Meaning of TESORO in Italian

What’s the meaning of tesoro in Italian?

As you will see in this lesson, there is more than one situation in which you can use this word. We will take a look at its different meanings and hear how it is pronounced. We’ll talk about pirates, loving cuddles and Italian bureaucracy.

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Tesoro meaning and pronunciation

Tesoro is the Italian word for treasure.

It comes from the Latin word thesaurus (yes, what you use these days to look up synonyms for a word!). If you want to remember what tesoro means in Italian, think about the tool you use to enrich your vocabulary.

meaning of tesoro - treasure, sweetheart in italian - treasure chest with lots of gold coins, a crown and a sword

So, how do you pronounce it?


Its pronunciation is similar to teh-soh-roh. Be careful not to add a -w sound to the final -o. Italian vowel sounds are clean.

Examples for treasure in Italian with verbs

You will find the word tesoro in Italian most often in combination with certain verbs, such as:

Seppellire/sotterrare un tesoro
To bury a treasure

Valere un tesoro
To be worth a fortune

Dissotterrare un tesoro
To unearth a treasure

one-eyed pirate guarding a treasure chest - seppellire un tesoro in italian

Il tesoro è ancora nella foresta, sepolto sotto un albero.
The treasure is still in the forest, buried under a tree.

Questa collana vale un tesoro. Non la perdere!
This necklace is worth a treasure. Don’t miss it!

Il pirata dissotterra il tesoro.
The pirate is digging up the treasure.

Examples for treasure in Italian with nouns

You will find the word tesoro in Italian most often in combination with certain nouns, such as:

Caccia al tesoro
Treasure hunt

Isola del tesoro
Treasure island

Mappa del tesoro
Treasure map

treasure map with a red "X" - mappa del tesoro in italian

Che la caccia al tesoro abbia inizio!
Let the treasure hunt begin!

Chi ha scritto L’isola del tesoro?
Who wrote Treasure Island?

Il pirata non ricordava dove avesse nascosto la mappa del tesoro.
The pirate couldn’t remember where he had hidden the treasure map.

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

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Examples for treasure in Italian with adjectives

You will find the word tesoro in Italian most often in combination with certain adjectives, such as:

Tesoro artistico
Artistic treasure

Tesoro culturale
Cultural treasure

L’Italia abbonda di tesori artistici.
Italy is rich in artistic treasures.

Roma rappresenta un enorme tesoro culturale.
Rome is an enormous cultural treasure.

This kind of treasure doesn’t mean a chest full of gold. On the contrary, it means something very precious and valuable.

Aiuta Lingookies con un 👍!

Other uses of tesoro in Italian

Tesoro in Italian has several meanings. We’ve seen the most common, as in treasure chest. In general, however, tesoro also means something or someone that is very valuable.

I miei figli sono i miei tesori.
My children are my treasures.

Not only that, but tesoro is also used as a term of endearment, such as sweetheart or honey. For example, an Italian mother might call her son or daughter tesoro. Children are often addressed by their parents with affectionate nicknames to emphasize how much they are loved and valued.

Tesoro, mi andresti a prendere uno scatolone vuoto in soffitta?
Honey, would you bring me an empty box from the attic?

Tesoro di mamma, vieni qui e lasciati abbracciare!
Mommy’s darling, come here and let me hold you!

Grazie dell’aiuto, tesoro.
Thank you for your help, sweetheart.

mom thanking her daughter - grazie dell'aiuto, tesoro

When you are among friends, it is also customary to thank them for their help by saying…

Grazie, sei proprio un tesoro!
Thank you, you are such a sweetheart!

Tesoro… or tesora?
There’s no female version of tesoro as an affectionate nickname, so you will say tesoro whether the recipient of your message is a boy or a girl, a man or a woman.

Treasure in Italian can also be used to refer to the entire wealth of a nation.

Il tesoro della Corona
The Crown jewels

Il tesoro di Stato
State treasury, the revenue of a nation

gold lingot - state treasury

Did you know? In the Italian translation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Il Signore degli Anelli), Gollum’s famous catchphrase My preciousss! was localized as Il mio tesssoro! (my treasure!).

Idiomatic expressions with treasure in Italian

There are two idiomatic expressions featuring tesoro in Italian. One is a verb, the other one is a saying. Let’s have a look at them.

Fare tesoro di qualcosa.
To treasure something.
(To make treasure of sth.)

Chi trova un amico trova un tesoro.
A good friend is worth his weight in gold.
(He who finds a friend finds a treasure.)

For example, you could say:

Farò tesoro delle tue parole.
I shall treasure your words.

Now that we’ve covered all the possible meanings of tesoro in Italian, you’re ready to put your skills to the test and start using it to address your relatives and friends!

What next?

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

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