How to write an email in Italian in 4 simple steps

Nowadays, emails are a very common means of communication. You might need to write one to ask for information, make a reservation, contact a professor, or apply for a job. In this article, we’ll look at how to write an email in Italian, be it formal or informal. Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, it won’t be if you follow our tips!
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Step 1: Structure and Subject

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that an email is a text with a structure.

If you organize it into short paragraphs and you use the right opening and closing formulas, you are already halfway there.

Writing (and reading) an email doesn’t actually start with the email itself, have you ever noticed?

It starts with the subject you read before even opening the message!

So remember, never overlook the subject of an email! It is an essential part of every communication and it will be the first thing the recipient sees and reads.

If badly written or absent, it could get no attention, give a bad impression or worse, make your email look like spam! And you do not want your message to go straight to the bin, do you?

So, be clear and concise and explain in a few words the reason why you’re writing.

email greetings Italian

Step 2: Formula di apertura, Greetings and Titles

The opening greetings (formula di apertura) can change a lot depending on who you are writing to. If you are addressing a friend or someone you know well, you can use the following words:

Caro/Cara

Dear

Ciao

Hi

It is becoming increasingly common to start emails with simple greetings like:

Buongiorno

Good morning/afternoon

Buonasera

Good evening

These can be considered a middle ground between a very informal Ciao and the more formal addressing Gentile, and are a great go-to when you don’t know the reader’s name or gender!

If you do not know the person you’re writing to, for example when you ask for information or for a job application, you can use adjectives like gentile or egregio/ egregia followed by either:

  • the title* of the person you are addressing,
  • or the abbreviation Sig. (Signore – Mr.) or Sig.ra (Signora – Mrs.) followed by their surname.

Gentile direttore/ Gentile insegnante

Dear director/ Dear teacher

Gentile Sig. Bellini / Gentile Sig.ra Bellini

Dear Mr. Bellini / Dear Mrs. Bellini

Gentile (lit. kind, gentle) is a slightly more formal version of “caro/cara” and is widely used in all sectors.

Egregio direttore/ Egregio professore / Egregia professoressa

Dear director/ Dear teacher

Egregio Sig. Bellini/ Egregia Sig.ra Bellini

Dear Mr. Bellini / Dear Mrs. Bellini

These are very formal and are mainly found in official communication.

Remember to pay attention to the gender agreement!

With the name of a business, use Spettabile (Respectable). For example: Spettabile Scuola di Italiano.

*Italians love their titles, so it is important to mention them, even in an email! If the addressee has a title you know of, use these abbreviations:

Dott. / Dot.ssa (dottore / dottoressa)

a doctor or anyone with a degree

Avv. (avvocato)

lawyer

Ing. (ingegnere)

engineer

Arch. (architetto)

architect

Rag. (ragioniere)

accountant

Look forward to hearing Italian

Step 3: Introduction and Main Body

Introduction

At this point, you can introduce yourself:

Sono Michael.

I’m Michael.

Mi chiamo Allison Bay.

My name is Allison Bay.

Mi chiamo Robert Nash e sono un ingegnere elettronico.

My name is Robert Nash and I’m an electronic engineer.

Then, if you’re writing an informal email, you can thank the other person for their previous correspondence:

Grazie per la tua/sua email.

Thanks for your email.

Ti/La ringrazio per avermi scritto.

Thank you for writing to me.

or apologize:

Scusa/Scusi se non ho risposto prima, ero molto impegnato/a.

I’m sorry I didn’t answer before, I was very busy.

Tua, ti, and scusa are informal, whereas sua, la, and scusi are formal.

If, on the other hand, you’re writing a more formal message, after introducing yourself (if you want and it is required by the context) make a short point on why you are writing and/or what you are writing about.

You can use the following phrases:

Le scrivo in riferimento al nostro incontro.

I am writing with regard to our meeting

Le scrivo in riferimento al colloquio telefonico.

I am writing with regard to our phone call

Come anticipato nella mail precedente/telefonicamente.

As stated in previous mail/call

In risposta alla Sua mail…

Answering your email…

Body

Then comes the body, which is the main part of your email. Here you can explain your reason for writing in more detail.

In an informal letter, just write what you want, this is the time for open communication!

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In a formal context, you can say:

Con la presente comunico

I am writing with regard to…

Le scrivo perché vorrei delle informazioni su

I am writing because I would like some information about…

Con la presente, scrivo per presentare la mia candidatura per il posto di (job position) presso (company)

I am writing to apply for the job (position) at (company)…

And remember, if you have an attachment, don’t forget to mention it!

In allegato invio

Please find attached…

Allego

I am attaching

scrivere email Italiano

Step 4: Conclusion and Closing Greetings

To conclude a formal communication, use one of the following formulas.

They all stand for the English “I am looking forward to hearing from you” and, even if they have slightly different literal meanings, they all serve the same purpose.

  • In attesa di riscontro, resto a disposizione per chiarimenti e porgo cordiali saluti.  
  • In attesa di un Suo cortese riscontro
  • Ringraziando per l’attenzione 

Followed by one of these Italian formal salutations or formule di congedo, which stand for the English sincerely or warm regards. 

  • Distinti Saluti
  • Cordiali Saluti
  • Cordialmente 

In an informal conclusion, you can just end the email with something like:

Fammi sapere

Let me know

Un abbraccio

A hug

A presto

See you/Write soon

Write an email in Italian today!

Who will be the lucky one to receive an email in Italian from you?

A friend? A colleague? A relative? A lover?

There’s a lot to write about. Can you put it in writing now?

In any case, writing is an email is an excellent way to practice your writing skills.

Don’t worry about minor mistakes. It’s not an exam. You want to communicate.

Happy writing!

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 How to write an email in Italian in 4 simple steps

How do you start an email in Italian?

You can start an email in Italian with "Ciao" (for very informal greetings). In the case of formal greetings, you can use "Egregio Sig./Egregia Sig.ra" or "Gentile Sig./Gentile Sig.ra" followed by the person's surname. When you don't know the name or gender of the person you're writing to, you can use "Buongiorno".

How do Italians formally address someone in an email?

Italians love their titles, so it is essential to mention them when you write an email. Some of the most common abbreviations for Italian titles are "Dott/Dott.ssa" (a doctor or anyone who has a degree), "Avv." (lawyer), "Arch." (architect), "Ing." (engineer), and "Rag." (accountant).

How do you end an email in Italian?

To conclude a formal communication, you can use "Cordiali saluti", "Distinti saluti", or "Cordialmente". You can end informal emails with "Un abbraccio" or "A presto".

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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