Italian Word of the Day: Mondo (world)

The usage of the word mondo (plural: mondi), which translates as world, is more or less the same in Italian as it is in English.

IPA: /món·do/

In its most literal sense, it can refer specifically to the physical planet that we inhabit (Earth), or to other heavenly bodies outside of our solar system.

L’astronauta riesce a vedere il mondo dall’astronave.

The astronaut can see the world from the spaceship.


Il nostro mondo = Our world

In addition to this, there are two figurative meanings: mankind (and the society/civilisation he has created) and one’s own inner world.

  • Immagina se tutto il mondo vivesse in pace. = Imagine if the whole world lived in peace. (mankind)
  • Roberto vive nel suo mondo. = Roberto lives in his own world. (inner world)

Below are a few useful terms that contain the word mondo:

  • cittadino del mondo = citizen of the world
  • la fine del mondo = the end of the world
  • pace nel mondo = peace on earth
  • primo mondo = first world
  • terzo mondo = third world, developing world
  • un mondo a parte = another world

The expression un mondo di is used in a similar way to the English expression a world of to mean a lot or very much. For example, a world of good would translate as un mondo di bene.

Andare in vacanza mi farebbe un mondo di bene adesso.

Going on holiday would do me a world of good right now.


Sosteniamo il nostro mondo! = Let’s support our world!

Mondo can also be found in certain mild expletives in Italian to express anger or surprise. These include porco mondo (pork world), mondo ladro (world thief), mondo cane (dog world) and mondo boia (lowlife world).


Expressions featuring ‘mondo’

There are literally dozens of expressions and idioms in Italian that use the word mondo. Below is just a taster of what you might hear in conversation! If you want to see a full list of expressions, we highly suggest checking out the list in the Corriere Dictionary.

Cose dell’altro mondo

Literal translation: things from another world
English meaning: astonishing, not to be believed


Da che mondo è mondo

Literal translation: from when world is world
English meaning: since the dawn of time


Essere fuori dal mondo

Literal translation: to be out of the world
English meaning: to be out of this world, amazing


Spaccare il mondo

Literal translation: to break the world
English meaning: to take on the world


È la fine del mondo

Literal translation: it’s the end of the world
English meaning: it’s excellent, amazing


Per niente al mondo

Literal translation: for nothing in the world
English meaning: at any cost


Tutto il mondo è paese

Literal translation: the whole world is a town
English meaning: people are the same wherever you go


Mettere al mondo

Literal translation: to put into the world
English meaning: to bring into the world, give birth


Ligabue – Il centro del mondo

Rock singer Ligabue wrote various songs with the word mondo in the title. Here is one called The centre of the world.

Portami dove mi devi portare
Africa, Asia o nel primo locale
Fammi vedere che cosa vuol dire partire davvero
Portami dove non posso arrivare
Dove si smette qualsiasi pudore
Fammi sentire che cosa vuol dire viaggiare leggeri

Sei sempre così il centro del mondo

Il viaggio potente nel cuore del tempo andata e ritorno

Portami ovunque
Portami al mare
Portami dove
Non serve sognare
Chiedimi il cambio
Solo se devi
Sei brava a guidare
E dopo portami oltre che lo sai fare

Dove sparisce qualsiasi confine
Fammi vedere che cosa vuol dire
Viaggiare col cuore

Sei sempre così il centro del mondo

Il primo bengala sparato nel cielo quando mi perdo
Sei sempre così il centro del mondo

Ti prendi il mio tempo
Ti prendi il mio spazio
Ti prendi il mio meglio

Portami dove mi devi portare
Venere, Marte o altri locali
Fammi vedere che cosa succede a viaggiare davvero

Sei sempre così
Il centro del mondo
Il primo bengala sparato nel cielo quando mi perdo
Sei sempre così
Il centro del mondo
Ti prendi il mio tempo
Ti prendi li mio spazio
Ti prendi il mio meglio

Take where you need to take me
Africa, Asia or to the first bar
Let me see what it means
to leave for real
Take me where I can’t go
Where we stop all modesty
Make me feel what it means
to travel light

You’re always like that, the centre of the world
The powerful trip in the heart of the time, there and back

Take me anywhere
Take me to the sea
Take me where
there’s no need to dream
Ask me to take over
only if you have to
You’re good at driving
And after take me beyond, you know how to do it
Where every border disappears
Let me see what it means
To travel with the heart

You’re always like that, the centre of the world
The first rocket launched in the sky
When I get lost
You’re always like that, the centre of the world
You take my time
You take my space
You take the best of me

Take me where you need to take me
Venus, Mars or other bars
Show me what happens when traveling for real

You’re always like this
The centre of the world
The first rocket launched in the sky
When I get lost
You’re always like this
The centre of the world
You take my time
You take my space
You take the best of me