81 appropriate words and phrases to express beautiful in Italian

It feels great to give and receive a compliment. And according to the science, getting a sincere, genuine, authentic compliment gives the same positive boost as receiving a cash reward.

Compliments work both ways. Saying something kind to someone instantly makes you feel good and put you in a better mood. With a sincere, thoughtful compliment, you can brighten someone’s day, boost their confidence, and give them the gift of feeling appreciated, happy, proud, elated, and special. And that’s one of the nicest things you can do.

Sometimes, though, giving compliments in a foreign language may feel a little awkward. You might not be sure of the right words to say, and worry about having your compliment misinterpreted. These seemingly positive interactions can actually be tricky to navigate for both giver and receiver alike.

This post is going to help you out. We’ll introduce you to different ways to form compliments in Italian, how to say something or someone is beautiful in Italian, and how to respond to compliments with grace and confidence.

Let’s get started!

Friends complimenting each other in Italian.

How to say beautiful in Italian

Compliments and appreciations are used in all cultures, and they’re especially important in Italy. They can definitely spread good vibes, generate a positive feeling, and make you and others feel good.

There are many social situations that would go more smoothly when compliments are involved, from meeting a new acquaintance, making small talk, and strengthening your bond with someone, to making new friends, socializing in a new environment, and building, nurturing and enhancing relationships. Besides, sometimes you just really want to tell someone how good they look in their best outfits, dressed for a special occasion.

When done well, a good, kind, positivity-boosting compliment can be one of the most powerful ways to let someone know that you value and appreciate them. So, doling out compliments in Italian is a key conversational skill to have if you’re learning the Italian language.

It’s crucial, though, to remember that in Italian there’s a fine line between giving gentle compliments and being flirty. Essentially, flirting is about showing sexual interest or attraction to someone.

In this article, we’re going to focus on how to give genuine, sincere compliments that should come with no strings attached, and with no ulterior motives in mind. (Maybe we’ll dedicate a whole other lesson to flirting in Italian.)

Man giving woman a compliment in Italian.

How to say you are beautiful in Italian

Who doesn’t like being told they look nice? People like being complimented. As mentioned previously, these compliments may come across as flirtatious, so they should be avoided in formal and strictly professional contexts.

You’re really good looking!Stai benissimo![stˈaj benˈis͡simo]stah-ee ben-ee-see-mohInformal
You look great.Ti trovo in gran forma.[tˈi trˈɔvo ˈiːn ɡrˈan fˈorma]tee troh-voh een gran for-mahInformal
You look great.La trovo in gran forma.[lˈa trˈɔvo ˈiːn ɡrˈan fˈorma]lah troh-voh een gran for-mahFormal
You look good.Ti trovo bene.[tˈi trˈɔvo bˈɛne]tee troh-voh beh-nehInformal
You look good.La trovo bene.[lˈa trˈɔvo bˈɛne]lah troh-voh beh-nehFormal
Wow, you’re a sight to behold.Wow, sei uno spettacolo.[wˈaːʊ, sˈɛi ˈuno spetːˈakolo]wow seh-ee unoh speh-tah-koh-lohVery informal
You look beautiful!Sei bellissimo. (male)
Sei bellissima. (female)
[sˈɛi bellˈis͡simo]
[sˈɛi bellˈis͡sima]
seh-ee beh-lee-see-moh
seh-ee beh-lee-see-mah
You look gorgeous!Sei stupendo. (male)
Sei stupenda. (female)
[sˈɛi stʊpˈɛndo]
[sˈɛi stʊpˈɛnda]
seh-ee stoo-pehn-doh
seh-ee stoo-pehn-dah
You're such a beauty.Sei uno splendore.[sˈɛi ˈuno splendˈore]seh-ee unoh splehn-doh-rehInformal
You're marvelous!Sei una meraviglia.[sˈɛi ˈuna meravˈiʎa]seh-ee unah meh-rah-vee-wlhee-ahInformal
How handsome/pretty you are!Come siamo carini. (male)
Come siamo carine. (female)
[kˈome sjˈamo karˈinɪ]
[kˈome sjˈamo karˈine]
koh-meh see-ah-moh kah-ree-nee
koh-meh see-ah-moh kah-ree-neh
Very informal
You are so cute.Sei molto carino. (male)
Sei molto carina. (female)
[sˈɛi mˈolto karˈino]
[sˈɛi mˈolto karˈina]
seh-ee mohl-toh kah-ree-noh
seh-ee mohl-toh kah-ree-nah

How to say that something is beautiful in Italian

Want to comment on the beauty of something? Use the following beautiful sentences. Read through the list, and pronounce every phrase out loud to practice your pronunciation.

