How to Express ABOUT in Italian

In Italian, depending on the context and the meaning of the sentence, there are various ways to translate the preposition ‘about’. Here are some of the most common ways to express “about” in Italian:

about - su/di How to Express ABOUT in Italian

ABOUT meaning Concerning

This is one of the most common ways to express “about” in Italian. Use it to indicate the subject of a conversation or a topic that they want to talk about.”


Un libro sulla storia degli antichi Romani
A book about Ancient Roman History


Cosa ne pensi di questo libro?
What do you think about that book?

More Examples:

Non capisce niente della questione (he doesn’t understand anything about the issue)

Di che cosa si tratta? what’s this about?

ABOUT meaning Approximately

Circa: use this preposition to express an approximation or an estimation. For example: “Ci vorranno circa due ore per arrivare a Roma” (It will take about two hours to get to Rome).


Ci sono circa 10 persone alla festa.
There are about 10 people at the party.

Mario è sui quaranta anni/ Mario è sulla ventina.
Mario is about forty.


Il negozio apre verso mezzogiorno
The shop opens at about midday

More examples:

Verso mezzogiorno (about midday)

Circa cinquanta persone/una cinquantina di persone/ cinquanta persone circa (about fifty people)

Lui ha circa vent’anni/ha una ventina d’anni/è sui venti anni/ è sulla ventina (he is about twenty)

With multiples of ten up to 90, one can say: è sulla ventina/trentina/ quarantina/cinquantina/sessantina/settantina/ottantina/ novantina 

More ways to express “about” in Italian:

A proposito di: This expression is used to introduce a topic that is related to what you were just talking about.

For example:

A proposito di vacanze, dove hai deciso di andare quest’anno?” (Speaking about holidays, where have you decided to go this year?).

Sul/sulla: use this preposition to indicate the subject of an article, a book, or a speech.

For example:

“Ho letto un articolo sulla situazione economica” (I read an article about the economic situation).

Di: use this preposition to indicate the material, the content, or the essence of something.
For example:

“Mi ha parlato di un libro molto interessante” (He told me about a very interesting book).

In merito a: use this expression to introduce a topic that is the subject of a discussion, a debate, or a controversy.
For example:

In merito alla legge sulla privacy, ci sono diverse opinioni” (About the privacy law, there are different opinions).

Riguardante: use this adjective to describe something that is related to a particular subject.

For example:

“Ho una domanda riguardante il tuo progetto” (I have a question about your project).


essere sul punto di fare qualcosa

Ero sul punto di andare in bagno quando hanno suonato il citofono (I was about to go to the bathroom when the intercom rang)

di qua e di là

Stava saltando di qua e di là, sventolando in aria il suo biglietto della lotteria. (He was dancing about, waving his lottery ticket in the air.)

in giro

Oggi non c’è molta gente in giro (Not many people are about today)

dietrofront/marcia indietro

Dopo molte proteste, il sindaco ha fatto marcia indietro sui nuovi regolamenti (After many protests, the mayor did an about face on the new regulations.

These are some of the most common ways to express “about” in Italian. It is important to remember that the choice of preposition or expression depends on the context and the meaning of the sentence. With practice and exposure to the language, you will gradually become more comfortable with these expressions and be able to use them naturally in your conversations.



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