How to Start and End a Letter in Italian: A Step-by-Step Guide

Bodhi Ramos9 min
Created: May 23, 2024Last updated: May 27, 2024
How to Write a Letter in Italian

Do you want to learn how to start and how to end a letter in Italian or be able to conduct correspondence with your Italian partners? Knowledge of formal emails is a valuable skill that should be considered. Writing a letter in another tongue is a great way to evaluate your language proficiency and job experience.

In today’s article, we will provide some essential tips and advice on how to start a letter in Italian, tricks to make it look more professional, and some life hacks to give a good impression with some little traits.

Crafting Letters in Italian: Essential Tips and Templates

It could be nerve-wracking to write a letter, even in your native language. Add to that the doubt about your grammar, or even if you’re using the appropriate words in another tongue! But don’t worry – this thorough guide will shield you from embarrassing blunders.

Knowing how to write a letter in Italian can be important and useful, as it facilitates communication in both personal and professional domains. Acquiring this talent improves language ability and fosters respect for and knowledge of other cultures.

Moreover, it improves your skills to handle different situations, such as job applications, official invitations, thanking people, or keeping up personal correspondence. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Navigating Structure in Italian Emails

Italian letter writing is pretty straightforward. However, to understand how to sign off an email in Italian, firstly, it’s necessary to know the general structure of your message. So, don’t forget to add a header, proper salutation, main body, and closing part. 

The good news is that your letter in Italian will be similar to the regular formal ones you send in your current position. So, if you already have experience writing corporate emails, breathe with ease. As well as the standard letters in any other language, your attempt to write an email in Italian should be followed by a standardized structure presented by the corporate culture. 

Header

Depending on the style of your email, whether formal or informal, the header of your letter will vary significantly. When talking about the informal context, it’s not required to include any formal greeting, and you can start your writing as you please. In the formal letter, it’s crucial to add the title of your recipient, name and surname, the Italian email address of the organization you’re writing to, etc.

Salutation

When you are addressing a letter to your employer or simply contacting the company’s representative with a business offer, it’s crucial to start your email with a proper salutation. You can call the receiver with a formal title, like Egregio Dottore [e'ɡrɛdʒo dɔtˈtoːre] (Dear Doctor) or Gentile Signora [ʤɛnˈtiːle siɲˈɲɔːra] (Dear Madam)

If you’re not aware of the gender or name of your recipient, you can begin with phrases like A chi di competenza [a ki di kompetˈɛnt͡sa] (To whom it may concern) or Alla cortese attenzione di [alla korˈtɛːse attɛntˈsjone di] (For the kind attention of). Such a greeting will immediately show the necessary amount of respect and professionalism from your side. 

Body

Make sure to establish the goal of your letter in Italian. For clarity, break the material up into paragraphs. There are very few restrictions when talking about informal correspondence in Italian. You’re free to address and write to your friends, family, or acquaintances. 

However, the opposite situation occurs when discussing how to address a letter in Italian to your boss or business partner. In this case, you have to avoid the tone of friendliness, personal statements, familiarity, etc. Instead, your body has to be informative and concise. Please focus on the main things you want to deliver and try to find ways to present them in the best possible format.

Complimentary Close & Signature

Finish with a formal greeting, like Distinti saluti [diˈstinti saˈluːti] (Best regards), then sign and print your name. Fortunately, the Italian email sign-off doesn’t differ significantly from the official letters in other languages. If the purpose of your message is solely professional, it’s essential to sign it off correctly. 

The good news is that you will find a suitable Italian email signature since the language is full of complimentary closes. For example, you can use some of the following signatures: Sinceramente [sinʧeraˈmɛnte] (Sincerely), or if you want to pay respect to the email’s recipient, choose a phrase like Resto a disposizione per qualunque dubbio o domanda [ˈresto a dispotsiˈt͡sjone per kwaˈluŋkwe ˈdubbjo o doˈmanda] (I remain at complete disposal for any doubt or question.).

Naturally, the people you contact will determine what kinds of introductions and salutations you use. If you write an official letter to your business representative, starting with an informal greeting like Ciao would be considered an assault.

Therefore, choose each word for your mail in Italian carefully to create an adjusted letter that meets the provided requirements. Don’t hesitate to look at some general templates for inspiration. 

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The Art of Addressing and Signing Off Italian Letters

The Italian language allows you to turn even simple email writing into a separate piece of art. It offers various words, phrases, and expressions to make an ordinary corporate email look good and professional. However, as we already mentioned, knowing how to address your professional emails correctly is crucial.

There are no rules for creating your letters. Instead, you will only be able to find general recommendations that aim to help you write your correspondence. When talking about corporate emails, we are bound by strict rules. Let’s find out the common ways how to address a letter to Italy. Below, we have collected the best opening and closing phrases for your emails.

