30 Italian Sayings About Food to Inspire You w. Audio

Italian sayings about food

Ciao, amici! Max here, your guide to all things Italian. Join me on this flavorful journey as we explore a comprehensive list of the most popular Italian sayings about food.

Understanding these sayings is essential for language learners and anyone eager to immerse themselves in Italian culture and get to know its people better.

You’ll find the audio for each example to hear how the saying is pronounced and improve your comprehension and pronunciation of Italian. Let’s get started!

1. L’appetito vien mangiando

“Appetite comes with eating.” Once you start enjoying delicious food, your hunger grows. This reflects the Italian love for savoring meals and the joy that comes with sharing food.

2. A tavola non si invecchia

“At the table, one does not age.” Meals are a time to connect with loved ones, making moments spent together feel timeless and cherished in Italian culture.

3. Parla come mangi

“Speak the way you eat.” Italians value straightforwardness in communication, much like they appreciate simplicity and honesty in their food.

4. Bollire in pentola

“Boiling in the pot.” This phrase suggests anticipation for something imminent, much like the excitement of a meal being prepared.

5. Liscio come l’olio

“Smooth as oil.” Used to describe something going smoothly, much like the silky texture of high-quality olive oil in Italian cuisine.

6. Buono come il pane

“Good as bread.” Bread is a staple in Italy, and this saying praises someone who is as fundamentally good as this essential food.

7. La botte piccola fa vino buono

“The small barrel makes good wine.” Italians appreciate that great quality often comes in small quantities, much like their finest wines.

8. È finita a tarallucci e vino

“It ended with tarallucci and wine.” Even disputes can end on a sweet note, highlighting the Italian preference for resolving conflicts with good food and drink.

9. Rendere pan per focaccia

“To return bread for focaccia.” Reflects the idea of repaying a favor or slight in kind, often with a touch of Italian wit and reciprocity.

10. Rompere le uova nel paniere

“To break the eggs in the basket.” This saying means to spoil someone’s plans, much like accidentally ruining a carefully prepared dish.

Suggested Read: 47 Best Italian Sayings About Life

11. Siamo alla frutta

“We are at the fruit.” Signifies the end of a meal or situation, as fruit is traditionally served at the conclusion of Italian meals.

12. Essere la ciliegina sulla torta

“To be the cherry on the cake.” The final perfect touch, akin to the last embellishment on an Italian dessert.

13. Buon cibo, buon vino, buon amici

“Good food, good wine, good friends.” These are the pillars of a joyful life in Italy, celebrating the importance of conviviality and quality.

14. Non si vive di solo pane

“One does not live by bread alone.” Life in Italy is about more than just food; it includes love, culture, and enjoying beautiful experiences.

15. Meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domani

“Better an egg today than a chicken tomorrow.” This highlights the Italian preference for enjoying a small pleasure now rather than waiting for a bigger but uncertain one.

16. Al contadino non far sapere quanto è buono il formaggio con le pere

“Don’t let the farmer know how good cheese is with pears.” This humorous saying advises keeping valuable information to yourself, reflecting the Italian appreciation for delightful food pairings.

17. Chi mangia bene, vive bene

“He who eats well, lives well.” Enjoying delicious food is essential for a happy and healthy life, underscoring the Italian belief in the importance of culinary pleasure. Learn how to say delicious in Italian.

18. Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco

“Not all doughnuts come out with a hole.” Things don’t always turn out perfectly, a reminder to embrace imperfections and the unpredictable nature of life.

19. È inutile piangere sul latte versato

“It’s useless to cry over spilled milk.” Don’t waste time worrying about things that have already happened and cannot be changed, a pragmatic approach to life’s mishaps.

20. O mangi questa minestra o salti dalla finestra

“Either eat this soup or jump out of the window.” Accept what is offered or face the consequences, highlighting the no-nonsense attitude often found in Italian households.

Suggested Read: 10 Italian Proverbs That’ll Make You Feel Instantly Wiser

21. Chi va a letto senza cena tutta la notte si dimena

“He who goes to bed without dinner tosses and turns all night.” Hunger leads to discomfort and restlessness, emphasizing the importance of a good meal for a good night’s sleep.

22. Acqua in bocca!

“Water in the mouth!” Keep it a secret; don’t say anything. This phrase is a playful way of telling someone to keep quiet, like holding water in your mouth to prevent speaking.

23. Fare le nozze coi fichi secchi

“To have a wedding with dried figs.” This saying means doing something important with insufficient means, highlighting Italian resourcefulness and ability to make do with what one has.

24. Come il cacio sui maccheroni

“Like cheese on macaroni.” Something that is a perfect fit, akin to the beloved combination of cheese and pasta in Italian cuisine.

25. Essere un baccalà

“To be a codfish.” To be a simpleton or a bit foolish. This Italian saying about food humorously refers to someone who isn’t very bright, much like the dried and salted fish.

26. Pane al pane, vino al vino

“Bread to bread, wine to wine.” Calling things by their proper names; being straightforward. Italians value honesty and directness, much like the simplicity of bread and wine.

27. Essere come il prezzemolo

“To be like parsley.” To be everywhere, as parsley is used in many dishes. This saying describes someone who is constantly present or involved in everything.

28. Tutto fa brodo

“Everything makes broth.” Every little bit helps; all contributions are valuable. This reflects the Italian ethos of making the most of what you have.

29. Non si può avere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca

“You can’t have a full barrel and a drunk wife.” You can’t have it both ways; you must choose one or the other. This saying highlights the necessity of making choices and accepting trade-offs.

30. Chi ha denti non ha pane e chi ha pane non ha denti

“Those who have teeth don’t have bread, and those who have bread don’t have teeth.” Life’s ironies and misfortunes, where people often lack what they need to enjoy what they have. It speaks to the bittersweet realities of life.

Before You Go…

To hear and learn more real Italian sayings and phrases, tune into The ItalianChat Experience Podcast. Each episode offers an interactive and unique way to practice speaking Italian and build confidence.

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