Beautiful in Italian: how to say it in 6 pretty ways

Italy is such a beautiful country! If you haven’t been and you have the chance to go, we totally recommend going! With so much beauty everywhere in Italy, how to say beautiful in Italian? Here you’ll learn not only how to use the word bello, but also many different ways to say beautiful in Italian, which will help you improve your vocabulary and step up your game!
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How to Say Beautiful in Italian

Bello

The most popular and straightforward way to say beautiful in Italian is ‘bello.’

You may have heard the phrase ‘Ciao bello,’ which means ‘hello, beautiful’, in many TV shows.

It’s mainly used as an adjective and it can be adapted to suit any noun in the Italian language.

‘Bello’ is the masculine variation of the word, because of its ending in ‘o.’ That changes, of course, depending on the noun it’s describing.

  • bello = masculine singular

bambino bello

beautiful boy

  • bella = feminine singular

bambina bella

beautiful girl

  • belli = masculine plural

bambini belli

beautiful boys

  • belle = feminine plural

bambine belle

beautiful girls

how to say beautiful in italian

When it stands before the noun, it follows the same rule as definitive articles.

This only applies to the adjective bello. Indeed, beauty has a special place in the Italian language!

  • bel = masculine singular

bel bambino

beautiful boy

  • bello = masculine singular

bello sguardo

beautiful gaze

  • bella = feminine singular

bella bambina

beautiful girl

  • bell’ = in front of singular nouns starting with a vowel

bell’albero

nice tree

  • bei = masculine plural

bei bambini

beautiful boys

  • begli = masculine plural

begli anni

beautiful years

  • belle = feminine plural

belle bambine

beautiful girls

Keep in mind that bello / bella can be translated in many other ways besides beautiful including handsome, nice, fair, good, and virtuous.

So, the most common word for beautiful in Italian is ‘bello’, but of course, it’s not the only one.

how to say very nice italian

Più bello

Moving on, bello can be modified depending on the degree of intensity: we’ve already seen its basic form, now we’ll look at comparative and superlative forms.

In Italian, we use the formula: “X è più bello di Y,” which directly translates to “X is more beautiful than Y” when comparing two items, situations, or people, and especially when using the adjective.

Secondo te, i girasoli sono più belli delle rose?

What do you think, are sunflowers more beautiful than roses?

You can construct a comparative sentence simply by adding the particle “più.”

As you can see, this process works with all the normal adjectives, so keep it in mind, it could come in handy on other occasions!

Learn more about comparatives here.

Italian language 1

Bellissimo

Bellissimo’ means ‘very beautiful,’ or ‘extremely beautiful.’

It’s a very emphatic way of expressing your appreciation towards something or someone and it behaves like ‘bello’ in terms of grammar.

The feminine and plural forms are as follows: bellissima (feminine singular), bellissimi (masculine plural), and bellissime (feminine plural).

Quasi tutte le fiabe hanno una bellissima principessa che vive in un mondo incantato.

Almost all fairy tales have a beautiful princess who lives in an enchanted world.

Here’s a song that has the word bellissima in it: “Sei bellissima“, by Loredana Bertè.

Try listening to it to practice your Italian and to see if you like it:

Molto bello

Molto bello and ‘bellissimo’ are very similar.

They both mean ‘very beautiful,’ but ‘molto bello’ is formed by adding the adverb ‘molto’ (very) in front of the adjective ‘bello.

Unlike ‘bello’ or ‘bellissimo,’ ‘molto bello’ can be only used after the noun.

Lei ha un viso molto bello e un sorriso ammaliante.

She has a very beautiful face and a bewitching smile.

Stupendo

Even though in English we don’t use this word very often, in Italy it is very popular.

It translates to ‘stupendous’ which means ‘incredibly impressive’ o ‘gorgeous’.

Stupdendo is the masculine form, whereas stupenda is the feminine.

Their respective plural forms are stupendi and stupende.

Sofia Loren è una donna stupenda e una grande attrice!

Sofia Loren is a gorgeous woman and a great actress!

what does bellissimo mean

Meraviglioso

If you want to tell someone how extraordinary they are, you can use ‘meraviglioso.’

It literally means wonderful. In fact, ‘meraviglia’ means wonder.

Even if you wouldn’t use this word in English often, in Italian it’s quite common.

