Mamma! How To Say MOM In Italian

Curious about how to say Mom in Italian?

The Italian mother is famous worldwide as the revered, adored heart of the Italian family. She has an image as the keeper of the Italian home, and the guardian of traditional family recipes . . . even as Italy is constantly modernizing and changing. One thing hasn’t changed: everyone loves their Italian mamma

In this article, you’ll learn ways to say Mom in Italian, how to pronounce them, and how to use them. You’ll also find out more about related expressions and words that come from mamma, or Mom in Italian. There’s information about La Festa della Mamma, or Mother’s Day. If you’d like to write your mom a card or a letter, or describe your mom in Italian, we have help for that too. You can also listen to a well-loved Italian song for Mom: Mamma

You may also want to read about how to say son and daughter in Italian.


The word for mom, mommy, mum, mummy, and mama in Italian is mamma. The plural of mamma is mamme (moms).

Mamma is often an Italian child’s first word. But it’s not just for children— Italians use this important word their whole lives.

The pronunciation of mamma is: MAH-mah

Listen to how to pronounce mamma here: 

Mammina is an especially affectionate way to say mom in Italian.

The pronunciation of mammina is: mah-MEE-nah

Listen to how to pronounce mammina here: 

Ma’ is another way to say mom in Italian. It is an abbreviation of mamma (and less common).

The pronunciation of ma’ is: MAH

Listen to how to pronounce ma’ here: 

Madre means mother in Italian:

The pronunciation of madre is: MAH-dray

Listen to how to pronounce madre here: 


Boy and mom on beach.  Boy calls 'mamma' which is mom in Italian.


When you are speaking to her, it is natural to call your mom Mamma in Italian. Italians do not use the word madre (mother) to address their moms in the first person.

Here are some examples: 

Ciao mamma! Hi Mama!


Ti voglio bene mamma. I love you Mommy. 


A: Mamma! Dov’è la mia matita di Spiderman? Mom! Where is my Spiderman pencil?

B: Amore mio, è sulla scrivania davanti a te. My love, it is on the desk in front of you.


Silhouette of superhero mom in Italian countryside.  She is wearing a cape.

When you describe your mom, or speak about her in the third person, you have a choice: you can say either la mia mamma or mia mamma (my mom) when speaking to someone in a casual way, or mia madre (my mother) which is more formal. 

A: Chi ha fatto queste lasagne squisite? Who made this exquisite lasagna?

B: La mia mamma. È la miglior cuoca del mondo. My mom. She is the best cook in the world.

A: Pensi così perché non hai mai assaggiato la parmigiana di mia mamma. You think so because you’ve never tasted my mom’s eggplant parmesan.

Italians also use la mamma to refer to their mom, or to moms in general.

For example:

Guarda, c’è la mamma! Look, there’s Mom!


A: Papà, dov’è la mamma? Dad, where’s Mom?

B: È andata a salvare il mondo. She’s gone off to save the world. 


Italian mom in orange hat and blue sweater is holding a baby wearing a pink hat and pink coat.  She has an expression of 'mamma mia!'

Mamma mia is probably one of Italy’s most famous expressions. It means My goodness! (The direct translation is My mom!). It can have a positive or negative connotation:

Mamma mia, che bel disegno mi hai fatto! My goodness, what a beautiful drawing you made for me!

O mamma mia, ho dimenticato di aggiungere il sale all’acqua della pasta – perdonami! Oh my goodness, I forgot to add the salt to the pasta water – sorry!

It makes sense that such a colorful phrase inspired an Abba song, a hit International musical, and then two blockbuster movies


Italians are famous for adoring their mothers, sometimes to the extreme.

A mammone means a boy or man who is overly attached to his mom: a mama’s boy. In theory it’s a negative term, but in reality Italians use it matter-of-factly, and generally mammoni have no problem using it proudly.

A child mammone is very attached to his mom. An adult mammone is still very close to his mom and may still depend on her for food, a home, laundry, and support. Keep in mind, however, that it’s common for Italians to live with their parents until well into their ‘20s and after, setting the threshold pretty high for a mammone

Usually mammone is used for boys or men (plural: mammoni). The term is less commonly used for girls or women, in which case the word is mammona (plural: mammone). 


Chioccia means broody hen, and the expression mamma chioccia means overprotective mother

Ho una mamma chioccia, mi accompagna sempre a scuola anche se ho 17 anni. I have an overprotective mom, she always brings me to school even though I’m 17. 


Bello della mamma and cocco della mamma mean mom’s sweetheart or mama’s little darling. As in English, this can have a positive connotation, or it can be negative and refer to mom’s favorite child

Chi è il cocco della mamma? Sei tu! Vieni qui e ti faccio le coccole!! Who’s mommy’s little sweetheart? You are! Come here for a cuddle!


Homemade Mother's Day card with a colored picture and a poem for Mom in Italian.  The poem is called 'cara mamma' and there is a colored in drawing of a little boy holding a heart that says 'ti voglio bene.' The background is a design of red hearts.

Mother’s Day in Italy is called La Festa della Mamma, and it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. 

Despite mothers’ important place in Italian culture, the Festa della Mamma is not a deeply rooted or major holiday in Italy. It also has not become a widely commercial holiday. While some families celebrate their moms, perhaps with a meal at home or in a restaurant, others do not mark the holiday in any special way. 

However, at school children often make a card or a small gift for their moms. Thank you teachers!


Want to write your Mom a Mother’s Day card or a birthday card in Italian? Or maybe you’d like to brag in Italian about how great your Mom is? Here are some ways to talk to, or about your mother:

Sei la miglior mamma del mondo! You’re the best mom in the world!

Ti voglio molto bene mamma! I love you very much Mom!

La mia mamma è la migliore del mondo! Le voglio molto bene! My mom is the best in the world! I love her very much! 

Here are some useful adjectives for describing your mom in Italian:  

Mamma sei . . . Mom you’re . . . 

La mia mamma è . . . My mom is . . . 



The song Mamma was originally recorded by tenor Beniamino Giglio in 1940. It has since been recorded by numerous artists, including Claudio Villa and Luciano Pavarotti. 

Here is Andrea Bocelli’s version with English subtitles. It’s a soaring love song . . . for Mom.

Next, learn how to say Dad in Italian, and learn about more Italian family words! (Coming Soon)


How do I say Hi to my Mom in Italian?
To say hi to your Mom in Italian, you can say ‘Ciao Mamma!’ For more ways to say hi to your mom, check out our article on How To Say Hello in Italian.

How do I wish my Mom a Happy Birthday in Italian?
You can say, ‘Buon Compleanno Mamma!’ or ‘Tanti Auguri Mamma!’

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