Woman expresses her love of the beautiful scenery in Italy.

Wow! What a sight!Wow, che spettacolo![wˈaːʊ, kˈe spetːˈakolo]wow keh speh-tah-koh-lohInformal
How marvelous!Che meraviglia![kˈe meravˈiʎa]keh meh-rah-vee-wlhee-ahAll purpose
Lovely!Incantevole![inkantˈevole]een-kahn-teh-voh-lehAll purpose
What a breathtaking landscape!Che paesaggio mozzafiato![kˈe paezˈad͡ʒːo mot͡sːafjˈato]keh pah-eh-sah-joh moh-zah-fee-ah-tohAll purpose
What a wonderful view!Che panorama stupendo![kˈe panorˈama stʊpˈɛndo]keh pah-noh-rah-mah stoo-pehn-dohAll purpose
What a marvelous view!Che vista meravigliosa![kˈe vˈista meraviʎˈɔza]keh vee-stah meh-rah-vee-wlhee-oh-sahAll purpose

How to compliment someone on their work in Italian

Knowing how to compliment and recognize others is a fundamental skill to have at work. Complimenting your coworkers, collaborators, or employees when they’ve done well can actually boost their performance.

We’ve gathered useful phrases and expressions below to help you form your own compliments.

Man compliments his colleague on her work in Italian.

Good job!Ottimo lavoro![ˈotːimo lavˈɔro]oh-tee-moh lah-voh-rohAll purpose
My compliments!Complimenti![komplimˈentɪ]kohm-plee-mehn-teeAll purpose
Congratulations!Congratulazioni![koŋɡratʊlat͡siˈonɪ]kohn-grah-too-lah- tzee-oh-neeAll purpose
Well done!Ben fatto![bˈɛn fˈatːo]behn fah-tohAll purpose
Well done!Bravo! (male)
Brava! (female)
All purpose
Good job!Bravissimo! (male)
Bravissima! (female)
All purpose
You did a great job. My compliments.Hai fatto un ottimo lavoro, complimenti.[ˈaj fˈatːo ˈun ˈotːimo lavˈɔro komplimˈentɪ]ahee fah-toh un oh-tee-moh lah-voh-roh kohm-plee-mehn-teeInformal
You did a great job, My compliments.Ha fatto un ottimo lavoro, complimenti.[ˈa fˈatːo ˈun ˈotːimo lavˈɔro, komplimˈentɪ]ah fah-toh un oh-tee-moh lah-voh-roh kohm-plee-mehn-teeFormal
You have excelled yourself. My compliments.Hai superato te stesso, mi congratulo.[ˈaj sʊperˈato tˈe stˈes͡so mˈi koŋɡrˈatʊlo]ahee soo-pehr-ah-toh teh steh-soh mee kohn-grah-too-lohInformal
You have excelled yourself. My compliments.Ha superato se stesso, mi congratulo.[ˈa sʊperˈato sˈe stˈes͡so mˈi koŋɡrˈatʊlo]ah soo-pehr-ah-toh seh steh-soh mee kohn-grah-too-lohFormal
Congratulations on a job well done!Mi congratulo per questo lavoro svolto egregiamente.[mˈi koŋɡrˈatʊlo pˈer kwˈesto lavˈɔro zvˈɔlto eɡred͡ʒamˈente]mee kohn-grah-too-loh pehr kuehs-toh lah-voh-roh svohl-toh eh-greh-gee-ah-mehn-tehAll purpose

How to compliment someone on their appearance or clothing in Italian

Commenting on someone’s appearance is appropriate when you’re talking to someone you know well, like very close friends, family members, and long-time work colleagues. If your bestie has just gotten her hair done, or is wearing a new dress that flatters her curves, go ahead and make sure she knows how fabulous she looks.

Woman compliments her niece on her beautiful dress in Italian.

