When you are young and just beginning to learn your native language, one of the first words you learn are those that describe what takes you around this world: your body.
Learning the names of the parts of the body in Italian is an essential step in your language-learning journey, and you’ll soon realize how useful knowing how to talk about the body in Italian can be.
In this article, we will not only share a list of human body parts in Italian, we’ll also look at the names of the main organs of the body, which will make your Italian anatomy vocab quite impressive!
Oh, and there’s more. We’ll teach you 10 of the most common proverbs that use parts of the body, and some Italian songs that’ll help you remember and practice all the new information!
In the tables below, you’ll find the name of the body part in English, its Italian translation and the phonetic transcription for its correct pronunciation, so that you can start using your newly acquired vocab as soon as possible.
Let’s get to it!
Why learn about Italian body parts?
Knowing how to talk about the body in Italian is essential, even in everyday conversation! Let’s see some reasons to learn how to talk about il corpo (the body).
First of all, if you ever find yourself in an emergency in Italy, knowing at least some basic body-related vocabulary could be a game-changer skill.
And not just for emergencies. Suppose you have a sore throat while you visit the eternal city of Rome, for example. In that case, you can just pop into a farmacia (drug store), or erboristeria (herbalist shop) if you’re more about natural medicine, and fix it there and then.
Sports and fitness
If you’re into sports and fitness at all, knowing how to talk about the body is essential. You’ll be able to talk about your training sessions and experiences, and you’ll understand others.
If you’re visiting Italy and you’re a yoga enthusiast, for example, you can sign up for a class and not get lost, or you can watch rock climbing competitions (or whatever sport it is you’re into) with Italian commentary. We like the sound of that!
Everyday life and proverbs
Last but not least, knowing how to talk about the body in Italian will help you in everyday conversation. Not only to talk about your (or someone else’s) actual body, but because the Italian language is full of idioms and expressions that include names of body parts in them! (We’ll look at some of them later on.)
Knowing what part people are talking about might help you understand the expressions better... Although admittedly, that’s not always the case!
Learn the head and body parts in Italian with this free poster
For those of you who don’t like traditional study methods, we get you. Print this poster and stick it to your fridge for a great way to learn the parts of the body that don’t involve long hours at the library. I'm ready!
How to say “body” in Italian
As you just learned above, “the body” in Italian is il corpo (plural i corpi).
Let’s have a look at the first table with some general useful vocab about the body in Italian.
Now, we’ll look at how to say the parts of the body in Italian, starting from the top!
The head and face in Italian
Before we start, make a mental note about this strange grammar rule: some body parts are masculine in the singular form, and become feminine in the plural form. When this is the case, you'll see both the singular and the plural in the table. If you can only see the singular form, you can assume the plural is regular, and it is formed as all other plurals in Italian.
If the plural is irregular (even if it does not change gender), you'll see it in the table too.
The face in Italian
In the table below, you'll find the Italia body vocabulary you'll need to talk about the head, face and neck, and all that relates to it!
|Ear / Ears
|orecchio / orecchie
|Oh-reh-kyoh / oh-reh-kyeh
|Eye / Eyes
|occhio / occhi
|Oh-kyoh / oh-kee
|Lip / Lips
|labbro / labbra
|Lahb-broh / lahb-brah
|Tooth / teeth
|dente / denti
|Den-teh / den-tee
As you can see, orecchio and labbro have irregular feminine plurals.
Also, note that “hair” in Italian is always plural, unless you’re talking about one specific single hair. This applies to the hair on your head. For other kinds of hair, read on!
|Io ho i capelli neri.
|I have black hair.
|Ti ho strappato un capello.
|I tore one hair.
Other body parts in Italian
Let’s now go downwards, starting with the upper part of our bodies.
The upper body parts in Italian
|braccio / braccia
|brah-choh / brah-chah
|dito / dita
|dee-toh / dee-tah
Lower body parts in Italian
And, as we move downwards, we get to the lower body parts in Italian.
|anca / anche
|ann-kah / ann-keh
|ginocchio / ginocchia
|jee-noh-kkee-oh / jee-noh-kkee-ah
|dito / dita
|Sole (of the foot)
|pianta (del piede)
Have you noticed? In Italian we use the same word both for fingers and toes.
|Le dita delle mani.
|The hand’s fingers.
|Le dita dei piedi.
|The foot’s toes.
Inside body parts in Italian
Let’s now learn some more useful vocabulary to talk about the body in Italian. Here we’ll see some more specific body parts and organs.
|osso / ossa
|oss-soh / oss-sah
And now, some main organs:
Well, since we’re talking about what is inside, we might as well learn the word anima (ah-nee-mah), which means “soul”.
