Italian Phrases We Use EVERY Day! – Bello means “It’s nice!” (2023)

Italian Phrases We Use EVERY Day! – Bello means “It’s nice!” (1)

Do you want to speak Italian more easily and confidently by the end of 2019? Well,it is nearing the end of the year, and maybe by now you’ve had a chance to try out your Italian on your dream trip to Italy. Maybeyou’ve seen and experienced nice people and beautiful places on during your stay in the “bel paese.” Why not share about these experiences in Italian?

As I’ve said before, I believe that “commonly used phrases” are the key for how we can all build fluency in any language in a short time.

If we learn how to incorporate“commonly used phrases” that use bello,the much-used Italian adjective that means “nice,” beautiful,” and so much more in Italian, we will be able to describe so many lovely things—just as we do in our native language!

Of course, we also need to learn the variations ofbelloin order to describe all the people and places that we will encounter that are beautiful in Italy!

And, by remembering common Italian phrases that describe what you will encounter in Italy, you will automatically have committed to memory the rules for the adjective bello!

This post is the 27th in a series of Italian phrases we have been trying out in our Conversational Italian!Facebook group. If you’d like to read the earlier posts in the series, “Italian Phrases We Use EVERY Day!” just clickHERE

Many “commonly used phrases” in Italian

describethings that are “nice” or“beautiful”
with the adjective

and its variations – bel, bella, bei, belle, bell’

See below for how this works.

As we allmaster these phrases, so will you. Try my method and let me know how it works. What sentences will you create with these phrases?

Please reply. I’d love to hear from you! Or join our Conversational Italian! groupdiscussion on Facebook.

The basics of the Italian language are introduced in the Conversational Italian for Travelerstextbook and reference booksJust the Verbsand Just the Grammar

found onamazon.comandLearn Travel

The rights to purchase the Conversational Italian for Travelers books in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be obtainedat Learn Travel


How to Use Bello

with Singular Nouns

Bellois an Italian adjective that one will use often when visiting the “bel paese”—so many people are and places are beautiful, nice,andlovelyin Italy! But, the form of this adjective will change according to the masculine or feminine form of the noun (person, place or thing) it modifies, the number of “things” that are beautiful, and also according to where this adjective is placed in the sentence.

When referring to a person, bello/bella are used to mean handsome and beautiful, as well as nice, or lovely. Placesor thingscan be beautiful, and alsoniceor lovely. The context of the conversation will determine which meaning the word bello carries, although in many cases the meanings overlap.

Note here: the adjective buono, which was the topic of our last blog in this series, is usually used when referring to food, which is always“good” in Italy!

Sound complicated? Well, it is… a little bit. But by remembering some common phrases that use the adjectivebello, you will automatically have committed the rules for this adjective to memory!


We will start our discussion of bello with how to modify singular masculine nouns.For masculine nouns, bellois placed either directly after the noun, or at the end of the sentence, after the verb è for is (from the verb essere).In the second case, the adjective bellowill be separated from the noun it modifies, but both the noun and adjective will agree in gender and number. See the first two examples in our table below.

(You may notice that the rules for how and when to change the ending for bello are identical to those forbuono!)

A common Italian exclamation is, “Che bello!” which simply means, “How beautiful!” or “How wonderful!” This expression can also be used when an English speaker might say, “Cool!” to refer to something good.Another common expression one might hear in Italy is, “Che fai di bello?” for “What are you up to?” or “What’re you doing?”

Il giorno è bello.The day is beautiful.
il giorno bellothe beautiful day
Che bello!How beautiful!
How wonderful!
Che fai di bello?What are you up to?
What’re you doing?

But, when the adjective bellois placed before a masculine noun, the last letter -o is dropped from bello(along with the extra “l” when writing the word) to make bel, as in, “Che bel giorno!”for“What a beautiful day!”

You will remember that the Italian masculine nouns that begin with the letterss+consonant, z, ps, or gn are often treated differently in Italian from other masculine nouns that begin with a consonant. For instance, the definite article lo must be used before these nouns, rather than the usual definite article il.

