Rise and shine! We’ve covered greetings like saying hello, introducing yourself, and asking how someone is in Italian, and now it’s time to add another useful greeting to our repertoire.
Make sure your Italian Moka is bubbling with fresh coffee, because we’re about to explore all the different ways you can say Good morning in Italian!
In this article, we’ll break down the subtle differences in meaning between all of the fun ways we can say Good morning, learn some idioms, and check out some cultural aspects of the famous “Buongiorno”!
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How to say good morning in Italian
First things first: what’s the most common way to greet someone in the morning?
It’s Buongiorno! This word is made up of “buon” and “giorno”, which literally means “good” and “day”. It’s the most classic way to greet someone in the morning, and it’s perfect for both informal and formal situations. It’s also used as a response if someone wishes you a good morning or good day in Italian! Here’s a sample conversation:
Gabriella: Buongiorno, Maria!
Maria: Buongiorno, Gabriella! Come va?
You might be thinking, “Wait, doesn’t mattina mean morning?” Yes, it does! However, “buona mattina” isn't really used in Italy as a morning greeting. You might hear something like, “Buona mattinata!”, but it’s not that common.
If your coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, you can even shorten this phrase to “Giorno!” and even “Buondì!” for informal situations.
And depending on where you are in Italy, you can use these greetings up until noon or one o’clock in the afternoon. Now that we’ve covered the basics, check out our table below!
|Good morning! / Good day!||Buongiorno!||Bwon jor-no!||bwonˈdʒorno|
|Good morning! / Good day!||Buondì!||Bwon dee!||bwonˈdi||“Di” is an old way to say “day” (giorno) in Italian.|
|Morning! / Mornin’!||Giorno!||Jor-no!||ˈdʒorno|
|Good morning, how are you?||Buongiorno, come va?||Bwon jor-no! Koh-meh-va?||bwonˈdʒorno | ˈkome vva ‖|
|Good morning, how are you? (Formal)||Buongiorno, come sta?||Bwon jor-no! Koh-meh-sta?||bwonˈdʒorno | ˈkome ssta ‖|
|Good morning, nice to meet you.||Buongiorno! Piacere di conoscerti.||Bwon jor-no! Pee-ah-cheh-reh dee koh-no-shehr-tee||bwonˈdʒorno ‖ pjaˈtʃere di koˈnoʃʃerti ‖|
|Good morning, nice to meet you. (Formal)||Buongiorno! Piacere di conoscerla.||Bwon jor-no! Pee-ah-cheh-reh dee koh-no-shehr-lah||bwonˈdʒorno ‖ pjaˈtʃere di koˈnoʃʃerla ‖|
|Good morning, ma’am.||Buongiorno, Signora.||Bwon jor-no seen-yor-ah.||bwonˈdʒorno siɲˈɲora||Used for an adult woman.|
|Good morning, sir.||Buongiorno, Signore.||Bwon jor-no seen-yor-eh.||bwonˈdʒorno siɲˈɲore||Used for an adult man.|
|Good morning, everyone!||Buongiorno a tutti.||Bwon jor-no ah two-tee.||bwonˈdʒorno a ˈttutti ‖||Used for a group of mixed genders.|
Romantic good mornings in Italian
Your special someone deserves a special greeting, don’t you think? The next time you’re feeling romantic in the morning, try out some of our phrases in the table below. (And hey, you can even use them in a cute way for your pets!)
Keep in mind that “amore mio” and “tesoro mio” are used for all genders, whereas “bella” is used for women and “bello” is used for men.
The fourth greeting in our table was made famous by Roberto Beningi in his famous film, La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful). In these famous clips, you can hear how his character in the film greeted his love every morning and truly made her feel like a princess. I swear I’m not crying…well, actually, I am.
|Good morning, my love.||Buongiorno, amore mio!||Bwon jor-no ah-mo-reh mee-oh!||bwonˈdʒorno | aˈmore ˈmio ‖||Used for both men and women.|
|Good morning, beautiful.||Buongiorno, bella!||Bwon jor-no beh-la!||bwonˈdʒorno | ˈbɛlla ‖||Used specifically for women.|
|Good morning, handsome.||Buongiorno, bello!||Bwon jor-no beh-lo!||bwonˈdʒorno | ˈbɛllo ‖||Used specifically for men.|
|Good morning, princess!||Buongiorno, principessa!||Bwon jor-no preen-chee-pess-ah!||bwonˈdʒorno | printʃiˈpessa ‖||Used specifically for women. There isn’t really a “prince” version for men.|
|Good morning, sweetie!||Buongiorno, tesoro mio!||Bwon jor-no teh-so-ro mee-oh!||bwonˈdʒorno | teˈzɔro ˈmio ‖||Used for both men and women.|
Other morning greetings in Italian
This next table has some useful and fun ways to greet someone in the morning.