Whether you believe we have one or not, I am sure knowing how to say it will come in handy at some point!
At the doctor’s: Talk about body parts in Italian
Now you should be able to describe your body in detail, here are some more useful expressions if you need to see a doctor, or ask for help in a drugstore.
(Do you feel pain?)
|I feel pain...
|ho un dolore ...
|Ho un forte dolore alla gamba destra.
(I feel a strong pain in my right leg.)
|My ... hurts / I have a ... ache
|mi fa male...
|Mi fa male la testa.
(I have a headache.)
|Right / Left
|destra / sinistra
|Le fa male il braccio destro o quello sinistro?
(Do you feel pain in your right or left arm?)
|Ho lo stomaco gonfio.
(I have a swollen stomach.)
|Ho la gola infiammata.
(My throat is inflamed.)
|Ho un braccio rotto.
(I have a broken arm.)
Italian songs about body parts
La Rappresentante di Lista - Ciao Ciao
This one is a new song by La Rappresentante di lista, presented at Sanremo only a few weeks ago, she says “ciao ciao” with all her body parts....
Giochiamo con il corpo - Canzoni per bambini di Mela Music @MelaMusicTV
If you want a kids’ song, this is simple and yet it tells you the names of each finger!
Testa o Cuore Eros Ramazzotti feat Club Dogo
Eros Ramazzotti and Club Dogo sing on the eternal duality between cuore (heart) and testa (head).
Body-related Italian words, expressions and sayings
Here are some funny Italian expressions related to body parts. In the table below, you’ll find the Italian, the English literal translation and the explanation of each idiom.
|To be out of one’s head
|Essere fuori di testa
|To be crazy
|To have a broken heart
|Avere il cuore spezzato
|To be heartbroken
|To take by the ass
|Prendere per il culo
|To eat with one’s eyes
|Mangiare con gli occhi
|To desire intensely
|To have “ass”
|To be lucky
|To give a hand
|Dare una mano
|To have a long tongue
|Avere la lingua lunga
|To talk a lot
|To have a devil for each hair
|Avere un diavolo per capello
|To be very angry
|To be in the leg
|Essere in gamba
|To be capable
|To raise the elbow
|Alzare il gomito
|To drink alcohol
Italian proverbs with body parts
|Occhio per occhio, dente per dente.
|This is the Italian equivalent of “Eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."
|Occhio non vede, cuore non duole.
|This literally translates to: "Eye doesn’t see, heart doesn’t hurt” and it is often used in difficult love situations… What do you think about it?
|Tra moglie e marito non mettere il dito.
|“Do not put your finger between husband and wife.”
Which reminds us that every couple has their own balance, and it’s best to stay out of it!
A few fun tips for learning Italian body parts
Now that you’ve learned all the body parts in Italian, you just need to keep practicing them so that you don’t forget! There are many ways you can make the names of the parts of the body stick - let’s go through them.
Make it a game
Games are always one of the best ways to revise and keep vocab active in your memory. Play with your friends, your relatives, even on your own!
You can ask your Italian-learning buddy to touch a part of your body, and say it out loud in Italian. Or each of you can say the part of the body while the other has to point at it on their body.
You can play Twister in Italian, or make up a game like Taboo, but about body parts in Italian, in which you describe the body parts without actually saying their name or making any gestures, and the other has to guess what you’re talking about!
Draw it and stick it to your fridge
When I learned body parts in Spanish, I had fun drawing a human being (in my case, it looked more like a silly monster) and signaled all the body parts I had learned on the drawing.
Then, I stuck it to my fridge, and there it lived for years. (I think it might actually still be there now that I am gone!)
Do yoga lessons in Italian
As we mentioned above, if you’re into yoga, pilates, or any kind of physical activity, try following instructions in Italian! It’ll be great for your listening skills, and moving while activating vocabulary will help you to remember it better. After all, science has shown that you can use embodied learning to learn a language!
By the way, not being in Italy is no excuse here - you should be able to find a treasure trove on the internet!
Italian body dalla testa ai piedi
We hope that this guide helped you learn all the body parts in Italian, from head to toes.
Remember, learning a foreign language should be fun and exciting, and not feel like a chore.
Try to find a way to practice your new vocab in different ways, following your passions and interests, and everything else will come naturally.
Or you might even be ready for an Italian class? The world is your oyster! No matter what, if you’ve found joy in learning this beautiful language, you’ve already succeeded.