How to say home in Italian | Learn with examples

Stefano

Italian language tutor, course author. MEng, MBA. Member of the International Association of Hyperpolyglots (HYPIA). After learning 12 languages, I can tell you that we all master languages by listening and mimicking. I couldn't find an app to recommend to my students, so I made my own one. With my method, you'll be speaking Italian from Lesson 1.

Summary

Discover the Italian essence of “home” with our guide! Learn the rich history behind the word casa, understand the nuances between “home” and “house,” and explore poetic synonyms that capture the Italian spirit. 🏠❤️

  • Embrace casa: Dive into the heart of Italian culture with the word casa, a versatile term for both “home” and “house.” It’s more than a place; it’s a feeling. 🌟
  • Cozy up with casetta: Got a snug little abode? Call it a casetta to add that Italian charm of warmth and coziness to your small home. 🛖
  • Go formal with abitazione: Stuck in a bureaucratic maze? Use abitazione or residenza when you need to be all official and stuff in documents. 📜
  • Get poetic with dimora: Want to sound like an Italian poet? Swap out casa for dimora when you’re feeling fancy or just want to impress. 🎨
  • Intimate vibes with nido: When home feels like a sanctuary, call it your nido or “nest.” It’s intimate, it’s poetic, it’s oh-so-Italian. 🕊️
  • Assert boundaries with tetto: Lay down the law Italian-style by using tetto, meaning “roof,” to emphasize your domain. “Not under my tetto!” 🚫
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How do you say home in Italian? And what is a house called in Italy? Is there a difference between the two?

Family and roots are very important for the Italian culture, and home is something that is at the heart of both.

As a result, there are many words to describe it. Some of them are very poetic, others are used for documents and formal contexts (you know bureaucracy in Italy…).

Here you’ll find the most common ways of saying home in Italian and some examples to learn how to use all of them.

The Italian word for home

The Italian word for home

The Italian standard word for home is casa [IPA: /’ka.sa/]. It’s a feminine noun, and its plural form is case. If your house is small and cozy, you can call it casetta. And if you turn it into caseggiato, it becomes a housing unit.

All these meanings and nuances spread from just 3 letters!

The word casa hasn’t changed for more than 2000 years. It already meant “home” during the Roman Age.

Its stem cas-“ probably derives from the Sanskrit “ska”, which indicates the act of covering something. And what covers you better than a roof on your head?

You can find the same stem in words like “castle”, or the Latin terms “castrum” (“encampment”) and “cassis” (“helmet” – another very important type of cover). It’s fascinating, isn’t it?

The difference between a house and a home in Italian

Is there a difference between a house and a home in Italian?

There’s no difference between “house” and “home” in Italian: casa covers both of them. In English, we tend to use “home” to mean the place we live in and “house” for the physical building. In Italy, people don’t make that distinction.

This leads us to another question: if you have to translate a sentence from Italian to English, what would be the right word for casa?

When casa is used on its own without possessive adjectives or further clarifications, the right translation is always “home” rather than “house”.

“Dove vai?” (“Where are you going?”)

“Vado a casa” (“I’m going home”)

“Mangi con noi stasera?” (“Are you having dinner with us tonight?”)

“Sì, fammi solo passare a casa per prendere il portafogli” (“Yeah, just let me pop home to grab my wallet”

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On the contrary, when the owner of the place is specified, it’s usually better to translate casa with “house”.

“Quali sono i tuoi piani per stasera?” (“What are your plans for tonight?”)

“Vado a casa del mio ragazzo” (“I’m going to my boyfriend’s house”)

Synonyms for home in Italian

Synonyms

Casa is not the only way of saying home in Italian. According to the context, there are other synonyms you can use. Here are some of them:

  • abitazione or residenza, which can both be translated into “dwelling” or “residence”. These two words are the right choice for formal situations or bureaucratic documents;
  • dimora, another formal synonym of casa which can also be used to sound more poetic;
  • nido. This word literally means “nest”, and you can use it when you want to be more intimate or poetic. (e.g.: “Me ne torno al mio nido” – “I’m going back to my nest”);
  • tetto. This word means “roof” and can be used to refer to the whole building (e.g.: “Non sotto il mio tetto!” – “Not under my roof!”)

la famiglia è la patria del cuore

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Finally we’re done! I’m really glad.
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