How to write a formal EMAIL in Italian!

Nowadays, anyone, sooner or later, has to write an email to a professor, an employer or to someone we don’t know… Well how we should behave in this case? Which form should we use? We have answered all these questions in this video-lesson you not to be missed!


Now let’s begin!

1. The first aspect to consider is l’oggetto (subject). You must never overlook the subject because it will be the first thing that will be read by the addressee: if not well written it could not catch the eye  or, worse, passes off your email as spam. And you don’t want it to be trashed before it even gets opened, do you?

So, to avoid these situations , the subject must be explicit, short  and coincided : you have to explain, in short, with little and simple words the theme of your email, without wasting time on small talks.

Foe example, if you are applying for a job e and you have to send your curriculum vitae, the subject could be : “Candidatura lavoro” (job candidacy) oppure “Curriculum vitae”, without adding more.

2. But now let’s skip to the real email: il corpo (body).

First of all you need care about the greetings: in fact, in an informal email, we can’t simply write CIAO!

So, we generally use adjectives that express reverence such as   (EGREGIOSPETTABILEGENTILE) (esquire, esteemed, dear) + the title and the name of the addressee

EGREGIO and SPETTABILE are more appropriate when the email is addressed to someone we don’t know at all  or when someone deserves special reverence. For example, the president of a university, a possible employer or… the President of the Republic!

GENTILE, instead, is more used with emails addressed to people who, in a way, we already know and who we have a certain relationship with. For example, the professor we are writing the graduate thesis with  or a co-worker we share a formal relationship and so on.

Talking about the titolo (title), if we don’t exactly know the role of the addressee we can use “signore” o “signora”, using the following abbreviations: Sig. / Sig.ra.

Instead if we know the role we can indicate the profession. For example, “professore” o “professoressa”: Prof. / Prof.ssa. Or “dottore” or  “dottoressa”: Dott. Dott.ssa.

After that the last name must be placed or name and last name. And don’t forget about the comma right after!

For example:

Gentile professor Rossi (Dear professor Rossi)

Egregio dott. Mario Pinco, (Esquire doctor Mario Pinco)

Ah… but there’s another form for opening greetings! “ALLA CORTESE ATTENZIONE DI“. This one is usable in any case, but it’s perfect when you have to write, for example, to an office and not to a person, therefore in those cases where using one of the adjectves previously mentioned  would be inappropriate.

For example, if you have to write an email to complain about a defective product you could start with the formulations:

Alla cortese attenzione del reparto commerciale, (For the attention of the commercial department,)


Alla cortese attenzione dell’ufficio reclami, (For the attention of the claims office)

Once we are done with greetings don’t forget to start a new line!

Now, first of all, if the addressee doesn’t already know you, you have to start with a short (short!) introduction

After doing that (if required) if the addressee doesn’t expect your email, you can use an apology formulation as:

Sperando di non arrecarle alcun disturbo… (I hope I’m not imposing)

But, after that, go straight to the point and explain the reason you decided to write the email. For example, you can use,

Le scrivo in merito a… (I’m writng you to…)

La contatto per illustrarle… (I’m contacting you to illustrate …)

Le scrivo perché… (I’m writing you because …)

N.B. Always remember to use the courtesy formulation (Formal Lei/You) and, consequently, to conjugate all the verbs with the third person singular. 

We want to give you other little tips that are:

– be clear and synthetic. : you’re writing an email not a novel! Don’t risk to bore your addressee!

– be tidy. For this reason we suggest you to divide the text in paragraphs. It will be more fluent!

– pay attention to the punctuation, the lexicon but alo to the pelling and the grammar! After all you don’t want to look bad, do you?  (About that , if you have any doubts  don’t hesitate to write them down in the comments! We will be glad to help you!)

– indicate the presence of possible attachments (with formulations as Allego alla presente il file con…) (I will attach to this the file with…)

3. At last, after you have written the body, you have to skip to saluti finali (goodbye regards): how can you formally take leave?

The most common formulations are:

Distinti saluti, (Yours sincerely)

Cordiali saluti, (Yours truly)


Or you can use formulations to invite the addressee to reply:

In attesa di un suo cortese riscontro, la saluto cordialmente.(Waiting your courtly reply, I cordially greet you)


In attesa di una sua cortese risposta, la saluto distintamente. (Waiting your reply, I warmly greet you)

Right after that, place a comma and tart a new line. So, sign with your name and last name.

Well… now your email is written! Read it again and … send it!

Here’s an example of formal email


Subject: Candidatura lavoro per ruolo di capo reparto (Work candidacy for the role of department head)

Spettabile sig. Mario Bianchi,

sono Sofia Rossi, laureata in Economia e Management all’università La Sapienza di Roma, con 5 anni di esperienza lavorativa come capo reparto nel settore abbigliamento. Per motivi di famiglia, mi sono trasferita a Milano qualche mese fa. Conosco bene la vostra azienda e trovo la vostra attività di grande interesse e i vostri prodotti di grande ispirazione, pertanto lavorare per voi sarebbe una grande sfida nonché opportunità di crescita per la sottoscritta.

Ho visitato il vostro sito web ed ho notato che al momento state cercando personale. Per questo motivo, ho deciso di candidarmi per il posto di capo reparto in uno dei vostri negozi. Invio insieme alla presente un allegato contenente il mio C.V. in previsione di una eventuale futura collaborazione.

In attesa di un suo cortese riscontro, la saluto cordialmente.

Grazie per l’attenzione,

Sofia Rossi

Don’t do these mistakes Italians do when they write and speak!

Let’s see if you’ve mastered the contents of this class. Have a go at completing the exercises!

5 thoughts to “How to write a formal EMAIL in Italian!”

  1. Thank You for sharing such a nice and informative knowledge with us. Loved your article and your knowledge regarding italian language. Your article was really helpful as i am just a beginner in this language and i was looking out for this.

  2. I am moving to Italy within the next month and found this article to be incredibly helpful as I am now writing email after email looking for a home and a job etc… Thank you for the valuable insight!!!

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