How to express love and affection in Italian

If you don’t know it yet, the Italian Language makes a difference between loving someone and loving something or to do something. Making sure to learn this subtle difference, is the only way to avoid awkward moments with your Italian friends or lovers!


Loving someone 

Let’s start with the idea of loving “someone”

How to say I love you in Italian?

When you want to say in Italian that you love someone, you simply say “ti amo

Ti amo entails romantic love though. That means that you can use it with your wife (moglie) or husband (marito) and boyfriend (fidanazato) or girlfriend (fidanzata).

You shouldn’t use “ti amo” or the verb “amare” in non-romantic situations.


Loving something or to do something

How to say that I love something or doing something Italian?

When you want to say that you love to do something or something, you can use the verb adorare (to adore)

For instance,

  • Adoro passeggiare nel centro di Roma di seraI love walking in the center of Rome at night

Saying “amo passeggiare” is acceptable, but it is not very natural. As an alternative, you can opt for the expression “mi piace moltissimo / mi piace da morire”

  • Mi piace da morire la pasta al pistacchio – I love pistacchio pasta

To recap, Italian tend not to use the verb amare with things or situation.


Love toward friends and family

How to say I love you to a friend of the family in Italian?

To show love or affection to a friend or a family member, Italians use the idiomatic verb volere bene (a qualcuno)

For instance, 

  • Ti voglio bene – I love you (to a friend or family member)
  • Voglio molto bene a mia cugina – I love my cousin (not romantic love)
  • Vogliamo bene a Lucia – We love Lucia (again, not romantic love, Lucia might be our best friend, for instance)

Bear in mind that volere bene takes an indirect object pronoun.


Being in love

Speaking of which, how to say in Italian that you are in love with someone?

  • Sono innamorato di Maria I am in love with marria

Essere innamorato/a di – to be in love with

How do you say that you fell in love with someone?

  • Mi sono innamorato/a di LuciaI fell in love with Lucia

Innamorarsi di – to fall in love

How do you call your sweetheart in Italian?

  • Tesoro – darling 
  • Tesorruccio – darling 
  • Amore – love 
  • Amore mio – my love
  • Caro/a – dear


How do you say that you really love someone?

  • Sei la mia vita – you are my everything
  • Sei la mia anima gemella you are my soulmate
  • Non posso vivere senza de – I can’t live without you
  • Sei unico – you are my only one (lit.)
  • Ti amo profondamente – I am deeply in love with you (lit.)
  • Sono follemente innamorato di te – I am crazily in love with you (lit.)
  • Ti amo moltissimo  I love you a lot 
  • Ti amo tantissimo – I love you a lot 
  • Ti amo alla follia– I am crazily in love with you (lit.)
  • Sono pazzo di te – I am crazy about you
  • Sei speciale – you are special 
  • Sei l’amore della mia vita – you are the love of my life


Happy Italian Learning