how to spell Italian lesson

How to Spell in Italian: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners With Spelling Exercises

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let's start learning to spell in Italian
Iniziamo means “let’s start”!


How To Spell Italian

Embarking on the journey to learn Italian can be an exciting but also daunting venture for an English Speaker. It’s even more so when you start learning to speak and write in Italian because words in Italian are pronounced and written much differently than foreign words. That’s why to know how to spell in Italian is your best way forward.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll delve into the essential techniques for mastering Italian spelling. We’ll cover:

Once you know how to spell Italian words, you’ll be able to read better, remember the correct pronunciation and even how to write them. It all starts with spelling.



First: Learn the Italian Alphabet

As outlined in my previous article “Italian Alphabet Pronunciation Made Easy”, mastering the foundations of the Italian alphabet is crucial for spelling proficiency.

Unlike English, Italian only has 21 letters and is considered a very phonetic language where letters map consistently to sounds. Getting to know these 21 letters, their names in Italian, and proper pronunciation is the vital first step to accurate spelling.

Check out my complete guide on the Italian alphabet pronunciation for an in-depth look at all the unique letters and sounds that make up this beautiful language. You’ll learn tips and techniques to develop an authentic Italian accent that makes words leap off the page accurately when spelling.



practice how to spell Ancona in Italian
Practice the phonetic alphabet: A come ANCONA


Second: Get To Know The Phonetic Alphabet

The Italian phonetic alphabet provides standardized phonetic transcriptions for each letter, regardless of regional accents. Keep this helpful reference guide on hand to precisely spell Italian words while on the phone.

See the table below for the phonetic spelling of all Italian alphabet letters to take the guesswork out of writing pronunciation. Knowing these phonetic translations allows you to accurately convey the signature sounds of Italian words.


LetterInternational Phonetic AlphabetPronunciation
A[a] come Anconaah koh-meh Ahn-koh-nah
B[bi] come Bolognabee koh-meh Boh-loh-nyah
C[ʧi] come Comochee koh-meh Koh-moh
D[di] come Domodossoladee koh-meh Doh-moh-dohs-soh-lah
E[e] come Empolieh koh-meh Ehm-poh-lee
F[ˈɛffe] come Firenzeeff-eh koh-meh Fee-rehn-tseh
G[dʒi] come Genovajee koh-meh Jeh-noh-vah
H[ˈakka] come hotelah-kah koh-meh hoh-tehl
I[i] come Imolaee koh-meh Ee-moh-lah
L[ˈɛlle] come Livornoel-leh koh-meh Lee-vohr-noh
M[ˈɛmme] come Milanoemm-eh koh-meh Mee-lah-noh
N[ˈɛnne] come Napolienn-eh koh-meh Nah-poh-lee
O[o] come ombrellooh koh-meh ohm-brehl-loh
P[pi] come Padovapee koh-meh Pah-doh-vah
Q[ku] come quadrokoo koh-meh kwah-droh
R[ˈɛrre] come Romaerr-eh koh-meh Roh-mah
S[ˈɛsse] come Savonaess-eh koh-meh Sah-voh-nah
T[ti] come Torinotee koh-meh Toh-ree-noh
U[u] come Udineoo koh-meh Yoo-dee-neh
V[vu] come Veneziavoo koh-meh Veh-neh-ts’yah
Z[ˈdzɛta] come zerozeh-tah koh-meh zeh-roh
Italian Phonetic Alphabet

Italian phonetic alphabet spelling


As you might be aware, the Italian alphabet lacks five letters when compared to English, namely J, K, W, X, and Y. These “foreign” letters are represented in Italian by distinct spellings:

J – i lunga

K – kappa

W – doppia vu

X – ics

Y – ipsilon

How to spell the Italian foreign letters



Third: Master Your Alphabet Pronunciation

As described in my guide to Italian alphabet pronunciation, listening extensively to native Italian speech is crucial for intuitively grasping the rhythm and flow of the language.

Hear Italian letters and words roll off the tongue in the recordings of the full Italian alphabet song, as well as real Italians speaking conversationally. Let these audio examples train your ear to recognize and replicate the unique vowels, consonants, stress patterns, and melodic nature of Italian pronunciation.

With dedicated listening practice, your mental mapping between the written and spoken forms of Italian words will become second nature. Before you know it, you’ll be spelling Italian as accurately as you pronounce it.


How To Spell Italian Letters

To spell Italian letters, you can follow these representations:

A – a

B – bi

C – ci

D – di

E – e

F – effe

G – gi

H – acca

I – i

L – elle

M – emme

N – enne

O – o

P – pi

Q – cu

R – erre

S – esse

T – ti

U – u

V – vu

Z – zeta


Listen to me spell all the Italian letters and let’s practice together!

