Ti Amo or TVB?

| Tue, 05/18/2010 - 10:32
boy and girl

This is a tip for all you romantic souls out there.

Have you ever seen the initials TVB carved on a tree or as part of a graffito in Italy? You may have seen them on charm bracelets, too.

Well, they stand for “ti voglio bene” and they mean “I love you” or, literally, “I wish you good things.”

Italians often say “ti voglio bene” to friends, parents and other relatives but it is used between lovers as well. Some say that it expresses a philosophical joining of souls.

“Ti amo” is generally regarded as a more passionate expression of love, but it can depend where you are in Italy. When I first came to Italy, my northern Italian boyfriend was amazed that I said “I love you” to my Dad on the phone! But English has no equivalent of TVB, which reinforces the Italian idea of us as “cold” people.

In general, then, TVB can be used between friends but “ti amo” cannot.