  • Egregio/a – [/e'ɡrɛdʒo/] – Distinguished/Dear.
  • Alla cortese attenzione di – [jalla t͡sɔrtɛsɛ ʔattɛnzɪjɔnɛ ɟɪ/] – For the kind attention of.
  • Gentile Sig / Sig.ra – [ɡɛncɪlɛ sig] – Dear Sir/Madame.
  • Cordiali saluti – [t͡sɔrɟɪjalɪ salucɪ] – Kindest Regards.
  • In attesa di un Suo riscontro, porgo cordiali saluti – [in attˈesa di un suo risˈkɔntro porˈɡo korˈdjali saˈluːti] – Waiting for your response and expressing my respect.
  • Resto a disposizione per qualunque dubbio o domanda – [ˈresto a dispotsiˈt͡sjone per kwaˈluŋkwe ˈdubbjo o doˈmanda] – I remain at full disposal for your questions or doubts.

There might be situations when you must apply for jobs in Italy. If that’s the case, your exceptional Italian correspondence will be crucial to your consideration for the position. So, what is the best way to start the letter if you apply for a job? Check the perfect phrases to help you pave your way into the desired company and impress your Italian boss from the beginning. 

  • Vorrei sottoporre la mia candidatura per il posto di – [vorˈrei sotːoˈporːre la ˈmia kandidatuˈra per il ˈposto di] – I would like to propose my candidacy.
  • Scrivo per candidarmi all’offerta di lavoro per – [ˈskriːvo per kandiˈdarmi all’offˈerta di laˈvoro per] – I’m writing regarding the application.
  • Scrivo per ricevere informazioni a proposito di – [ˈskriːvo per riʧeˈvere informaˈt͡sjone a propoˈzito di] – I’m writing to receive information regarding.

Sometimes, you must file a complaint letter with an Italian organization or company. Such cases are considered official correspondence and must be presented properly. We have collected some of the most suitable phrases in the list below for your convenience.

  • Desidero presentare un reclamo a proposito di – [deˈziːdero preˈzentare un reˈklamo a propoˈzito di] – I wish to make a complaint about.
  • Vorrei presentare un reclamo – [vorˈrei preˈzentare un reˈklamo] – I would like to complain about.

There can also be situations where you have to reply to an inquiry that has taken place previously. It can be any question, starting with professional issues and ending with your request to some organizations. For this matter, there are many unique phrases to begin your email as well.

  • Per quanto concerne la Sua richiesta – [per ˈkwanto konˈʧɛrne la sua riˈkjɛsta] – Regarding your previous email.
  • In risposta alla Sua domanda di informazioni – [in risˈposta alla sua doˈmanda di informaˈt͡sjone] – I’m providing you with the information, requested previously.
  • Le scrivo in risposta alla Sua richiesta di – [le ˈskriːvo in risˈposta alla sua riˈkjɛsta di] – I’m writing in response to your previous inquiry.

Those are some common situations that require you to have certain skills to provide a presentable email in Italian. The collected phrases would be a great fit for your official correspondence in any life situation.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Letter in Italian

Plenty of errors could be considered major red flags in your Italian business correspondence. The good news is that the general requirements for your Italian emails are identical to those for any other language. Despite that, we have collected some of the most common mistakes that could significantly decrease the general reception of your letter.

Unclear Subject Line

A lot of attention is given to how to sign a letter in Italian, and occasionally, we all need to remember the importance of the subject. If you want to make your letter look more professional, the subject should be short and describe the matter of your writing perfectly. It would be a massive red flag if you added any unnecessary information on the subject.

Inappropriate Tone

If you are writing an official letter, your tone has to be professionally neutral. You have to pay enough attention to the general style of your writing. It’s crucial to avoid any slang phrases or a too-friendly tone of communication. You must be short yet informative, with the necessary amount of respect. 

Unnecessary Length

The last mistake we would like to discuss is the unnecessary length of an email. Do not get us wrong – the Italians are the people of communication and hot tempers. But not when it comes to professional communication. In those cases, it’s crucial to keep your letters short and informative without going into unnecessary details. Otherwise, you simply risk appearing unprofessional to your colleagues or management.

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Conclusion

Writing an email in Italian is an art that should be approached with a certain amount of experience and preparation. Writing unofficial emails or letters doesn’t have strict rules or requirements. However, when talking about official business correspondence, we should remember the generally accepted rules in the business sphere.

FAQ

How can I ensure my Italian emails are professional and well-received?

Always check details such as formatting, tone, and clarity. Additionally, seeking feedback from native speakers or tutors can help you refine your writing and ensure it meets professional standards.

Are there specific cultural nuances to consider in Italian business correspondence?

Sure, Italian business culture values formalities and respect in communication. Learning the proper salutations, closings, and tone for different contexts is essential for effective correspondence with Italian coworkers or partners.

How to end an email in Italian in a business tone?

If you are sending an email to your manager or organization representative, you need to close your email with phrases like Cordiali saluti or Cordialmente. You should not forget the general requirements in official business correspondence when discussing how to close a letter in Italian.

Can learning to write letters in Italian benefit my professional career?

No doubt! Proficiency in Italian correspondence can provide new opportunities in your career, especially if you work with Italian partners or clients. It shows your respect for their culture and can enhance your professional reputation.

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