You may be familiar with “Buona giornata!” as it’s commonly used when saying goodbye to someone in the morning. Basically, it’s the perfect way to say “Have a great day!”. You can use it for just about every situation, like saying goodbye to your barista or to a shop owner after paying for your favorite veggies.
Some of these phrases can have slightly different meanings depending on their context and the conversation surrounding them. For example, the phrase, “Il buongiorno si vede dal mattino.”, is an Italian proverb that basically means “A good day starts with the morning”. So basically, you can tell if it’s going to be a good day from the morning!
But what if your day isn’t off to such a great start? Imagine that you’re walking in your favorite piazza when suddenly, it starts to rain unexpectedly. You don’t have an umbrella, so you could say “Il buongiorno si vede dal mattino.” sarcastically, because the day is starting off on the wrong foot.
Sometimes, the literal context of these idioms can be helpful when understanding their meaning. In Italian, you won’t hear about “early birds” or “worms” when talking about morning productivity. Instead, the phrase “Il mattino ha l’oro in bocca!” (literally: the morning has gold in its mouth) would be the equivalent of “Early bird gets the worm!”. Another fun phrase about getting up early and seizing the day is “Chi dorme non piglia pesci!” (literally: he who sleeps doesn’t catch fish).
|Have a great day.||Buona giornata!||Bwon-ah jor-nah-ta!||ˈbwɔna dʒorˈnata ‖||This is typically used when saying goodbye to someone in the morning.|
|Have a great day. (Formal)||Le auguro una buona giornata.||Leh ow-goo-roh oo-na beh-la jor-nah-ta.||ˈle ˈau̯ɡuro ˈuna ˈbwɔna dʒorˈnata ‖||“Buona giornata!” is neutral, but if you want to be more formal than usual, just add “Le auguro una…” beforehand.|
|It’s time for coffee!||È l’ora del caffè!||Eh lore-ah del kaf-fe||ˈɛ llˈora ˈdel kafˈfɛ ‖|
|Wake up!||Svegliati!||sveh-lya-tee||zveʎˈʎati ‖|
|Did you sleep well?||Hai dormito bene?||Aye door - me - toh beh - neh?||ˈai̯ dorˈmito ˈbɛne ‖|
|A good day starts with the morning. / We’re off to a great start (sarcastic).||Il buongiorno si vede dal mattino.||Il bwon-jor-no see veh-deh dal mah-tee-no||il bwonˈdʒorno si ˈvede dal matˈtino ‖||The tone and context can change the meaning.|
|The early bird catches the worm.||Il mattino ha l’oro in bocca.||Il mah-tee-no ah lore-oh een boh-ka||il matˈtino a llˈɔro im ˈbokka|
|If you snooze, you lose!||Chi dorme non piglia pesci.||Khi dor-meh non pee-lya pesch-ee||ki ˈddɔrme ˈnom ˈpiʎʎa ˈpeʃʃi|
Pavarotti says “Buongiorno!”
The famous Italian operatic tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, had quite a few things to say about the morning! In one of his famous songs, “Buongiorno a te”, (literally: Good morning to you!), you can listen to him saying good morning to all of the things he was thankful for each day.
The table below highlights how Buongiorno is used in each verse. Even if you can’t hit all of the notes like Pavarotti did, it’s still a great way to practice!
|Buongiorno a questo giorno che si sveglia
Oggi con me,
Buongiorno al latte ed al caffè,
Buongiorno a chi non c'è...
|Good morning to this new day that’s awoken with me
Good morning to milk and coffee
Good morning to those who are not here…
|Buongiorno voce, vita mia, buongiorno fantasia,
Buongiorno musica che sei l'oblio dei giorni miei...
|Good morning voice - my life
Good morning imagination
Good morning music, you are the oblivion of my days.
|Buongiorno cari figli mei, buongiorno a tutti voi!||Good morning my dear children,
Good morning to all of you!
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We’re ready to start the day!
Now you’re fully prepared to wish someone a Buongiorno in a wide range of contexts! And you also have a handy list full of fun morning idioms and other phrases to continue the conversation!
So, arrivederci e buona giornata! Have a lovely day and remember: Il mattino ha l’oro in bocca, so don’t forget to check out more articles on our Italian blog to brush up on vocabulary and phrases for other moments throughout your day.