Italian Vocabulary of FRUITS and VEGETABLES (+ Idioms)

In this lesson, we’ll see together the vocabulary of fruits and vegetables in Italian that may be useful when you go to the greengrocer. In addition, we will also see some idioms that are related to this topic.

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Fruits and Vegetables in Italian

Fruits

  • La mela / le mele (apple/s)
  • L’arancia / le arance (orange/s)
  • La fragola / le fragole (strawberry/berries)
  • La banana / le banane (banana/s)
  • L’anguria / le angurie (watermelon/s)
  • Il melone / i meloni (melon/s)
  • La ciliegia / le ciliegie (cherry/cherries)
  • L’ananas / gli ananas (pineapple/s)
  • Il kiwi / i kiwi (kiwi/s)
  • Il mango / i manghi (mango/es)
  • La pera / le pere (pear/s)
  • La pesca / le pesche (peach/es)
  • L’uva (grape/s)
  • Il mandarino / i mandarini (tangerine/s)
  • La mora / le more (blackberry/berries)
  • Il lampone / i lamponi (raspberry/berries)
  • Il cocco / i cocchi (coconut/s)
  • L’avocado / gli avocadi (avocado/s)
  • IL mirtillo / i mirtilli (blueberry/berries)
  • Il limone / i limoni (lemon/s)
  • L’albicocca / le albicocche (apricot/s)
  • Il cachi / i cachi (persimmon/s)
  • Il fico / i fichi (fig/figs)
  • La melagrana / le melagrane (pomegranate/s)
  • Il dattero / i datteri (date/s)
  • La prugna / le prugne (plum/s)
  • Il pompelmo / i pompelmi (grapefruit/s)
  • Il frutto della passione (passion fruit/s)
  • Il lime (or limetta) (lime)

 

Vegetables and Horticultural Products 

The term verdura is used to refer to the edible parts of a vegetable (both cultivated and wild crops)

The term ortaggio is used to refer to a wide range of garden products, namely cultivated crops

  • L’asparago / gli asparagi (asparagus)
  • Il carciofo / i carciofi (artichoke/s)
  • Il fagiolino / i fagiolini (string bean/s)
  • La barbabietola / le barbabietole (beet/s)
  • Il broccolo / i broccoli (broccoli)
  • Il cavolo / i cavoli (cabbage/s)
  • La carota / le carote (carrot/s)
  • Il cavolfiore / i cavolfiori (cauliflower/s)
  • Il sedano / i sedani (celery)
  • Il mais (mais)
  • Il cetriolo / i cetrioli (cucumber/pickle/s)
  • La melanzana / le melanzane
  • L’aglio / gli agli (garlic/s)
  • La lattuga / le lattughe (lettuce)
  • La cipolla / le cipolle (onion/s)
  • Il peperone / i peperoni (pepper/s)
  • Il radicchio / i radicchi (radicchi)
  • Gli spinaci (spinach/es)
  • La rapa / le rape (turnip/s)
  • La zucchina / le zucchine (zucchini)
  • Il finocchio / i finocchi (fennel/s)
  • La cicoria / le cicorie (chicory)
  • La bietola / le bietole (chard/s)
  • La patata / le patate (potato/es)
  • Il fungo / i funghi (mushroom/s)
  • Il ravanello / i ravanelli (radish/es)
  • La rucola (rocket)
  • La zucca / le zucche (pumpkin)
  • Il tartufo / i tartufi (truffle/s)
  • Il peperoncino (chili pepper)

 

Legumes

  • Il fagiolo / i fagioli (bean/s)
  • La lenticchia / le lenticchie (lentil/s)
  • Il pisello / i piselli (pea/s)
  • Il cece / i ceci (chickpea/s)
  • La fava / le fave (fava bean/s)

At last, we have “il pomodoro” (tomato/es) that, although many people might think it’s a vegetable, actually, it should be considered a fruit.

 

Now let’s see the idioms that are related to food:

1) Avere sale in zucca (To be vary smart)

This expression means “being intelligent, clever, brilliant”.

Example: “Rita è intelligentissima, ha davvero del sale in zucca!” (Rita is so intelligent, so smart!)

2) Ciliegina sulla torta (The icing on the cake)

Questa espressione è usata per indicare una cosa estremamente bella e positiva che di solito succede alla fine di un evento o un lavoro, chiudendolo in bellezza.

Example: “Oggi mi sono divertita un sacco: ho bevuto un aperitivo con Teresa, poi siamo andate a fare
shopping e abbiamo prenotato la nostra prossima vacanza in Australia! Ma la ciliegina sulla torta è stata che ho vinto 1000€ giocando a un gratta e vinci!” (Today was really fun: I drank an aperitif with Teresa, then we went shopping and later we booked our next vacation in Australia! The icing on the cake was my win of 1000€ on a scratch-off)

 

3) Spremere come un limone (To squeeze like ripe grapes)

This expression means “fully exploiting, taking full advantage of someone or something”  (especially economically).

Example: “Francesca sta spremendo Marco come un limone: si è fatta regalare una marea di borse e vestiti!” (Francesca is squeezing Marco like ripe grapes: she made him buy her many handbags and clothes)

4) Non importare a qualcuno un cavolo (To not give a hoot)

This expression means “to have no interest in anything, to not care at all”.

Example: “-Sai che ho comprato un nuovo paio di scarpe? –Non me ne importa un cavolo!” (-I bought a new pair of shoes did you know that? -I don’t give a hoot!)

 

5) Essere finocchio (To be a f*g)

This expression is used in reference to a gay/homosexual person

WATCH OUT: this expression is offensive!

Example: “-Credo che Luca sia un po’ finocchio” (I think Luca is a f*g)

 

Well, we hope this lesson on the vocabulary of fruits and vegetables might be helpful, but if you want to expand your vocabulary in general, we suggest you to read as many books as possible! In this regard, if you’re running out of options, you can take a look at our video on the Italian books you should read in order to improve your language skills.

Alternatively, if you prefer to have private online Italian lessons, we remind you that you can study with Graziana and Rocco on Italki!

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