Italian Phrase of the Week: La vita è bella! (Life is beautiful!)

The phrase « Life is beautiful » translates as « La vita è bella » in Italian. It is made up of the following components:

La (feminine form of definite article ‘the‘) + vita (life) + è (third person of essereto be‘) + bella (feminine form of bellobeautiful‘).

It’s important to note that you cannot say vita è bella because in Italian, an article is almost always required in front of the noun. Also make sure not to forget the grave accent above the è. Without the accent, e translates as and rather than is!

Another possible way of saying « Life is beautiful » is « La vita è bellissima ». The only difference is that bellissima is more emphatic than bella on its own. Other variations include:

  • La vita è meravigliosa. = Life is wonderful.
  • La vita è la cosa più bella che ci sia. = Life is the most beautiful thing there is.
silhouette of people jumping in front of sunset on the beach
Salta che la vita è bella! = Jump because life is beautiful!

La vita è bella is also the name of a 1997 Italian comedy-drama film starring, directed and co-written by Roberto Benigni. It tells the tale of Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian bookshop owner who uses his imagination to shield his son from the horrors of internment in a Nazi concentration camp. Both a critical and financial success, it became one of the highest-grossing non-English language films of all time.

Below you can watch a famous scene from the film that demonstrates the comic talent of Benigni.

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