Colorful image of Italy coastline, an inspiration to learn Italian

99 delightful shades of color in Italian, from mint to mulberry

Whether you want to describe the colors of a beautiful fall afternoon on the hills of Tuscany, or make sure the gelataio scoops the right flavor onto your cone during your Italian holidays, learning the names of the colors in Italian is a delightful skill to have!

In this exhaustive guide to the Italian colors, you’ll not only learn all the different sfumature (shades) of each of the main colors, but also how to pronounce them use them in a sentence.

In the tables below, you’ll find a visual representation of the colors, their Italian names with their translation and a phonetic transcription specially created to help English speakers get the Italian pronunciation just right.

Let’s start!

Download our free paper chatterbox to help you learn Italian colors in no time!

Table of contents

Why learn all the colors in Italian?

If your love for this beautiful language isn’t enough of a reason, here’s why you should learn to express yourself in Italian color.

Travelling in Italy

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, adding Italian colors to your vocabulary is a magnificent idea. Having a wide vocabulary foundation is one of the most important aspects of learning a language and navigating everyday life in another country.

You’ll be able to better understand directions (for example, metro lines are often defined by a color), do better shopping (if you’re a fashion enthusiast, Italy is great!) and just generally describe any object to Italian speakers.

Plus, the tables for “red in Italian” and “yellow in Italian” will be invaluable if you like to attend wine tastings!

Understanding expressions and proverbs

There are many idioms and informal expressions that include the names of colors in Italian. Knowing them will surely help you recognize them and start using them too. If you want a list of the most common ones, we got you covered, read on!

Appreciating Italian art

Italy is famous all over the world for its art, and it is a well-deserved fame. Anywhere you go, from the smallest mountain village to seaside towns, you’ll find frescos, statues, and paintings by famous artists.

If you love art, then understanding the Italian descriptions of these works of art will bring you great satisfaction. Learning the many shades in Italian is undoubtedly a great start!

Colors in Italian

Let’s get started then. First of all, how do you say “color” in Italian? Here the “just add a vowel at the end if you don’t know a word” rule works: il colore (eel coh-loh-reh) is the singular and i colori (ee coh-loh-ree) the plural.

Colors can be nouns or adjectives.

Italian English
Il rosso è il mio colore preferito. Red is my favourite color.
Il libro rosso è mio. The red book is mine.

When they are adjectives, like in the second example, they go after the object they describe.

To add a description of the color, for example, if it is light or dark, you can add chiaro (light) and scuro (dark) after the color.

Italian English
Il quaderno verde chiaro è di Giacomo. The light green book is Giacomo’s.
Ho un cappello blu scuro. I have a dark blue hat.

If, on the other hand, you want to ask what color something is, use:

  • Di che colore è … ?
  • Di che colore sono … ?

With some of the specific names of colors that you’ll find in the table, you’ll need to use the expression: color ___

Italian English
La sciarpa è color lavanda. The scarf is lavender.

Colors can also take diminutives, this usually makes them “lighter”: Il pigiama giallino (the light yellow pyjamas).

Purple in Italian

Purple in Italian is viola. This is not only the name of a color – a viola or violetta is also a flower!

Italian English
Le viole fioriscono dall’autunno alla primavera. Violets flower from fall to spring.

And it doesn’t end there. Viola or Violetta in Italian is also a girl’s name.

Italian English
Mia figlia si chiama Viola. My daughter’s name is Viola.

So from fruits to flowers, we’ve got you covered for some wonderful shades of purple.

Purple in Italian.

English Italian Pronunciation
Lavender lavanda lah-vaan-dah
Purple viola vee-oh-lah
Violet violetto vee-oh-let-toh
Grape uva ooh-vah
Mauve malva maal-vah
Mulberry mora moh-rah
Plum prugna prooh-nya
Lilac lilla leel-lah
Indigo indaco een-dah-coh

Remember to keep in mind that Viola does not change its ending according to the subject described, like some colors do. It always stays the same.

Orange in Italian

Orange in Italian is arancione which is also sometimes called arancio (like an orange tree!). Careful, though, the fruit is feminine: arancia.

Orange in Italian.

English Italian Pronunciation
Tangerine mandarino maan-dah-ree-noh
Orange arancione ah-raan-choh-neh
Amber ambra ahm-brah
Bronze bronzo brohn-dzoh
Burnt Orange rosso aragosta roh-ssoh ah-rah-goh-stah
Marmalade arancio scuro ah-raan-choh scoo-roh
Mango mango maan-goh
Rust ruggine roo-jee-neh
Papaya papaya paa-paa-yah

Again, Arancione does not change its ending according to the subject described, like some colors do. It always stays the same.

Blue in Italian

There are two main ways of saying blue in Italian: blu and azzurro. The first describes a darker color, while azzurro is usually light blue.

Blue in Italian.