However, avoid appearance-related comments with casual acquaintances, coworkers, clients, customers, and strangers. in case it makes them feel uncomfortable.

This dress looks great on you.Questo abito ti sta d'incanto.[kwˈesto ˈabito tˈi stˈa dinkˈanto]kuehs-toh ah-bee-toh tee stah deen-kahn-tohInformal
This dress looks great on you.Questo abito Le sta d'incanto.[kwˈesto ˈabito lˈe stˈa dinkˈanto]kuehs-toh ah-bee-toh leh stah deen-kahn-tohFormal
I like your style.Mi piace il tuo stile.[mˈi pjˈat͡ʃe ˈiːl tˈuo stˈile]mee pee-ah-che eel tuho stee-lehInformal
I like your style.Mi piace il Suo stile.[mˈi pjˈat͡ʃe ˈiːl sˈuo stˈile]mee pee-ah-che eel suho stee-lehFormal
I like how you dress.Mi piace come ti vesti.[mˈi pjˈat͡ʃe kˈome tˈi vˈɛstɪ]mee pee-ah-che koh-meh tee veh-steeInformal
I like your new haircut. It makes your eyes pop.Mi piace il tuo nuovo taglio. Ti mette in risalto gli occhi.[mˈi pjˈat͡ʃe ˈiːl tˈuo nʊˈɔvo tˈaʎo tˈi mˈetːe ˈiːn rizˈalto ʎˈɪ ˈɔkːɪ]mee pee-ah-che eel tuho noo-oh-voh ta-wlhee-oh tee meh-teh een ree-sahl-toh wlhee oh-keeInformal
Love your shoes!Adoro le tue scarpe![adˈɔro lˈe tˈue skˈarpe]ah-doh-roh leh too-eh skahr-pehInformal
What a beautiful dress. Is it new?Che bel vestito. È nuovo?[kˈe bˈɛl vestˈito ˈɛː nʊˈɔvo]keh behl veh-stee-toh eh noo-oh-vohAll purpose
This color really suits you.Questo colore ti dona molto.[kwˈesto kolˈore tˈi dˈona mˈolto]kuehs-toh koh-loh-reh tee doh-nah mohl-tohInformal
This color really suits you.Questo colore Le dona molto.[kwˈesto kolˈore lˈe dˈona mˈolto]kuehs-toh koh-loh-reh leh doh-nah mohl-tohFormal
What a beautiful purse, where did you get it?Che bella borsa, dove l’hai presa?[kˈe bˈɛlla bˈorsa dˈove ˈɛlle’ˈaj prˈeza]keh beh-lah bohr-sah doh-veh lah-ee prah-sahInformal

How to compliment someone on their personality or lifestyle in Italian

People love to be appreciated for who they are as much as for how they look. The phrases below show that you appreciate and admire their personal qualities, abilities, intelligence, humor, and creativity.

Use them to let someone know you like them without making it entirely about their physical appearance. They’ll appreciate it. Check out the examples below!

Friends enjoying playing beautiful music together on the piano.