Meraviglioso’ is the masculine form, but you can use ‘meravigliosa’ for feminine, or ‘meravigliosi’ and ‘meravigliose’ for plural.

Che tramonto meraviglioso che abbiamo visto!

What a wonderful sunset we saw!

Magnifico

If you want to tell someone that they are completely magnificent, you can use the word ‘magnifico.’

This one doesn’t translate as beautiful in its regular way, but it’s still a very popular way of expressing your feelings.

As with every other on this list, ‘magnifico’ is the masculine form, but if you change the last letter and become ‘magnifica,’ ‘magnifiche,’ or ‘magnifici.’

Questo posto è magnifico! 

This place is magnificent!

bellissimo

Bellissimo: Italian superlative

In general, people use superlatives in order to describe a person or object that’s incredibly beautiful, or the most beautiful (or any other adjective instead of beautiful).

In English you create the superlative by adding the word most before the adjective (e.g.: the most incredible) or by adding -est at the end of the adjective if it’s short (e.g.: the nicest, the cutest).

In Italian, you can add the suffix ‘-issima’ or ‘-issimo’ to emphasize the adjective and make the superlative.

As the case with ‘bellissimo,’ you simply add the suffix -issimo at the end of the word ‘bello,’ after removing the last vowel.

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how to say beautiful italian

More Italian expressions for “Beautiful”

As anticipated before, now we will see more words to say beautiful in Italian.

Remember that while all of these synonyms may have slightly different meanings and nuances, they are all commonly used as substitutes for bello in various situations.

Attraente

Attraente usually refers to a person, meaning that he or she is not only pleasing to the eye but has to them a sensual allure.

In fact, you may have heard the term

è molto bello, ma non è per niente attraente

he/she is beautiful, but not at all attractive,

which implies that their beauty is chilly and distant.

Affascinante

Affascinante is a term that is related to attraente and is used to describe a good-looking individual who also has a lot of charm and a charming personality.

Trovava il mago alquanto affascinante.

She thought the magician quite charming.

However, other adjectives that are commonly used to describe people (but also situations, items, and locations) are: delizioso, incantevole, meraviglioso and stupendo.

Fantastico, Splendido And Straordinario

These are frequently used in advertising and TV language to further emphasize the products or messages being promoted.

Here are some examples to help you understand how to use these adjectives:

In uscita il fantastico nuovo film di Gabriele Muccino.

Coming soon the new breathtaking movie by Gabriele Muccino.

Non lasciatevi sfuggire questa offerta straordinaria!

Don’t miss out on this extraordinary offer!

Favoloso

This adjective comes from the word “favola”, which literally translates into “fairy-tale”, so when you refer to someone or something as favoloso, you’re actually saying that they are fabulous!

Adoro il tuo nuovo taglio di capelli, è favoloso!

I love your new haircut, it’s fabulous!

Incredibile

Incredibile is a word that sounds similar to favoloso and means “unbelievable.”

It is used to describe something or someone as being unbelievably, incredibly beautiful, gorgeous, or fantastic in the sense of beauty.

Lo spettacolo è stato incredibile!

The show was awesome!

beautiful expressions

More beautiful expressions in the Italian language

It’s important to know how to express yourself. How to say beautiful in Italian can help you fully describe what you feel about something or someone, like the most beautiful architecture you’ve seen.

We’ve put together a list of six of the most popular terms for beautiful that you’ll come across while learning Italian.

If you can think of any others that we’ve missed, please leave us a comment below!

Now that you know how to say beautiful in Italian, check out these posts with more beautiful expressions:

Still translating in your head? Wanna speak Italian for real? Check out Stefano's courses to think directly in Italian and become fluent fast!

FAQs on Beautiful in Italian: how to say it in 6 pretty ways

How to say beautiful in Italian?

The most common way to say beautiful in Italian is "bello" - you can also use some variations of this adjective, like "molto bello" and "bellissimo". Other popular ways to say beautiful in Italian are "stupendo", "magnifico", and "meraviglioso".

What does bellissimo mean?

"Bellissimo" is the superlative of the Italian adjective "bello" and means very beautiful. It is an empathic way to express your appreciation for something or someone you find incredibly beautiful.

Stefano

Italian language tutor, course author, and polyglot. After learning 12 languages, I can tell you that we all master languages by listening and mimicking. With my method, you'll be speaking Italian from Lesson 1.

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