English Italian Pronunciation
Royal Blue blu reale blooh reh-ah-leh
Blue blu blooh
Turquoise turchese toor-keh-seh
Teal tè blu blooh
Cyan ciano chah-noh
Sky Blue azzurro ah-dzur-roh
Navy Blue blu marino blooh mah-ree-noh
Baby Blue celeste cheh-less-teh
Midnight Blue blu notte blooh noh-tteh

  • Similarly, Blu does not change its ending according to the subject described like other colors do. It always stays the same.
  • Azzurro, on the other hand, does.

Red in Italian

If you want to be able to order a good bottle of wine, you need to know how to say red in Italian… Rosso!

Red in Italian is one of the colors that change their ending according to what they describe, like a typical adjective.

Red in Italian.

English Italian Pronunciation
Burgundy bordeaux bohr-doh
Red rosso ross-soh
Cherry rosso ciliegia ross-soh chee-lyeh-jah
Crimson cremisi creh-mee-seeh
Brick Red rosso mattone ross-soh maatt-oh-neh
Blood Red rosso sangue ross-soh saan-gweh
Maroon granata grah-nah-tah
Berry rosso scuro ross-soh scoo-roh
Scarlet scarlatto scaar-laat-toh

Yellow in Italian

Giallo is “yellow” in Italian. This color is also used to talk about thriller/crime books or films:

Italian English
Sto leggendo un giallo. I am reading a crime novel.

Giallo changes its ending according to what you’re describing: giallo, gialla, gialli, gialle.

Yellow in Italian.

English Italian Pronunciation
Lemon limone lee-moh-neh
Yellow giallo jaal-loh
Cream crema creh-mah
Canary canarino cah-nah-ree-noh
Chartreuse chartreuse shar-treus
Gold oro oh-roh
Light Yellow giallo chiaro jaal-loh kyah-roh
Sand sabbia saab-byah
Mustard senape seh-nah-peh

Brown in Italian

To describe something brown in Italian, you need to use the word marrone, or marron. This is also a word to say “chestnut”, the actual fruit.

If you’re talking about someone’s brown hair or eyes, however, we prefer to use capelli/occhi castani.

Brown in Italian.

English Italian Pronunciation
Caramel caramello cah-rah-mell-loh
Brown marrone maar-roh-neh
Sepia seppia sehp-pyah
Chestnut marrone castagna maar-roh-neh cass-tah-nyah
Chocolate cioccolato choc-coh-lah-toh
Almond mandorla maan-dorr-lah
Cedar marrone scuro maar-roh-neh scoo-roh
Coffee caffè caaf-fèh
Walnut noce noh-cheh

Remember that Marrone does not change its ending according to the subject described, like other colors do. It always stays the same.

Pink in Italian

Rosa, which is “pink” in Italian, also is a flower… Guess which? Yes, of course, it’s the word for “Rose”. It’s also a girl’s name.

Pink in Italian.

English Italian Pronunciation
Peach pesca pehs-kah
Pink rosa roh-zah
Coral corallo coh-rall-loh
Rouge rouge rooj
Magenta magenta mah-gen-tah
Salmon salmone saal-moh-neh
Blush rosa chiaro roh-zah kya-roh
Hot Pink fucsia fook-syah
Strawberry rosso fragola ross-soh kya-roh

Rosa does not change its ending according to the subject described like other colors do. It always stays the same.

Green in Italian

Green in Italian is verde. Read on if you want to learn all the idiomatic expressions you can use with the color of the forest!

Green in Italian.

English Italian Pronunciation
Sage salvia saal-vyah
Green verde verr-deh
Jade giada jaah-daah
Seafoam Verde acqua verr-deh ah-kwah
Lime lime lah-eem
Forest verde mimetico verr-deh mee-meh-tee-koh
Olive verde oliva verr-deh oh-lee-vah
Emerald smeraldo smeh-rall-doh
Mint menta men-tah

Verde does not change its ending according to the subject described like other colors do. It always stays the same.

Black in Italian

Nero is the Italian for “black”. It changes its ending according to the gender and number of what it describes.

Black in Italian.

English Italian Pronunciation
Ebony ebano eh-bah-noh
Black nero neh-roh
Cool black nero notte neh-roh noht-teh
Ink inchiostro een-kyoh-stroh
Obsidian ossidiana oss-see-dyah-nah
Jet black nero corvino neh-roh corr-vee-noh
Charcoal carbone caar-boh-neh
Onyx onice oh-nee-cheh
Midnight nero mezzanotte Neh-roh medz-zah-noht-teh

White in Italian

White in Italian is bianco. This describes white wine (vino bianco) and, in its feminine singular form Bianca (yes, it changes according to gender and number, becoming bianca, bianchi, bianche) is also a girl’s name.

For example, Biancaneve (Snow White!)

White in Italian.

