Tap to Read ➤

Here's Some Reliable Information About Italian Hand Gestures

Shashank Nakate Nov 3, 2018
The explanation regarding important Italian hand gestures presented here helps in getting familiar with the language. Information about how to understand these hand gestures can be found here.
The gestures made with hand are best means of communicating in Italy. The know-how of various Italian hand gestures provide us with ample ways to express ourselves. It is therefore necessary to understand the hand gestures properly and perform them correctly.
In the Italian language half of the expressions, feelings or emotions can be communicated with hand gestures. The gestures explained here should give enough information, at least for beginners.

Hand Gestures of Italian

Here we have described many commonly used hand gestures in Italy. These gestures can help a foreigner to communicate in Italy to some extent. There also are few rude hand gestures used to express contempt or display his/her anger.

How to Understand Hand Gestures of Italian

To understand gestures of Italians, one should carefully observe the positioning of fingers and palms. It is important that one makes the hand gestures. Even a slight mistake can turn them obscene.

Italian Hand Gestures Meanings

Some of the essential hand gestures used by Italians are explained here. Descriptions presented should help a newcomer understand the basic/important ones.

Un Momento

Translated as "One moment, please" in English, this hand gesture is performed by pointing the index finger upwards. It is also used prior to asking a question.
"Ho fame"
In Italian, "Ho fame" means, "I am hungry". To convey this message to an Italian, one should perform the following hand gesture: side of the flat hand should be used to hit the stomach.
"No, grazie"
The expression "No, grazie" means, "No, thanks". To communicate this expression in the form of hand gestures, one of the hands need to be placed on the stomach. Other hand should be raised chest high with palm facing outwards.
"Vieni qua"/"Andate via"
The expressions "Vieni qua" and "Andate via" mean "Come here" and "Go away", respectively. A common hand gesture for both the expressions is pointing the palm (with four fingers, except the thumb) downwards. While performing this hand gesture, the thumb points out sideways.
"Sono d'accordo" "se la intendono"
The expression can be translated as, "Something's going on with them" in English. The gesture is used to point out that two people are up to something.
The word, 'something' can be used in reference to a romantic affair, act of planning about a certain thing or other such activities. This hand gesture is performed by aligning the index fingers alongside each other and pointing them away from the body. Rest of the fingers (including thumb) are curled together in a fist.


The word 'Perfetto' is an Italian counterpart of 'Perfect' in English. In this gesture, one has to swipe his hand horizontally. The American gesture, okay is similar to the Italian perfetto.


The word 'Madonna' means 'Mother of God' in English. Disbelief and exasperation are the emotions expressed with this gesture. Both hands are folded together; this gesture signifies that the person in question is making a desperate appeal.
"Sei pazzo?"
The question, "Sei pazzo?" means, "Are you crazy?" in English language. It is one of the commonly understood gesture and is limited to usage only by Italians. While performing this hand gesture one places his index finger on the head (at the side).
"Che furbo"
The term "Che furbo" is used for clever in Italian. This hand gesture indicates that a particular person executes certain operations or schemes of action cleverly. Pointing at one of the eyes conveys the expression of "Che furbo".
"Che palle!"
The Italian expression, "Che palle!" means "Boring" in English. Strong feelings about boredom can be expressed through this hand gesture. In this hand gesture, both the palms should face upwards and index fingers pointed towards each other. Thumbs should point upwards while rest of the fingers need to be curled together.
"Non mi frega"
The expression is translated as "I don't give a damn" in English. It is used to indicate that one doesn't care much. To perform this gesture, one has to swipe his hand from under the chin in the forward direction.
The word bellissima is used for expressions like "beautiful!" or "wonderful!". In this hand gesture, index and middle finger are placed on the thumb. The remaining two fingers point upwards. This hand gesture resembles the activity of twisting the mustache at corners.
"Che vuoi?" "Che cavolo dici?"
The expressions "Che vuoi?" and "Che cavolo dici?" could be translated as "What do you want?" and "What the heck are you saying?" respectively. Irritation resulting from a certain behavior or act is best expressed with this hand gesture.
To perform this hand gesture, one has to raise hands (chest high) with palms facing towards his/her body. Palms need to be lifted in their place itself (so that there is some distance between them). There is no need to bring the palms closer to each other.
It is said that even learning the basic hand gestures helps minimize a lot of problems faced while communicating with locals in Italy. The Italian hand gestures explained, should therefore, serve the purpose.