How To Say: Words of Endearment in Italian
Italians are warm and friendly people who like to express their affection and often use terms of endearment when talking to their family and friends and to children; often, they will use affectionate nicknames, like caro/a or bello/a, even with someone they don’t know well.
Here are some of the most common:
Caro/cara - dear
Tesoro – darling (translates literally to ‘treasure’)
Amore – love
Stella/stellina – literally, ‘star’
Gioia – literally, ‘joy’
Angelo – angel, to express gratitude, i.e. grazie per l’aiuto, sei un angelo – thanks for your help, you’re an angel.
Note that most of the following are especially used with children and between boyfriend and girlfriend:
Piccolo/a - Piccolino/a – little one
Tato/a – no meaning
Cucciolo/a – literally, ‘puppy’
Passerotto/a – literally, 'sparrow chick', used especially with and to refer to children, i.e. come stanno i passerotti? How are the kids?
Patatino/a – little potato
Topolino/a - little mouse
It's rather impossible to discuss Italian fashion and not mention Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. Dolce and Gabbana met in Milan and started their careers in 1985. Partners both in life and in business, they say that Sicily has always been their primary source of inspiration "the sun, the colours, the scent of flowers in the air, the women, the cities, the food; everything inspires us and makes us dream..."
Showing slim-fit silhouettes in softly textured fabrics, with details such as waistcoats and flat caps that brought to mind Mr Dolce's native Sicily, the pair set a new tone in Italian menswear. Their fondness for black in their designs is inspired by the dress of the peasants and gangsters of Sicily. It was the original auteurs of Italian cinema that have immeasurably inspired the designers’ work. Dolce and Gabbana's favorite Italian films of all time is "Il Gattopardo". This movie is an Italian masterpiece and serves as a milestone in Dolce & Gabbana’s history. In an interview at the time they said "The photography, the lighting, the setting, the costumes are so perfect to us and totally reflect our aesthetic. Visconti was a real genius. We sort of thought of a modern version of this movie when shooting our advertising campaigns."