Italian Language Lesson 4: Friendly People

| Wed, 07/04/2012 - 09:00

I studied Italian at school and at university and lived in Rome for nearly 5 years. I have started up an Italian school and have been considering some interesting ways to teach the Italian language. I listed the top 5 things I love about Italy and came up with:

- Amazing Food
- Stunning Landscape
- Romantic Language
- Friendly People
- Beautiful Art and Architecture

So I thought - what about teaching Italian through love and awareness of these wonderful aspects of Italy? I’ve met many friendly people in Italy over the years, and lesson 4 looks at the ways to express the different facets of friendship and universal personality traits in the Italian language.

Abbraccio Amichevole

Amico/a: friend
Migliore amico/a: best friend
Amicizia: friendship
Ti voglio bene (TVB): I love you (used with family and friends, expresses affection you feel for them, like ‘I wish all the best for you’)
Bacio: kiss
Abbraccio: hug
Carattere: character
Personalità: personality
Ottimista: optimist
Pessimista: pessimist
Socievole: sociable
Estroverso: extrovert, outgoing
Divertente: fun
Buffo/a: funny
Affidabile: trustworthy
Diligente: hard-working
Testardo/a: stubborn
Geloso/a: jealous
Egoista: selfish
Orgoglioso/a: proud

See below some proverbi sull’amicizia (proverbs on friendship):

- Chi trova un amico trova un tesoro: He who finds a friend, finds a treasure

- Nel bisogno si conosce l'amico: A friend in need is a friend indeed

- L'amico non è conosciuto finché non è perduto: You don’t truly know a friend until you lose him

- Meglio soli che mal accompagnati: It’s better to be alone rather than with bad company

- Cuor sincero, amico vero: A sincere heart, a true friend

- È meglio il morso di un amico che il bacio di un nemico: A bite from a friend is better than a kiss from an enemy

- L’amico certo si conosce nell’incerto: In times of difficulty, you’ll know your true friends

- L’amico di tutti non è amico di nessuno: A friend of everyone is a friend of no one

- Se trovi un amico nuovo non obliar l’antico: If you find a new friend don’t forget your old one

That’s all for now, un bacio a tutti i miei amici (a kiss to all my friends)!

Alesha Keene is an Oxford graduate of Italian who is now back in London after years spent living and working in Rome as a language teacher and PR consultant. Alesha is CEO and Italian teacher at Alesha’s Italian Masterclass, which runs Italian immersion courses at authentic Italian cafe AltaMarea in Borough Market (London Bridge). You can contact her at or through Facebook or Twitter. Her website it