Italian Word of the Day: Lusso (luxury)

The Italian word for luxury is lusso (masculine, plural: lussi). Both English and Italian terms can be traced back to the Latin luxus meaning ‘excess‘.


Some common verbs you’ll often see paired with lusso include:

  • vivere nel lusso = to live a life of luxury
  • nuotare nel lusso = to live a life of luxury (lit. to swim in luxury)
  • prendersi il lusso = to allow oneself the luxury (lit. to take the luxury for oneself)
  • concedersi il lusso = to allow oneself the luxury

Andare in vacanza è un lusso che non tutti possono permettersi.

Going on vacation is a luxury that not everyone can afford.

The exclamation Che lusso! is how you would say How luxurious! or Talk about posh!

When describing something that is luxurious (lussuoso) in nature, Italians often use the adjectival phrase di lusso (literally of luxury), which happens to share the same origin as the English word deluxe.

  • albergo di lusso = luxury hotel
  • macchina di lusso = luxury car
  • ristorante di lusso = posh restaurant
  • appartamento di lusso = luxury apartment
Interior of red antique luxury car
Una macchina di lusso – A luxury car

To say that something has gone extraordinarily well in spite of the circumstances or contrary to your expectations, you can use the colloquial phrase andare di lusso (literally to go luxuriously). For example, if you managed to pass an exam despite not studying, you could say:

Non ho studiato ma ho superato l’esame con 30/30. Mi è andata di lusso!

I didn’t study but I passed the exam with 30/30. I got off lucky!

Some Italian synonyms meaning luxury include fasto, fastosità, sfarzo, sfarzosità and opulenza.

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