You are a beautiful person.Sei una bella persona.[sˈɛi ˈuna bˈɛlla persˈona]seh-ee uhnah beh-lah pehr-soh-nahInformal
You really are a beautiful person.È proprio una bella persona.[ˈɛː prˈɔprio ˈuna bˈɛlla persˈona]eh proh-pree-oh uhnah beh-lah pehr-soh-nahFormal
You are a beautiful person, inside and out.Sei una bella persona, dentro e fuori.[sˈɛi ˈuna bˈɛlla persˈona dˈentro ˈeː fʊˈorɪ]seh-ee uhnah beh-lah pehr-soh-nah dehn-troh eh phoo-oh-reeInformal
You are such a thoughtful person.È proprio una persona squisita. [ˈɛː prˈɔprio ˈuna persˈona skwizˈita]eh proh-pree-oh uhnah pehr-soh-nah skoo-ee-see-tahFormal
You’re a beautiful soul.Sei un’anima bella.[sˈɛi ˈun’ˈanima bˈɛlla]seh-ee un ah-nee-mah beh-lahInformal
You’re a capable person.Sei molto in gamba.[sˈɛi mˈolto ˈiːn ɡˈamba]seh-ee mohl-toh een gahm-bahInformal
You’re a capable person.È molto in gamba.[ˈɛː mˈolto ˈiːn ɡˈamba]eh mohl-toh een gahm-bahFormal
You are strong.Sei forte.[sˈɛi fˈɔrte]seh-ee fohr-tehInformal
You're a force of nature.Sei una forza della natura.[sˈɛi ˈuna fˈɔrt͡sa dˈella natˈura]seh-ee uhnah fohr-tzah deh-lah nah-too-rahInformal
I like your sense of humor.Mi piace il tuo senso dell’umorismo.[mˈi pjˈat͡ʃe ˈiːl tˈuo sˈɛnso dˈɛl’ʊmorˈizmo]mee pee-ah-che eel tuho sehn-soh dehl oo-moh-rees-mohInformal
You are so much fun. It's a blast hanging out with you.Sei molto divertente. È uno spasso stare con te.[sˈɛi mˈolto divertˈɛnte ˈɛː ˈuno spˈas͡so stˈare kˈon tˈe]seh-ee mohl-toh dee-vehr-tehn-the eh uhnoh spah-soh stah-reh kon tehInformal
You’re so nice.Sei molto simpatico. (male)
Sei molto simpatica. (female)
[sˈɛi mˈolto simpˈatiko]
[sˈɛi mˈolto simpˈatika]
seh-ee mohl-toh seem-pah-tee-koh
seh-ee mohl-toh seem-pah-tee-kah
You’re so brave.Sei molto coraggioso. (male)
Sei molto coraggiosa. (female)
[sˈɛi mˈolto korad͡ʒːˈozo]
[sˈɛi mˈolto korad͡ʒːˈɔza]
seh-ee mohl-toh koh-rah-joh-soh
seh-ee mohl-toh koh-rah-joh-sah
You radiate positivity.Emani positività. [emˈanɪ pozitivitˈa]eh-mah-nee poh-see-tee-vee-tahInformal
Your laugh is infectious.La tua risata è contagiosa.[lˈa tˈua rizˈata ˈɛː kontad͡ʒˈɔza]lah too-ah ree-sah-tah eh kohn-tah-joh-sahInformal
Your smile is contagious.Il tuo sorriso è contagioso.[ˈiːl tˈuo sorɾˈizo ˈɛː kontad͡ʒˈozo]eel too-oh soh-ree-soh eh kohn-tah-joh-sohInformal
Be proud of yourself.Sii orgoglioso di te stesso. (male)
Sii orgogliosa di te stessa. (female)
[sjˈi orɡoʎˈozo dˈi tˈe stˈes͡so]
[sjˈi orɡoʎˈɔza dˈi tˈe stˈes͡sa]
see ohr-goh-wlhee-oh-soh dee teh steh-soh
see ohr-goh-wlhee-oh-sah dee teh steh-sah

How to compliment someone on something they have

Complimenting someone on a nice possession is a very good way to make small talk. Most Italians are extremely proud of their possessions, especially major ones such as their house, car, or motorbike, so they’ll appreciate it.

I personally am overjoyed every time I receive compliments on the cleanliness and decor of my home. Yep – in this case the stereotype is true: women in Italy like to keep their houses spotless and immaculately clean, and take great pride in the appearance of their abodes. It’s part of the whole bella figura thing.

Let’s check out the examples we’ve gathered for you below to find out how to compliment someone on their possessions.

Woman tells man his car is beautiful in Italian.