How to spell the Italian letters



practice how to spell bellissimo in Italian
Try spelling B-E-L-L-I-S-S-I-M-O


Fourth: Practice – How To Spell Italian Words

In this section, we’ll focus on practicing the spelling of some commonly searched Italian words. While it’s not feasible to spell out every Italian word, I’ve provided the spellings for some frequently sought-after terms below. In the next section, we will continue our practice by spelling numbers, colors, and names.


How to spell Italy in Italian: Italy in Italian is “Italia“, and it’s spelled: I – i, T – ti, A – a, L – elle, I – i, A – a.

How to spell Italian in Italian: Italian in Italian is “Italiano“, and it’s spelled: I – i, t – ti, a – a, l – elle, i – i, a – a, n – enne, o – o.

How to spell “and” in Italian: “And” in Italian is “e,” and it’s spelled: E – e.

How to spell buongiorno in Italian: “Buongiorno” in Italian is spelled: B – bi, u – u, o – o, n – enne, g – gi, i – i, o – o, r – erre, n – enne, o – o.

How to spell “bye” in Italian: “Bye” in Italian is commonly expressed as “ciao,” and it’s spelled: C – ci, i – i, a – a, o – o.


How to spell bellissimo in Italian: “Bellissimo” in Italian is spelled: B – bi, e – e, l – elle, l – elle, i – i, s – esse, s – esse, i – i, m – emme, o – o.

How to spell bruschetta in Italian: “Bruschetta” in Italian is spelled: B – bi, r – erre, u – u, s – esse, c – ci, h – acca, e – e, t – ti, t – ti, a – a.

How to spell Italian food in Italian: “Italian food” in Italian is “cibo italiano“, and it’s spelled: C – ci, i – i, b – bi, o – o; I – i, t – ti, a – a, l – elle, i – i, a – a, n – enne, o – o.

How to spell Italian grandma in Italian: “Italian grandma” in Italian is “nonna italiana“, and it’s spelled: N – enne, o – o, n – enne, n – enne, a – a; I – i, t – ti, a – a, l – elle, i – i, a – a, n – enne, a – a.

How to spell kitchen in Italian: “Kitchen” in Italian is “cucina“, and it’s spelled: C – ci, u – u, c – ci, i – i, n – enne, a – a.


How to spell kiss in Italian: “Kiss” in Italian is “bacio“, and it’s spelled: B – bi, a – a, c – ci, i – i, o – o.

How to spell kilogram in Italian: “Kilogram” in Italian is “chilogrammo“, and it’s spelled: C – ci, h – acca, i – i, l – elle, o – o, g – gi, r – erre, a – a, m – emme, m – emme, o – o.

How to spell orange in Italian: “Orange” in Italian is “arancia“, and it’s spelled: A – a, r – erre, a – a, n – enne, c – ci, i – i, a-a.

How to spell quale in Italian: “Quale” in Italian is spelled: Q – qu, u – u, a – a, l – elle, e – e.

How to spell qua in Italian: “Qua” in Italian is spelled: Q – qu, a – a.


how to spell Italian risotto
Try spelling R-I-S-O-T-T-O


How to spell Rome in Italian: “Rome” in Italian is “Roma“, and it’s spelled: R – erre, o – o, m – emme, a – a.

How to spell restaurant in Italian: “Restaurant” in Italian is “ristorante“, and it’s spelled: R – erre, i – i, s – esse, t – ti, o – o, r – erre, a – a, n – enne, t – ti, e – e.

How to spell risotto in Italian: “Risotto” in Italian is spelled: R – erre, i – i, s – esse, o – o, t – ti, t – ti, o – o.

How to spell Romeo in Italian: “Romeo” in Italian is spelled: R – erre, o – o, m – emme, e – e, o – o.

How to spell ricotta in Italian: “Ricotta” in Italian is spelled: R – erre, i – i, c – ci, o – o, t – ti, t – ti, a – a.


How to spell radicchio in Italian: “Radicchio” in Italian is spelled: R – erre, a – a, d – di, i – i, c – ci, c – ci, h – acca, i – i, o – o.

How to spell voilà in Italian: “Voilà” is often used as is in Italian, and it’s spelled the same way: V – vu, o – o, i – i, l – elle, à – a.

How to spell viola in Italian: “Viola” in Italian is spelled: V – vu, i – i, o – o, l – elle, a – a.

How to spell vegetarian in Italian: “Vegetarian” in Italian is “vegetariano” (masculine) or “vegetariana” (feminine), and it’s spelled: V – vu, e – e, g – gi, e – e, t – ti, a – a, r – erre, i – i, a – a, n – enne, o – o (masculine), or a – a (feminine).

How to spell zio in Italian: “Zio” in Italian is spelled: Z – zeta, i – i, o – o.


Practice with me.

How to spell Italian words



how to spell Italian number cento
Practice spelling the Italian number C-E-N-T-O


How To Spell Italian Numbers

In this section, we’ll focus on spelling numbers from 1 to 10 in Italian.

