Cover Photo: Late afternoon on a terrace in Bergamo, Italy: two statues stand roughly six feet apart, silhouetted against a bright cloudless sky, photographed as if the viewer were intruding on a private moment
Photograph by Mattia Bericchia/Unsplash

How to Say I Love You in Italian

With friends and family, one says “ti voglio bene”—literally “I want good for you.” And I believe love is not only something you feel, but something you do.

I love you

bihabbak/ikI love youta’burnita’brini may you bury me

I love youti amoti voglio beneI want good for youti voglio bene


Beautiful Love, Beautiful Love, don’t leave me / you who don’t believe in miracles, but know how to make them.


ti amo

L’Albero degli zoccoliThe Tree of Wooden Clogste öle béti voglio bene

Him: I would like to know if I can greet you, it would please me to tell you good evening.

Her: If it’s just that, there’s nothing wrong. [Literally: There is nothing wrong inside it.]

Him: And you? You tell me nothing?

Her: Well, I also tell you good evening.

i parla insèma—they talk together—

amare .

Call Me by Your Name .

I want good for youti voglio benete öle béI care for you

Zeyn Joukhadar is the author of the novels The Thirty Names of Night, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Stonewall Book Award, and The Map of Salt and Stars, which won the Middle East Book Award and was a finalist for the Goodreads Choice Awards and the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. His work has appeared in the Kink anthology, Salon, The Paris Review, and elsewhere, and has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He guest edited Mizna's 2020 Queer + Trans Voices issue and is a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers as well as a mentor with the Periplus Collective.

Photo credit: Sara Deidda, 2020.