The Italian proverbs
Italian proverbs are short phrases, drawn from the observation and experience of the ancient intellectuals and sages of the transalpine country.
Many of them are sentences coined through the collective experience along the course of time, with themes that go from climatology to the invariable and fatalistic destiny of human existence.
They constitute the cultural baggage of the Italian people in the times when the oral tradition was the only belt of transmission of popular wisdom from one generation to another.
What’s a proverb?
The proverb (from Latin proverbium) is a type of paremia, defined as a sententious statement of known origin and often with authorship, whose clearest characteristics are antiquity, grave tone, idiomatic gradation, potential variation and preferably cultured use.
81 Italian proverbs
- One does not die of love.
- All is well if it ends well.
- You have to go to Naples at least once in your life.
- While there is life, there is hope.
- After the ship has sunk, everyone says they knew how it could have been saved.
- Everything comes to those who know how to wait.
- The pitcher goes to the source so much that it finally breaks.
- He who is well with himself is well with everyone.
- God, if you close a door, you open a gate.
- Patience leads to science.
- We are all Adam’s children.
- Drop by drop the stone is dug.
- Not all that glitters is gold.
- A cat locked up becomes a lion.
- To err is human, to persevere in error is diabolical.
- A gift horse does not look at its teeth.
- God sees and provides.
- The heart is not commanded.
- Love moves the sun and the stars.
- Where gold speaks, every tongue is silent.
- An old donkey does not learn.
- New year, new life.
- He who is silent gives.
- There is no worse deaf person than the one who does not want to hear.
- Golden key opens all doors.
- To ask is lawful, to answer is courtesy.
- Better a live donkey than a dead doctor.
- The habit does not make the monk.
- The fox is dumb in hair but not in habit.
- He who owes it, fears it.
- Where the heart leans, the foot walks.
- Every madman wants to give advice.
- Revenge never healed a wound.
- Learn to lose and you will learn to win and succeed.
- Woman at the wheel, constant danger.
- Every Tuesday has its Sunday.
- An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
- Hurry up slowly, and you’ll reach the palace.
- To good understanding, few words.
- Happy month, which begins with the Saints and ends with Saint Andrew.
- Hope is the last thing to be lost.
- Love has reasons that reason does not understand.
- It does not do much, but it does not do what it should do.
- The tongue has no bone but cuts the thickest part.
- An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
- Little hands that you do not give, what do you expect?
- Whoever starts well is in the middle of the work.
- Neither Saturday without sun, nor little girl without love.
- Experience is worth more than theory.
- Do not storm, my July, but say goodbye to my wine.
- Weeds never die.
- To show off you have to suffer.
- Do it yourself if you want it well done.
- If in November you hear the thunder, the harvest will be good.
- A barking dog does not bite.
- He who knows nothing, doubts nothing.
- In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.
- Bad company leads men to the gallows.
- Wisdom comes from listening; from speaking, repentance.
- Better to have little than nothing.Appearances can be deceiving.
- Where you go, do what you see.
- Keep your mouth shut and your ears open.
- Once the game is over, the king and the pawn return to the same box.
- Good words do not feed cats.
- Rome was not built in a day.
- I will protect myself from my enemies, may God protect me from my friends.
- True friends are those who tell you your face is dirty.
- Help never comes too late.
- He who sows wind, reaps storms.
- Better a madman in company than a wise man alone.
- Love and cough cannot be hidden.
- A running horse needs no spurs.
- Today for you, tomorrow for me.
- Love makes time go by; time makes love go by.
- Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, give to God what is God’s
- Lies have short legs.
- All roads lead to Rome.
- He who finds a friend finds a treasure.
- One by one, he does not harm anyone.
- A man’s worst enemies are often those of his own house.