You have a gorgeous home, a real gem.Hai una bellissima casa, un vero gioiello.[ˈaj ˈuna bellˈis͡sima kˈaza, ˈun vˈero d͡ʒoiˈɛllo]ah-ee uhnah beh-lee-see-mah ka-sah un veh-roh jeeh-oh-ee-ehl-ohInformal
You have a gorgeous home, a real gem.Ha una casa bellissima, un vero gioiello.[ˈa ˈuna bellˈis͡sima kˈaza, ˈun vˈero d͡ʒoiˈɛllo]ah uhnah ka-sah beh-lee-see-mah un veh-roh jeeh-oh-ee-ehl-ohFormal
Wow, what a lovely house you have.Wow, che bella casa.[wˈaːʊ, kˈe bˈɛlla kˈaza]wow keh beh-lah ka-sah All purpose
Wow, what a beautiful car you have.Wow, che bella macchina.[wˈaːʊ, kˈe bˈɛlla mˈakːina]wow keh beh-lah mah-kee-nah All purpose
Wow, what a beautiful motorcycle.Wow, che bella moto.[wˈaːʊ, kˈe bˈɛlla mˈɔto]wow keh beh-lah moh-toh All purpose
You have good taste. My compliments.Hai buon gusto, complimenti.[ˈaj bwˈɔn ɡˈusto komplimˈentɪ]ah-ee boo-ohn goo-stoh kohm-plee-mehn-teeInformal
You have very good taste. My compliments.Ha veramente buon gusto, complementi.[ˈa veramˈente bwˈɔn ɡˈusto komplemˈentɪ]ah veh-rah-mehn-teh boo-ohn goo-stoh kohm-plee-mehn-teeFormal
Exquisite choice of decor. My compliments.Complimenti per l'arredamento, davvero![komplimˈentɪ pˈer larɾedamˈento, davvˈero]kohm-plee-mehn-tee per lah-reh-dah-mehn-toh dah-veh-rohAll purpose
I love your home office.Mi piace il tuo studio.[mˈi pjˈat͡ʃe ˈiːl tˈuo stˈudio]mee pee-ah-che eel tuho stoo-dee-ohInformal

How to respond to compliments in Italian

Italian children are socialized from a very young age to say “thank you” to a compliment, but Italian adult speakers, especially women, tend to respond to compliments with embarrassment, discomfort, or even self-deprecation, probably because they’re afraid of seeming arrogant or big-headed, and want to sound humble and modest.

Don’t devalue or reject a compliment! Respect the opinion of the person who gave you the praise. After receiving a compliment, smile genuinely, make eye contact, and say something in order to show your appreciation and gratitude for the kind remark.

This confident attitude will help reduce the chances of awkwardness that in turn, may make the compliment giver feel uncomfortable. We’ve gathered some of the most common phrases to say in response to a compliment in the table below.

Woman responds to being told that she is beautiful in Italian.

Thank you, I appreciate that.Grazie, lo apprezzo molto.[ɡrˈat͡sje lˈo apːrˈet͡sːo mˈolto]grah-tsee-eh loh ah-preh-tsoh mohl-tohAll purpose
Thanks, that’s very kind of you.Grazie, è molto gentile da parte tua.[ɡrˈat͡sje ˈɛː mˈolto d͡ʒentˈile dˈa pˈarte tˈua]grah-tsee-eh eh mohl-toh jehn-tee-leh dah pahr-teh too-ahInformal
Thanks, that’s very kind of you.Grazie, è molto gentile da parte Sua.[ɡrˈat͡sje ˈɛː mˈolto d͡ʒentˈile dˈa pˈarte sˈua]grah-tsee-eh eh mohl-toh jehn-tee-leh dah pahr-the soo-ahFormal
Thanks, you too.Grazie, anche tu.[ɡrˈat͡sje ˈanke tˈu]grah-tsee-eh ahn-keh tooInformal
Thanks, you too.Grazie, anche Lei.[ɡrˈat͡sje ˈanke lˈɛi]grah-tsee-eh ahn-keh leh-eeFormal
Thank you, that's so nice of you to say.Grazie, mi fa piacere che tu lo dica.[ɡrˈat͡sje mˈi fˈa pjat͡ʃˈere kˈe tˈu lˈo dˈika]grah-tsee-eh mee fah pee-ah-che-reh keh too loh dee-kahInformal
Thank you, that's so nice of you to say.Grazie, mi fa piacere che Lei lo dica.[ɡrˈat͡sje mˈi fˈa pjat͡ʃˈere kˈe lˈɛi lˈo dˈika]grah-tsee-eh mee fah pee-ah-che-reh keh leh-ee loh dee-kahFormal
Thank you. Too kind.Grazie, troppo gentile. [ɡrˈat͡sje trˈɔpːo d͡ʒentˈile]grah-tsee-eh troh-poh jehn-tee-lehAll purpose
Thank you, your words flatter me.Grazie, le tue parole mi lusingano.[ɡrˈat͡sje lˈe tˈue paɾˈɔle mˈi lʊzˈiŋɡano]grah-tsee-eh leh too-eh pah-roh-leh mee loo-seen-gah-nohInformal
Thank you, your words flatter me.Grazie, le Sue parole mi lusingano.[ɡrˈat͡sje lˈe sˈue paɾˈɔle mˈi lʊzˈiŋɡano]grah-tsee-eh leh soo-eh pah-roh-leh mee loo-seen-gah-nohFormal
Thank you, a compliment from you is worth a dozen from anyone else.Grazie, un complimento detto da te vale doppio.[ɡrˈat͡sje ˈun komplimˈento dˈetːo dˈa tˈe vˈale dˈopːio]grah-tsee-eh un kohm-plee-mehn-toh deh-toh dah teh vah-leh doh-pee-ohInformal
Thank you, a compliment from you is worth a dozen from anyone else.Grazie, un complimento detto da Lei vale doppio.[ɡrˈat͡sje ˈun komplimˈento dˈetːo dˈa lˈɛi vˈale dˈopːio]grah-tsee-eh un kohm-plee-mehn-toh deh-toh dah leh-ee vah-leh doh-pee-ohFormal
Thank you, I'm glad you like it.Grazie, mi fa piacere che ti piaccia.[ɡrˈat͡sje mˈi fˈa pjat͡ʃˈere kˈe tˈi pjˈat͡ʃːa]grah-tsee-eh mee fah pee-ah-che-reh keh tee pee-ah-chee-ahInformal
Thank you, I'm glad you like it.Grazie, mi fa piacere che Le piaccia.[ɡrˈat͡sje mˈi fˈa pjat͡ʃˈere kˈe lˈe pjˈat͡ʃːa]grah-tsee-eh mee fah pee-ah-che-reh keh leh pee-ah-chee-ahFormal

