15 Cute Italian Nicknames for Your Boyfriend or Husband

While we may publicly mock the idea of saccharine nicknames for our partners, let’s admit the undeniable truth: behind closed doors, we all secretly love using those cute nicknames (what we call parole sdolcinate) with our boyfriends. And science has our backs on this one. It turns out that addressing our partner with pet names is a fantastic way to sprinkle some fun and intimacy into the relationship!

Like any other language, Italian has a marvelous assortment of romantic nicknames that will melt your loved one’s heart. In this article, I’ll share the most popular ones, mostly drawing inspiration from the animal kingdom and even gastronomy, plus a couple of very mushy expressions…

cute italian nicknames for boyfriend

Italian nicknames for your boyfriend or husband

There is no limit to creativity when it comes to sweet names for your beloved, from spontaneous creations to something inspired by sweet memories together. Whether your partner is a native Italian or has a fondness for all things Italian, here are the most popular romantic nicknames guaranteed to surprise him. The important thing is not to do it in front of his buddies, to avoid turning him into a blushing mess of embarrassment!

Amore (“Love”)

When it comes to expressing our deep affection for that remarkable man in our life, amore is the go-to choice that’s easy, breezy, and not overly cheesy. And there’s a whole array of popular variations to make it even more delightful: the classic amore mio (“my love”), the charming amore bello (“beautiful love”), the sweet combo of amore mio bello (“my beautiful love”), and the adorable amorino (“little love”). Among youngsters, it’s common to hear the shortened version: amò.


Ciao, amore! Com’è andata oggi? = Hello, love! How did it go today?

Tesoro (Darling”)

Tesoro is another popular Italian term of endearment for your boyfriend or husband, often used in long-term relationships and marriage. When you call him your tesoro, it means that he is special to you and that you care about him deeply, though to me it feels less strong than Amore. To add a touch of sweetness, you can enhance the word with the suffixes -ino (tesorino) and -uccio (tesoruccio), both meaning “little treasure.” There are also variations like tesoro mio (“my darling”) and tesoro mio bello (my beautiful darling).


Tesoro, hai preso i biglietti per domani? = Darling, did you buy the tickets for tomorrow?

Bellissimo (“Gorgeous”)

If you’re looking to get your boyfriend all fired up and feeling fantastic, there’s one surefire way to do it: call him bellissimo! This cute nickname has the power to make him feel sexy and boost his confidence – even if it’s intended in a platonic manner. Bellissimo and its variant bello (“handsome”) are also quite popular among the young crowd, as they sound fresh and not so serious.


Buongiorno, bellissimo!  = Good morning, handsome!

Piccolo (“Baby”)

Calling your man piccolo evokes feelings of warmth, love, and an irresistible protective instinct. It’s a term of endearment that effortlessly captures the essence of your love and affection in a very intimate way.


Piccolo, mi manchi tanto. = Baby, I miss you so much.

Bimbo (“Baby”)

Just like piccolo, bimbo is another sweet and affectionate Italian nickname for your boyfriend. It’s absolutely perfect if he’s got that irresistible tenderness and an unbelievably adorable demeanour.


Sei il mio tutto, bimbo. = You are my everything, baby.

Vita mia (“My life”)

I find the expression vita mia to be incredibly romantic. Just two simple words, yet they encompass everything you want to express to that special person in your life. This beautiful Italian nickname is particularly popular in the enchanting Neapolitan dialect. When you hear it from a local, it takes on a whole new level of magic with its musicality and theatricality.


Ti amo, vita mia. = I love you, my life.

Patato (“Potato”)

Let’s move to the word of gastronomy with patato, a cute, funny nickname we often use you to express deep fondness and affection towards our significant other. For an extra dose of adorableness, you can use the variations patatino (“little potato”) or patatone (“big potato”), which make the nickname even more playful.  It’s important to note that while the male version of this nickname exudes sweetness and endearment, the female version may have vulgar connotations, so exercise caution when using it.


Sei bellissimo, patatino mio. = You’re beautiful, my little potato.

Caro (“Dear”)

Compared to the other options mentioned in this list, caro exudes a subtle formality and an old-world charm. It’s a term of endearment that extends beyond romantic connotations, commonly employed by seasoned married partners, close friends, and even colleagues.


Com’è andata al lavoro oggi, caro? = How did work go today, dear?

Gioia mia (“My joy”)

Gioia mia is a beautiful way to tell someone he is a very dear person and they mean the world to us. Though the ending denotes feminine, it can be used for both women and men. It’s more widespread in the southern regions, where it’s often used also as a filler word in conversations.


Quando sei con me, tutto è più bello, gioia mia. = When you are with me, everything is more beautiful, my darling.

Cucciolo (Puppy”) 

The oh-so-adorable cucciolo is a nickname that exudes warmth, affection, and that lovely sense of protectiveness you feel towards your beloved boyfriend. And when the affection levels skyrocket, you can turn it into cucciolotto or cucciolone – a big, cuddly puppy that takes cuteness to a whole new level!


Mi manchi tanto, cucciolo. = I miss you so much, my love.

Tato (“Honey”)

Tato is a somewhat childish Italian nickname for boyfriends – a bit too cheesy for my liking, but still quite popular. Let’s just say that if your man is a super sweet soul, so saccharine that your sweetness levels hit the max, then Tato is the perfect Italian pet name to embrace. The word itself is already pretty sweet, but if you turn it into tatino, it becomes delightfully sugary.


Ti amo, tato. Sei la mia felicità. = I love you, honey. You are my happiness.

Ciccino (Sweetheart”)

Ciccino is another warm and childish term of endearment for a guy who’s super cute and cuddly. If you are aiming for something cheesy and cringe, then there’s no better Italian nickname for your boyfriend than this one.


Ciccino, non vedo l’ora di vederti stasera. = Sweetheart, I can’t wait to see you tonight.

Orsetto (“Little bear”)

When it comes to adorable nicknames for our boyfriends, we take inspiration from the animal kingdom too. Orsetto, for example, is the ultimate cuddle buddy title for your big guy! When he’s the most huggable person on earth, and no one else brings you more joy when you wrap your arms around him, then orsetto is the go-to nickname that perfectly captures your affectionate feelings.


Amore mio, sei il mio orsetto dolce. = My love, you’re my sweet, little bear.

Polpetta (“Meatball”)

Who says your favorite dish can’t transform into the most adorable nickname? In the land of culinary excellence, Italy, where food is an integral part of everyday life, being likened to a delectable meatball (polpetta) is the ultimate expression of affection. It’s a sweet nickname for a guy who exudes a sense of warmth, coziness, and familiarity.


Ti amo, polpetta mia. = I love you, my meatball.

Topolone (“Big mouse”)

Topolone is a flirty moniker, blending sweetness and playfulness into a single word. While it may seem odd to compare your special someone to a mouse, this Italian term is a creative way to show your admiration for your man while subtly conveying that you find him incredibly appealing. But here’s a word of caution: the female version of this nickname can carry a slightly more mischievous connotation, so use it carefully.


Sei il mio topolone. = You’re my big mouse.

So, what Italian nickname have you chosen for your boyfriend or husband? Let us know in the comments below!

Valentina is a travel writer in love with her country. Having travelled widely around the globe, she realised there was more to explore closer to home and decided to put the passport aside for a while. You can follow her adventures around Italy on her blog myitaliandiaries.com

cute italian nicknames for your boyfriend or husband

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