How do you say BUTTERFLY in Italian?

How exactly do you say butterfly in Italian?

As you will see in this lesson, there are many kinds of Italian butterflies. Read on to learn them all!


Let’s start! Iniziamo!

How do you say butterfly in Italian?


Farfalla is how you translate butterfly into Italian.

La farfalla
The butterfly

how do you say butterfly in italian - black and blue butterfly

It is a feminine noun, so in its singular form it is preceded the articles la (definite, the butterfly) and una (indefinite, a butterfly).

Una farfalla
A butterfly

Delle farfalle
Some butterflies

La farfalla
The butterfly

Le farfalle
The butterflies

Its pronunciation is similar to far-fahl-lah and it comes from the Latin word far-far, which should remind of the sound butterflies make when they flap their wings. Make sure the final -a doesn’t have a -y quality, as Italian vowel sounds are clean!

Questo bruco diventerà una bellissima farfalla.
This caterpillar will become a beautiful butterfly.

La vita di una farfalla dura tre giorni.
The lifetime of a butterfly is three days.

Marco afferrò la farfalla tra pollice e indice.
Marco grabbed the butterfly between his thumb and index finger.


Farfalla, alongside farfallino, small butterfly, is also the translation for bow-tie in Italian. It is so called because its shape resembles a butterfly! It can also be translated as papillon, from “butterfly” in French.

Farfallino is a masculine noun.

Il farfallino
The bow-tie
Literally: Small butterfly

Il papillon
The bow-tie

purple bow-tie - how do you say butterfly in italian?

A mio figlio piace indossare i papillon.
My son likes wearing bow-ties.

Ho comprato un farfallino a pois rossi.
I bought a red polka dot bow tie.


The one Italian suffix is used to make things larger. In this sense, farfallone literally means big butterfly, but it actually translates to womanizer. This is because this kind of partner has a tendency to “fly away” to other women.

Il farfallone
The womanizer, the flirt
Literally: Big butterfly

man kissing a woman on her cheek and a guy spying on them - how do you say butterfly in italian?

Il mio ex era un vero farfallone.
My ex was a real flirt.

Con farfallone si intende un uomo che corteggia molte donne.
A “big butterfly” is defined as a man who flirts with many women.

Other words with butterfly in Italian

There are many adjectives that are used together with butterfly in Italian to describe it. Some of these are…

Farfalla notturna
Night butterfly, moth

Farfalla colorata
Colored butterfly

Farfalla stupenda
Beautiful butterfly

Una farfalla notturna continua a svolazzare attorno alla lampada.
A night butterfly keeps fluttering around the lamp.

Ho appena visto una farfalla stupenda sulla pianta di rose in giardino.
I just saw a beautiful butterfly on the rose plant in the garden.

how do you say butterfly in italian? - brown and purple butterfly

The antennae of a butterfly are called antenne, from the singular feminine word antenna.

The wings are called ali, from the singular feminine word ala.

Le ali di una farfalla sono delicatissime.
A butterfly’s wings are very, very delicate.

Butterflies are born from caterpillars, bruchi, from the masculine bruco.

Il bruco
The caterpillar

Un giorno questo bruco si trasformerà in una bellissima farfalla.
One day this caterpillar will turn into a beautiful butterfly.

brown and orange smiling caterpillar

When metamorphosis (metamorfosi) occurs, they wrap themselves in a bozzolo, a cocoon.

Il bozzolo
The cocoon

I bruchi si trasformano in farfalle quando sono nel bozzolo.
Caterpillars transform into butterflies while they’re in a cocoon.

Aiuta Lingookies con un 👍!

Common verbs with butterfly in Italian

A butterfly in Italian can most commonly svolazzare, fly about, or simply volare, to fly.

To fly about

To fly

La farfalla vola nell’aria e si posa sulla mano del bambino.
The butterfly flies through the air and rests on the kid’s hand.

two kids playing with yellow butterflies

A butterfly in Italian can also sfarfallare, meaning to flit about.

This verb is also used to translate to flicker when talking about dying lightbulbs.

To flit about

La luce sta sfarfallando. È ora di cambiare la lampadina.
The light is flickering. It’s time to change the bulb.

When it’s time for the bruco to come out of its cocoon, the verb uscire dal bozzo, to come out of the cocoon, is used.

This verb is also used figuratively to mean very shy people who do something that requires some courage on their part, like going to a party.

Uscire dal bozzolo
To come out of the cocoon

Dovresti uscire un po’ dal bozzolo, Veronica, e divertirti un po’.
You should come out of the cocoon a little bit, Veronica, and have some fun.

how do you say butterfly in italian? - green cocoon on a branch

People who like to hunt butterflies are said to be collezionisti, collectors. They hunt down butterflies using a retino, a net, also called acchiappafarfalle. To hunt is translated into Italian as cacciare or andare a caccia (to go hunting).

Andare a caccia di farfalle
To hunt butterflies

Butterfly catcher

And that’s it, now you know how to say butterfly in Italian!

What next?

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

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