The do’s and don’ts of complimenting someone in Italian

As mentioned previously, compliments can be complicated. They can hit the mark, or fail miserably. They have the power to turn someone’s day around in an instant, but there’s a lot to bear in mind. So, we’re inviting you to join us on a deep dive into the world of Italian compliment etiquette.

1. First of all, it’s inappropriate to compliment someone when:

  • You’re a complete stranger on the train, on the street, waiting for the bus, or standing in the grocery checkout line, especially if you’re with a group of people and the other person is by themselves.
  • You’re a grown adult and the other person is a lot younger than you, or vice versa.
  • You’re in a position of power over the other person. For example, if you’re their professor, boss, coach, tutor, or mentor, it’s better to avoid complimenting their looks even in a completely innocent way, as it may come across as inappropriate.

2. Never, ever, add a non-compliment to a compliment.

Let’s look at some examples:

Sei ancora molto bella per avere più di 50 anni.You still look good for a woman over 50.
Hai un’ottima proprietà di linguaggio per non aver neanche conseguito il diploma.You’re so articulate for someone who’s never even graduated high school.
Hai un sagace senso dell’umorismo per essere una ragazza. – You have a witty sense of humor for a girl.You have a witty sense of humor for a girl.
Hai una bella casa per avere un cane.You have a nice house for having a dog.
Sei in gran forma per avere due figli.You’re in such good shape for having two kids.

I’m pretty sure these examples speak for themselves. As you can see, any compliment that you tack on the phrase “per essere/avere…” is actually not a compliment but a subtle insult, and a form of sexism, body-shaming, and discrimination.

Always consider how you’d feel receiving a compliment before saying it to someone else.

Then, if you want to compliment how someone looks now, don’t implicitly say they don’t look good on other days. Simply say “stai benissimo” (you look good), full stop. There’s no need to add “più del solito” (more than usual).

Or even worse, “Come sei bella, sembri davvero una donna stasera” (How beautiful you are, you actually look like a woman tonight) on the rare occasion when someone wears a skirt or minidress.

And, please, I beg you, don’t ever say something like “Come stai bene, non sembri neanche tu” (you look great, you don’t even look like yourself). Hashtag facepalm.

In the end, it all comes down to being respectful.

Complimenti for making it to the end of this post!

Congratulazioni, your Italian is improving day by day! With some practice, you’ll become a pro at complimenting, and expressing someone is beautiful in Italian in a way they’ll truly, truly appreciate.

Start complimenting in Italian, spread happiness around you, and find out for yourself how great it makes you feel!

If you enjoyed this article, check out our Italian blog, full of more fun and free Italian vocabulary lessons.

Alla prossima!

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