Italian is often described as ‘the language of love’ and with Valentine’s Day soon to be upon us, now is a great time to look at how we talk about love in Italian. Considered one of the most romantic languages in the world, Italian has lots of useful words and expressions we can learn that might come in handy this Valentine’s Day.
So, let’s start with the history of Valentine’s Day. La festa di San Valentino, as it’s known in Italian has its origin in the Roman Empire. It is said that Saint Valentine was a third century Roman who was martyred and buried in Rome on 14th February.
Happy Valentine’s Day
In Italian Valentine’s Day is known as La festa di San Valentino, Il giorno di San Valentino, and also as La festa degli innamorati (the festival of those in love). So, how do you say ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ in Italian? You can say either ‘Buon San Valentino’ or ‘Felice San Valentino’.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Italy on around February 14th, you may see lots of Valentine’s Day cards, balloons, hearts, flowers, chocolates and other gifts around. If you want to buy a card for your loved one on Valentine’s Day, here are some Italian expressions you could use:
Amore mio - My love (masculine)
Amore mia – My love (feminine)
Tesoro mio – My treasure
Sei la mia anima gemella – You are my soulmate
Sei la mia vita – You are my life
Ti adoro – I adore you
Non posso vivere senza di te – I can’t live without you
Il mio cuore batte solo per te – My heart beats only for you
Sei l’uomo / la donna dei miei sogni – You’re the man / woman of my dreams
Amo te oggi e sempre – I love you now and always
And if you’re considering buying some gifts, here are some typical valentine’s gifts and how you say them in Italian:
Un regalo – A gift
Un mazzo di fiori – A bunch of flowers
Un mazzo di rose – A bunch of roses
I cioccolatini – Chocolates
I gioelli – Jewellery
Un anello – A ring
Un orologio – A watch
I love you
And what about telling someone you love them? In Italian there are two ways to say I love you. One is for family and friends and the other is used to express romantic love, so make sure you use the right one with your Valentine:
Ti voglio bene – I love you (to use with family and friends)
Ti amo – I love you (to use when talking about romantic love). You can add ‘molto’ (a lot) or ‘tanto’ (so much) to the end for extra emphasis.
Interestingly, it seems that some young Italians are now also saying: Ti lovvo – I love you. This is taken from the English verb ‘to love. But with so many wonderful Italian expressions to use, I hope that you won’t need to use an Italianised English verb!
Buon San Valentino, vi auguro una giornata piena di amore! (Happy Valentine’s Day, I wish you a day filled with love!)