  1. OneUno: U – u, N – enne, O – o
  2. TwoDue: D – di, U – u, E – e
  3. ThreeTre: T – ti, R – erre, E – e
  4. FourQuattro: Q – qu, U – u, A – a, T – ti, T – ti, R – erre, O – o
  5. FiveCinque: C – ci, I – i, N – enne, Q – qu, U – u, E – e
  6. SixSei: S – esse, E – e, I – i
  7. SevenSette: S – esse, E – e, T – ti, T – ti, E – e
  8. EightOtto: O – o, T – ti, T – ti, O – o
  9. NineNove: N – enne, O – o, V – vu, E – e
  10. TenDieci: D – di, I – i, E – e, C – ci, I – i

If you’re interested in learning more about numbers, you can find additional information in this article about Italian numbers 1 to 100 and beyond.

How to spell Italian numbers



How To Spell Italian Colors

Here are the spellings for the main colors in Italian:

  1. RedRosso: R – erre, O – o, S – esse, S – esse, O – o
  2. BlueBlu: B – bi, L – elle, U – u
  3. GreenVerde: V – vu, E – e, R – erre, D – di, E – e
  4. YellowGiallo: G – gi, I – i, A – a, L – elle, L – elle, O – o
  5. OrangeArancione: A – a, R – erre, A – a, N – enne, C – ci, I – i, O – o, N – enne, E – e
  6. PurpleViola: V – vu, I – i, O – o, L – elle, A – a
  7. PinkRosa: R – erre, O – o, S – esse, A – a
  8. BrownMarrone: M – emme, A – a, R – erre, R – erre, O – o, N – enne, E – e
  9. BlackNero: N – enne, E – e, R – erre, O – o
  10. WhiteBianco: B – bi, I – i, A – a, N – enne, C – ci, O – o


Listen while I spell all the colours above.

How to spell colors in Italian



practice how to spell Italian name Elisa
Practice spelling the Italian name E-L-I-S-A


How to Spell Italian Names

Here are spellings for some common Italian names:

  1. Giuseppe – G – gi, I – i, U – u, S – esse, E – e, P – pi, P – pi, E – e
  2. Maria – M – emme, A – a, R – erre, I – i, A – a
  3. Giovanni – G – gi, I – i, O – o, V – vu, A – a, N – enne, N – enne, I – i
  4. Anna – A – a, N – enne, N – enne, A – a
  5. Antonio – A – a, N – enne, T – ti, O – o, N – enne, I – i, O – o
  6. Giuseppina – G – gi, I – i, U – u, S – esse, E – e, P – pi, P – pi, I – i, N – enne, A – a
  7. Mario – M – emme, A – a, R – erre, I – i, O – o
  8. Rosa – R – erre, O – o, S – esse, A – a
  9. Luigi – L – elle, U – u, I – i, G – gi
  10. Angela – A – a, N – enne, G – gi, E – e, L – elle, A – a


Let’s spell these names together.

How to spell Italian names



Learn How To Say It + How To Spell Italian Pronunciation

Now that we’ve spelled so many words already, I want to help you learn how to say how to spell in Italian. So next time you hear an Italian word and don’t get it, ask the speaker to spell it for you in Italian.

How to spell in Italian translates to come sillabare, followed by the word you want to spell.

Here’s how to pronounce that.

How to say how to spell in Italian



Test Your Italian Spelling – Spell These Italian Phrases

Now it’s your turn to practice the spelling of these common Italian phrases. Below are the phrases, and your task is to spell each one letter by letter in Italian. Take your time and enjoy the practice!

If you need a little help, here’s the spelling written but make sure to spell them out aloud.



Final Thoughts On How To Spell In Italian

Understanding the unique letters and sounds of Italian not only allows for precise written expression but also lays the foundation for eloquent verbal communication.

By consistently applying the techniques explored in this guide—actively listening, breaking down vocabulary phonetically, and practicing through enjoyable exercises—Italian spelling will soon become second nature. Keep this guide as a handy reference, embrace your learning journey and the mistakes that are bound to come at the beginning. 



FAQ On Italian Spelling

How do you spell Italy in English?

Italy is Italia in Italian. Its spelling is “I (ee) T (tee) A (ah) L (elle) I (ee) A (ah)”.

How do you spell my name in Italian?

I can spell the word by pronouncing the letters that form it in Italian. For example, the name “Franco” in Italian would be spelled as “Eff-Erre-Ah-Enne-Ci-Oh.”

What is Z called in Italian?

In Italian, the letter Z is called “Zeta.” 

Does Italian use the letter K?

Yes, Italian uses the letter K, and it is called “Kappa” in Italian. However, it is not part of the 21 official Italian alphabet letters. It’s considered a foreign letter and is used primarily for foreign words.

How to spell Italian in Italian?

“Italian” in Italian is spelled “Italiano.” The pronunciation in English of the Italian letters is: “ee-tee-ah-elle-ee-ah-enne-oh.”

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