We predict there'll be many times in Italy when you'll be amazed. And because it's rude to stand there with your mouth agape, here's what you can say in such a situation: accidenti.
The word means literally 'accidents', but used as an exclamation it's roughly equivalent to 'wow'.
Accidenti, che bella giornata!
Wow, what a beautiful day!
– Ho superato l'esame di guida al primo tentativo.
– Accidenti! Complimenti.
– I passed my driving test first time.
– Whoa! Well done.
We also predict there'll be times when you're less impressed and more ticked off. The good news is that you can use accidenti then too: its other meaning is 'damn'.
Accidenti, ho sbagliato strada.
Damn it, I took the wrong turn.
Accidenti a lui!
You can even get creative and use accidenti in the middle of a sentence to emphasise whatever point you're making. Often when you use it this way it's like saying 'a damn (thing)', so remember to make it singular: un accidente.
Non capisco un accidente.
I don't understand a damn thing.
Ma che accidenti vogliono?
What the hell do they want?
Non m'importa un accidente.
I don't give a damn.
Do you have a favourite Italian word, phrase or expression you'd like us to feature? If so, please email our editor Jessica Phelan with your suggestion.