes giving directions, reading a menu, etc.