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  • An Italian Love Dictionary

    Consider this my Valentine's Day gift to you
    Our Paesani

    By Francesca Di Meglio

    Italian is a romance language and there are few things more romantic than whispering sweet nothings to your beloved in Italian. It sounds like poetry even when you're saying something mundane. Speaking in Italian can make you feel more sophisticated and a hell of a lot sexier.

    Not sure what or how to say something romantic in Italian? Here's an Italian love dictionary that can help you:

    Ti amo (tee ahmoh) – I love you. This phrase is reserved for your soul mate, the person with who you want to share your life, the person for whom you are passionate

    Ti voglio bene (tee voh yo beneh) – Literally means I want you well. It's the phrase you should use to express love for your family and friends – from your children to your grandma. You can also say this to your spouse or beloved but it's not what you should be shouting to them in the bedroom.

    Amore (ah mor eh) – Love. This can be used as a pet name for your beloved or your kids. Or it can be used to express love as in "peace and love" or "pace e amore". One word is really all you need.

    Romantico(a) (roh mahnteekoh) – This is the adjective to describe a guy or gal who sweetly woos you and has optimism. He or she likely views the world with heart-shaped, rose-colored glasses. Use "o" as the ending to describe a male and "a", pronounced "ah" for a female.

    Bacio (bacheeoh) – Kiss. This word is often used to sign off on a phone conversation or letter. It can be made plural by eliminating the final o, which is pronounced bahchee. If you say "dahmee uhn bahcheeoh", you are saying "give me a kiss". How sweet! The chocolates of the same name are yummy and a welcome Valentine's Day treat.

    Abbraccio (ahbracheeoh) – Hug. This word is often used with the word bacio as a sign off. It too can be made plural by eliminating the final o. You would write or say, "baci e abbracci" or "kisses and hugs".

    Stringimi (streengeemee) – Squeeze me. You would say this to your lover when you want to be held close and tightly.

    Matrimonio (mahtreemohneeoh) – Marriage and Wedding. This the logical next step after finding amore. It is also used to describe the celebration when one gets married.

    Sensuale (sensewahleh) – Sensual. When you are with your beloved, this is how you should be feeling. The vowel on the end for the Italian word makes it sound that much more romantic and exciting.

    Vuoi uscire con me? (vewoi usheereh cawn meh) – Will you go out with me? Use this when you want to court someone and show them a good time. Just think how impressed this new person will say when you ask him or her out in Italian! There's no way you'll hear no as a response.

    Fidanzare (feedahnzahreh) – Go steady or get engaged. This is the verb you would use to express to your boyfriend or girlfriend that you'd like to be serious and exclusive. It is also the word to describe that you are engaged to be married. To say, "We're engaged," you would say, "Ci fidanziamo".

    San Valentino (Sahn Valenteenoh) – Saint Valentine. The saint that is responsible for the most romantic day of the year. His feast day is Feb. 14.

    Di Meglio has written the Our Paesani column for since 2003. You can follow the Italian Mamma on Facebook or Twitter @ItalianMamma10.


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