5 Italian gestures that everybody should know and do

Everybody knows that Italians speak a lot, but not only in Italian, but also with their hands. Any Italian has grown up learning this other Language: gestures. For Italians, words are not really needed to communicate.

Two friends, each one in one side of the bar, will only move a bit their hands and they will already know what they have to do next. So here I show you 5 gestures that you should definitely know.

1. What the fuck? What the hell are you doing/ saying?

This is the most famous one. You will surely know this one by seeing Italians in movies, in the streets, in books, doing this one. With your fingers together, you shake your hand up and down.

Use: Imagine one of your friends is saying something totally silly, or just bullshiting you. When you make use of this gesture, you will clearly show that you don’t buy any of it 😉

Italians Gestures 1

2. Delicious!

If you try a good Margherita, or just eat a “pasta al dente”, you should definitely use this sign. To show the cooker some respect for his piece of art on the table.

Use: Imagine you are in the house of your Italian friend, but your Italian is not so good, just put your finger on the cheek and always touching it, move your finger in circles.

Italian gestures Kepens Nura

3. I don’t give a fuck!

This sign is very simple to do: put all your four fingers (so, excluding the thumb) just touching your chin, just above. And so move them forward from above, from above your chin to a front position right in front of your mouth.

Italian gestures Kepens Nura

4. Are you kidding me?

This is one of the most used signs for Italians. It can be used in a negative, but also in a positive context.  It indicates disbelief at what is being said or done.

Use: If your Italian friend talks about how many push ups he has done (let’s say 2000) and you don’t really believe him, you will use this gesture. Moreover, if a friend of yours (who you thought was not very smart and intelligent) tells you he just got the best mark of the class, you will also use it.

Italian Gestures Kepens Nura 1

Take a look at the photo: When you have your hands like this, you should move them forwards and backwards.

5. Everything went perfectly

When you answer the questions: “How did your presentation go?”, you can always answer with this gesture.  Like doing an “O” with your thumb and your index finger and crossing an imaginary line from ahead of your body to your right side.

Use: Apart from doing this imaginary line, you should also nod, so it’s more clear.

Italian gestures 1 Kepens Nura

IMPORTANT: Any hand gesture will make sense if you don’t use a facial expression as well. For example: if you want to say something was delicious, don’t make an angry face.

Do you know another one?

Leave a comment below 😉




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