Bless you in Italian

How exactly do you say bless you in Italian?

Let’s say a friend of yours just sneezed and you want to say something. Or you want to thank someone for their wonderful help.

Salute!
Bless you!

Grazie mille!
Bless you!

This lesson will be useful to learn all the different ways you can translate bless you into Italian. (Yes, there’s more than one!)

Let’s start! Iniziamo!

woman sneezing into mask

How do you say bless you in Italian?

Salute!

Salute is how you translate bless you into Italian after someone sneezes. Literally, this means health.

Salute!
Bless you!

Why do Italians say salute? It’s essentially a way of wishing people “good health”.

In Medieval times when the plague used to reap thousands of victims, people started saying salute to one another after sneezing (starnutire) as a way to fend off the illness. After all, a sneeze (starnuto) is often a sign of an incoming cold!

The plague eventually subsided, but salute as a wish ended up surviving to this day.

Ora non ho te-e-e-eeetciù! – Salute!
Now I don’t have t-a-a-aaachoo! – Bless you!

boy sneezing

This is not the only case in the language where you wish good on people: salute is related to the verb salutare, meaning to greet, and the noun il saluto, meaning the greeting.

You could literally translate salutare as “to send good health vibes”. Saying salute! to mean bless you in Italian after a sneeze is no different.


Grazie mille!

You do NOT translate bless you in Italian as salute when you want to show gratitude to a person. Instead, you use grazie or one of its many variations, simply meaning thanks.

Two of the most heartfelt ways to thank someone in Italian are grazie mille and grazie di cuore.

Grazie mille
Thank you very much, a million thanks, bless you
Literally: A thousand thanks

If you’re extremely grateful about something and you have an informal relationship with the person you’d like to say thank you in Italian to, you can use grazie di cuore.

Grazie di cuore
Thank you very much, bless you
Literally: Thanks from [the] heart

Cuore is the Italian word for heart. Did you know? It rhymes with amore, love! 😉

thank you in italian - grazie di cuore . heart with a "thank you" inside

For example, you could say…

Grazie mille per la tua disponibilità.
Thank you very much for your helpfulness.

Grazie mille per la splendida cena.
Thank you very much for the wonderful dinner.

Grazie di cuore, sei un tesoro!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you are a treasure!

Aiuta Lingookies con un 👍!


How do you say God bless you in Italian?

The verb to bless translates as benedire in Italian, literally “to say well”, from bene, well, and dire, to say.

Benedire
To bless

To translate God bless you in Italian you have to say…

Dio ti benedica!
God bless you! (informal)

Dio la benedica!
God bless you! (formal)

woman praying and crying of joy

Why two translations?

If you are just visiting Italy and often meet new people, unless you both agree on using the informal pronoun tu “you” you will have to stick to the formal pronoun Lei “You” when talking to other adults and people you are not on familiar terms with. With kids, it’s customary to use tu, no matter the degree of familiarity.

You can also say che Dio ti/la benedica, meaning “may God bless you”.

And that’s it, now you know how to say bless you in Italian in all its forms!


What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to say bless you in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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