English Color in Italian Pronunciation
Beige Beige behj
White bianco bee-ann-coh
Ivory avorio ah-voh-ryoh
Eggshell guscio d’uovo goo-shoh doo-oh-voh
Coconut cocco cock-oh
Pearl perla perr-lah
Bone osso oss-soh
Alabaster alabastro ah-lah-bass-troh
Off white bianco sporco bee-ahnn-coh sporr-koh

Free downloadable paper chatterbox

This fun paper chatterbox will help you learn Italian colors in no time! Our aim is to use both visualization and spelling techniques to help you remember the color names. Folding instructions are included on the pdf.

Free downloadable Italian colors paper chatterbox.

Songs in Italian color

Ma il cielo è sempre più blu

This song by Rino Gaetano will surely put you in a good mood, and the lyrics are clear, so it’s great practice, and not only for revising the colors in Italian: “Il cielo è sempre più blu!

Franco Battiato - Cuccurucucu

Do you think the world is gray or blue? This song from the great Franco Battiato is an Italian classic, you can’t miss it!

I Colori - Canzoni di Nuovi Sogni

If you want to hear the pronunciation of all colors and don’t mind children songs, then listen to this on how to make secondary colors…

Italian colors FAQs

Is colors in Italian masculine or feminine?

Even when they finish is “a”, like in rosa (pink) and viola (purple), colors in Italian are always masculine: il rosso (red), il viola (purple), il verde (green).

Colors that end in “o”, if used as adjectives, take the gender and number of the thing they describe:

Italian English
Una giacca rossa A red jacket
Delle case bianche Some white houses
Dei gatti neri Some black cats

Are colors capitalized in Italian?

No, colors are never capitalized in Italian. Unless, of course, they are used as a proper name, like in the case of Bianca or Viola.

How do you say “gray” in Italian?

We learned how to say nero and bianco, but of course, things are not always black and white. Let’s not forget about grigio (gray).

Gray in Italian also changes according to the gender and number of what it describes: grigio, grigia, grigi, grigie.

Here’s a table with some types of grigio:

English Italian Pronunciation
Pearl gray grigio perla gree-joh pehrr-lah
Gray grigio gree-joh
Charcoal gray grigio antracite gree-joh ann-trah-chee-teh
Slate ardesia arr-deh-zyah
Silver argento arr-jen-toh
Platinum platino plaah-tee-noh
Dove gray tortora torr-toh-rah
Iron gray grigio ferro gree-joh fehr-roh
Steel gray acciaio ah-chah-yoh

What are the colors of the rainbow (arcobaleno) in Italian?

The colors of the arcobaleno in Italian are:

  • rosso (red)
  • arancione (orange)
  • giallo (yellow)
  • verde (green)
  • blu (blue)
  • indaco (indigo)
  • violetto (violet)

How do you say color-blind in Italian?

Color-blind in Italian is daltonico.

A few colorful tips

Now that we’ve looked at all the colors in Italian, you just need to start practicing so that you memorize them! Let’s look at some tips to make it more easy and fun!

1. Play table games!

Playing table games, or Twister, in Italian can be a fun way of memorizing the Italian colors. Many games are color based, and repetition is always a language learner’s best friend!

2. Read about art

If you’re passionate about art, reading art magazines or watching art-related videos can be a great way of revising the colors!

3. Online shopping in Italian

Another great way of keeping up with the colors in Italian is to shop online for new clothes… On Italian websites! Here you’ll learn Italian sizes, the names of Italian clothes and, of course, the colors in Italian!

Expressions with colors in Italian

As we mentioned above, Italian speakers use a lot of slang, expressions and idioms that contain colors. Here are some of the most popular ones, with their literal translation and the actual meaning.

Italian expression Literal translation Meaning in English
Essere al verde To be in green To be broke / have no money
Essere verde d’invidia To be green with envy To feel a lot of envy
Avere il pollice verde To have a green thumb To be good at gardening
Essere (incavolato) nero To be (angry) black To be very angry
Vedere tutto grigio / nero To see everything gray/black To be very pessimistic
A luci rosse With red lights Erotic or pornographic
Diventare / essere rosso dalla vergogna To become/be red with shame To blush
Di punto in bianco From point to white All of a sudden
Settimana bianca White week A skiing holiday
Passare una notte in bianco To pass a white night Not to sleep al night
Un assegno in bianco A check in white A check that isn’t actually covered
Mettere nero su bianco To put black onto white To write down clearly
Cronaca rosa / Cronaca nera Pink / black tabloids Gossip news / crime news
Avere il sangue blu To have blue blood To be royal
Dirne di tutti i colori To speak all colors To express anger in words

All the colors, nero su bianco

So, we’ve put all the colors nero su bianco in this article. Remember, practice is your best friend when you’re learning a foreign language, and the more pleasant and fun you make it to study, the faster you’ll make progress!

Now, go out and describe a beautiful sunset, the color of the sky and sea, nature and animals in Italian to a friend, with all the majestic colors you need!

If you loved this article, discover more Italian vocabulary blog lessons here.

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