When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie, that’s amore” ItalianAmerican Dean Martin used to croon.

Amore, the Italian word for love (or my love/my sweet) is probably the most renowned of all Italian words of endearment. It’s one of the most musical and seductive too, but there are many other charming ones.

Italy, the kingdom of affection

First and foremost Italians are, generally speaking, warmhearted and affectionate with all those they care for. That’s why the language brims with loving phrases and gentle monikers

Also, there are specific Italian terms of endearment for everyone that is important in an Italian’s life. From one’s beloved to children, elderly parents, friends and significant others.

Learn to use the Italian word for love

Get to know the tenderest phrases, learn to express your feelings in Italian, master the use of the loveliest Italian words of endearment. Chances are it may come in useful one day.

After all… Italians do it better, right?!

italian words love venice

Amore mio, tesoro, vita mia – Terms of Endearment to wow your one-and-only

A list of the most romantic Italian words to use for your significant other. 

  • Amore and/or Amore Mio – my love
  • Vita Mia – my life
  • Tesoro and/or Tesoro Mio – literally treasure, or my treasure. Translates as darling/honey etc..
  • Dolcezza – literally sweetness. Used for women only. Translates as sweetie/honey. 
  • Cucciolo (man), cucciola (woman) *- literally a puppy, a whelp. Translates as honeybunch/ sweetie etc..
  • Angelo and/or Angelo Mio *- angel, or my angel. Used mostly for women and/or for friends (see below)
  • Piccolo (man), piccola (woman) * – namely small one, tiny one

* Important note: most Italian nouns and adjectives have a gender, so you need to change the final vowel. O is for man, A is for woman.

italian words love cucciolo

Animal-inspired Italian word for love

In addition to cucciolo there are also a number of other animal-related Italian words of endearment. These are used both for one’s dearest and children. The most popular, and sweet are:

  • Micio/ micino / micetto for man / micia/ micina/ micetta for woman – kitten
  • Paperino / paperina – duckling
  • Passerotto / passerotta – little bird
  • Topino / topina or topolino / topolina– little mouse

Affectionate Italian terms for children and friends

There are many Italian words of endearment used to express tenderness and affection towards children – one’s own as well as others – and one’s friends. Among these the most common are: 

  • Caro / cara – dear, darling. Used in speech, often enhanced by its superlative (carissimo/carissima). In writing it’s used at the beginning of a letter. 
  • Amoroso / amorosa – literally loving, amorous. Translates as sweetie
  • Pezzetto / pezzettino – diminutive of pezzo, piece. It means little piece, and is mainly used in Tuscany for children
  • Bimbo / bimba – meaning child. Used affectionately for people younger than yourself and/or friends
  • Bambolina – used for little girls. Means little doll.

Italian quotes with English translation: love!

Bewitching phrases written by the greatest Italian poets, inspiring verses by songwriters and ancient proverbs. Italian words of endearment have been glorified by our country’s artists and immortalized by popular manners of speech

  1. Il primo amore non si scorda mai – one never forgets one’s first love – popular Italian proverb
  2. L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle – Love, which moves the sun and the other stars – Dante Alighieri, Italian poet (1265-1321)
  3. Tu sì ‘na cosa grande pe’ mme – you are a great, wonderful, thing for me – Neapolitan song and manner of speech
  4. Voi che per li occhi mi passaste ’l core – you, who pierced my heart passing through my eyes – Guido Cavalcanti, Italian poet (1258-1300)
  5. Quando sei qui con me / questa stanza non ha più pareti / ma alberi/ alberi infiniti – when you are here with me/this room has no walls/only trees/neverending trees – Love song by Gino Paoli, Italian singer and songwriter

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