The two most important masculine nouns to remember in this category are studente (student) and zio (uncle).When using these words in conversational Italian,bello usually follows these nouns, so we will not need to change the ending.

Che bel giorno!What a beautiful day!
il bel uomo / il bel bambinothe handsome man / the beautiful baby
lo studente bello / lo zio bellothe handsome student
the handsome uncle


For a feminine noun (person, place or thing), there is only one rule to remember—the adjectivebellaisused to describe something beautiful, nice or lovely, whether placed before or after the noun this adjective modifies.

La donna è bella.The woman is beautiful.
la donna bellathe beautiful woman
la bella donnathe beautiful woman
La città è bella.The city is beautiful.
la bella cittàthe beautiful city
la città bellathe beautiful city

But, of course, there is one exception to use of bella for feminine nouns: if bella is placed before a feminine noun that begins with the letter –a, simply drop the last letter from bella and add an apostrophe to make bell’ for smoother conversation. Since our focus is on conversational Italian, just remember to bring the two words together when speaking, without repeating the -a ending, and don’t worry about the spelling!

A common Italian phrase is “Bella idea!” for “Wonderful idea!” or“Great idea!” Notice that there is no need to drop the -a from bella with this phrase!

la bell’amicathe nice friend
la amica bellathe beautiful friend
Bella idea!Great idea!


How to Use Bello

with Plural Nouns

The adjective bellofollows the usual Italian rules for changing singular adjectives to plural adjectives when placed after the noun.

In general, of course:

A masculine Italian noun and its adjective will end in-o, and this ending will change to -i in the plural.

A feminine Italian noun and its adjective will ends in -a, and this ending will change to -e in the plural.

An Italian noun or adjective that ends in -e may be masculine or feminine, and this ending will change to -i in the plural.

If you are interested in learning more about masculine and feminine words in Italian that end in the letter -e, and how to distinguish one from the other, this You Tube Video may be of help:Italian Grammar by Stella Lucente, LLC.


Plural Bello/Bella after a noun

For the adjective bello,when placed after a noun, he plural will bebelli.

For the adjectivebella, when placed after a noun, he plural will bebelle.

Plural Bello/Bella after a noun

belloogoes toibelli
bellaagoes toebelle

Now we are ready for some examples of noun/adjective combinations using belloto describe the beautiful people and places you will find in Italy!

il giorno bellothe good daybecomes
the good days
i giorni belli
la città bellathe nice citybecomes
the nice cities
le città belle*
la donna bellathe beautiful
the beautiful
le donne belle

*Notice that the ending for città does not change in the plural, since it is invariable by definition, but the definite article and the adjective that modifies it do. If you really want to know if an Italian noun is masculine or feminine, just look to it’s definite article and the adjectives that modify it!


Plural Bello/Bellabefore a noun

When the adjective belloand bella are placed before a noun, changing the singular to the plural form is a little bit more difficult. The endings actually follow the same pattern as the plural definite article (i, gli, and le), as described in the table below.

Don’t get too bogged down trying to memorize these endings right now, though, as most times it is perfectly fine to place bello after the noun and the regular endings can be used!

Plural Bello/Bellabefore a noun

bel(masc. before consonant)goes todefinite art.
bell’(masc. before vowel)goes todefinite art.
bella(fem. before consonant)goes todefinite art.
bell’(fem. before vowel)goes todefinite art.
il bel giornothe beautiful daybecomesi bei giorni
il bell’alberothe beautiful treebecomesi begli alberi
la bella settimanathe nice weekbecomesle belle settimane
la belladonnathe beautiful womanbecomesle belledonne
la bell’europeathe beautiful Europeanbecomesle belle euoropee

There are, of course, many more occasions to use the Italian adjective bello than those I have just listed. How many more an you think of?

Italian Phrases We Use EVERY Day! – Bello means “It’s nice!” (2)

Remember how to use the adjectivebelloand I guarantee you will want to say something “nice” or “beautiful” about Italy every day!

Available onamazon.comandLearn Travel


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