Italian Word of the Day: Pesca (peach)

The Italian word for peach is pesca (feminine, plural: pesche). Its etymology can be traced back to the classical Latin mala persica which is the word for the Persian apple tree.


Important: Pesca is also the word for fishing in Italian. The two words are homonyms in that they are spelled and sound the same but have different meanings.

Some verbs you’ll often see with pesca include:

  • mangiare una pesca = to eat a peace
  • sbucciare una pesca = to peel a peach
  • cogliere una pesca = to pick a peach
  • tagliare una pesca = to cut a peach
Close up glass with peach yoghurt and fresh peaches on wooden surface
Pesche fresche e yogurt – Fresh peaches and yogurt

The stone of a peach is called un nocciolo di pesca whereas peach juice translates as succo di pesche. Peach jam or peach marmalade is marmellata di pesche.

Change the ending from the feminine a to the masculine o and you get pesco, the word for a peach tree.

Le pesche crescono sul pesco.

Peaches are growing on the peach tree.

A type of peach with smooth red and yellow skin and rich, firm flesh is the pesca noce or pesca nettarina (nectarine).

An uncommon idiom is avere le pesche sotto gli occhi (lit: to have peaches under one’s eyes) which equates to the widespread idiom avere le borse sotto gli occhi (to have bags under one’s eyes).

In the Tuscan dialect, pesca is a figurative word for a bruise (livido) on the body left by a beating.

Just as in English, color pesca (peach colour) denotes a pinkish-yellow colour like that of a peach. You can also use the word to describe the smoothness or softness of a person’s skin.

I neonati hanno la pelle morbida come una pesca.

Newborns have very soft skin.

Newborn fist with yellow blanket around

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