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valentine's day in italian

How to say Happy Valentine’s Day in Italian


Before we go into detail how to say Happy Valentine’s Day in Italian and how the day is celebrated in Italy, allow me a few words about this day for lovers.

Opinions about Valentine’s Day are usually pretty divided. Some people celebrate it as a day for lovers, others claim it is just an invention of florists to get some revenue in the cold month of February (well, at least in the Northern hemisphere it’s cold).

Personally I like Valentine’s Day. I think any day to celebrate love is a good day. And when the florists make some money with it, let them. We all like some extra income.

If you really can’t stand the idea, then get something else like chocolates, a bottle of wine, some theatre tickets or whatever your sweetheart will enjoy. And if you don’t want any of that, because you think it’s too commercial, then get creative and paint a picture, write a poem or sing a song.

In case you don’t feel creative either, then take her to dinner in a restaurant. But make sure it’s a decent one! Being miserly doesn’t really pay off here.

How do you say Happy Valentine’s Day in Italian?

Happy Valentine’s Day – Felice San Valentino

– alternatively you could also say “Buon San Valentino.”

In order to help you Italian flirt skills, here are some useful phrases. If you need more, take a look at our Italian Love Phrases.

  • I love you – Ti amo
  • I’m in love with you – Sono innamorata di te (female) / Sono innamorato di te (male)
  • Kiss me – Baciami
  • Hug me – Abbracciami
  • You’re most beautiful – Sei bellissima (female) / sei bellissimo (male)
  • You are my life – Sei la mia vita
  • You changed my life – Mi hai cambiato la vita
  • I want to be with you forever – Voglio stare con te per sempre
  • You are my soulmate – Sei la mia anima gemella

By now you have all the basics to celebrate a happy Valentine’s Day in Italian. So let’s talk about what Italian couples do on this special day for lovers.

What do Italians do on Valentine’s Day?

happy valentine's day in italian: love locks
Love locks on a bridge railing. – Image by Mathias Elle from Pixabay

Well, Italians take part in the usual Valentine’s activities really. They write cards to their sweetheart, they give presents to each other, they go out to a nice restaurant, a cinema, a theatre or a nightclub. But there’s one thing that’s special in Italy. Or at least it used to be.

Because you can see it in many parts of the world these days. But this particular custom I am talking about started in Italy. On Valentine’s Day, Italian couples like to meet near a bridge. Then they write their names or initials on a padlock and attach it to the bridge railing. Afterwards they throw the key into the river and think of a wish. Superstition says the wish has to be kept secret to be fulfilled, but it’s pretty obvious that most of them hope for eternal love.

It’s a lovely custom, but it can get out of hand every now and then. On some bridges you can hardly see the railings anymore as they are completely covered in padlocks. So local authorities tend to cut them free occasionally. Whether that has a negative influence on all the couples hoping for eternal bliss, I can not say. But I assume it has as much negative influence as the attaching of the padlock had positive powers.

So, if you didn’t like my alternatives to flowers at the beginning of this article, then get a padlock, write your names or initials onto it and have a happy Valentine’s Day in Italian style!