Even when describing a tragedy like the one of Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta punished together in hell for their adultery, ‘la bella lingua’ in the hands of poet Dante Alighieri is simply beautiful!
So what about the language common people use today to express love and romance?
The first interesting point is that Italians distinguish clearly between romantic passionate love and love for friends and families. Amore is a word exclusively dedicated to your lover and Ti Amo leaves no space for doubts or questions about one’s feelings. In a country where love and passion usually go hand in hand, the possessive Amore MIO (my love) is very common.
Ti voglio bene (which we could translate with “I am fond of you”) is the appropriate expression to use with children, parents, friends and pets. But it is not unusual for lovers to say both as a way to express passion and care for each other.
Besides Amore, the most common expression to say 'Honey' are:
Tesoro or Tesoro mio
Gioia or Gioia mia
You can also say:
Sei l’amore della mia vita. You are the love of my life
Io non vivo senza te . I can't live without you
Ti amo con tutta me stessa/tutto me stesso. I Love you with my whole being
Ti amo con tutto il cuore. I Love you with all my heart.
Sei stupenda: You're Fantastic
Ti adoro: I adore you
Ti penso sempre: I always think about you
Sono pazzo/a di te: I am crazy about you
Voglio stare con te per sempre: I want to be with you forever
….and if your date is successful: Italians make love WITH YOU not to you, a few sexy phrases:
il tuo corpo è bellissimo: Your Body is beautiful
Baciami: Kiss me
Abbracciami: Hug me
Vorrei fare l’amore CON te: I want to make love with you
Dante's Inferno Canto V