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12 Italian Phrases about Life and Love to learn from


The Italian language is seen as a very romantic language by many. But is also a language containing many old wisdoms, as its roots go back a long time to the origins of the Roman empire. As of today, Italian is one of the most widely used romanic languages. Italian phrases about life and love are popular with English speakers. As proof, we compiled a little list for you.

When you think carefully about them, you will see that they all contain a lesson for us. But they do it in a subtle way, often by referring to something else. But I’m sure you will recognize their wisdom. Plus they are written down in a beautiful language. So, good advice and beauty at the same time. Who could complain about that?

Table of Contents

Italian Phrases about Life and Love to learn from

Il lupo perde il pelo ma non il vizio

italian phrases about life and love - il lupo perde il pelo ma non il vizio
Image by Christel SAGNIEZ from Pixabay

Literally translates as “The wolf may lose its fur, but not his habits.” It is the Italian equivalent of the English expression “A leopard can’t change its spots.” In other words, old habits die hard when someone tries to change his bad practices. This saying does have a pessimistic point of view. When this is addressed to a person it means the vices are planted deep within them. So it is almost impossible to change.

A buon intenditor, poche parole

This phrase when translated to English would mean “With good intent, few words”. This saying is considered a proverb from a Latin comedy titled “Persa” that was written by Plauto.

The quote’s context is if someone is wise and has intuition, it is not necessary to give a lot of explanations. These people have the natural ability to understand things on their own.

So if you want to give advice to someone, do it tactful without being super-teachy.

Amici veri sono come i meloni, di cento ne trovi due buoni

A good friend is hard to find! That is what this Italian wisdom tells us. It translates as “True friends are like melons, out of a hundred only two are good.” And I have to say, I agree. I don’t have many friends, but they are real friends. I prefer that to a hundred fake friends anytime.

L’erba del vicino e sempre piu verde

At least once you must have heard of the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. This is the Italian version, where it is “neighbor’s grass is always greener.” This proverb talks about people who are always envious of others. As far as they are concerned, they barely have good things.

It is a matter of perspective if one would choose to be appreciative of what they have. However, having this attitude is very dangerous. It can lead to self-inflicted misery and make you hate others because of envy.

A tavola non si invecchia

“At the table you don’t age.” Sounds a but odd at first, but it means that good food is essential for your well-being. Italians love their food and their dishes are popular all-over the world.

Italian Phrases about Life and Love – especially Love

Apart from good food, Italians are also well-known for being lively with an open attitude to other people. They love to come together with friends and family, having a smalltalk and a bit of flirting is almost mandatory. So let’s take a look at some Italian love phrases.

Amor che muove il sole e le altre stelle

Image by Mihai Paraschiv from Pixabay

This wonderful phrase talks about the power of love. “Love moves the sun and the other stars,” is the translation and it means that love is a mighty force.

Amare e non essere amati è tempo perso

Translates as “To love and not be loved is lost time.” Of course you can try and woo someone who doesn’t seem to appreciate you. It often takes some time for the other person to see your qualities. But you shouldn’t become obsessive about it. If the object of your desire doesn’t respond, move on. Someone else will recognize your value.

L’amore di carnevale muore di quaresima

“Carnival love dies at lent time.” As I said, Italians love to celebrate and enjoy their life. And flirting is an essential part of their life. But falling in love during festivities is easy. You’re in a good mood and probably even a bit tipsy. But that doesn’t mean the person you favored that particular evening will necessarily be a good partner for the rest of your life. So you shouldn’t take things too seriously.

Amor vecchio non fa ruggine

“Old love does not rust.” OK, carnival love may not last. But once you found that special someone, your love will become stronger with the years.

Alla nascita dell’amore gli amanti parlano del futuro; al suo declino parlano del passato

Translates as “At the birth of love lovers speak of the future; at its decline they speak of the past.”

Anni, amori e bicchieri di vino, nun se contano mai

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

“Years, loves and glasses of wine, should never be counted.”
Basically means, enjoy your life and don’t be too fussy about it.

L’amore vero non si vende e non si compra

“True love cannot be bought or sold.” Old rich guy, attractive young woman comes to my mind when I hear this phrase. Especially when you’re wealthy, you may try to “buy love”. But you know it’s all fake (and will probably end in an expensive divorce). True love is given freely not as compensation for jewelry or other presents.

We hope you enjoyed our little collection of Italian phrases about life and love. May your life be full of love, good friends and good food!