Italian Lessons


Places to Sit in Italian - Part 2

Places to Sit in Italian - Part 1

In a previous lesson we talked about sedie (chairs), panche (benches), and panchine (park benches). But now let’s examine some more comfortable places to sit.


Normally, if there are arms on a chair, as in “armchair,” it’s una poltrona, for Italians, especially if it’s got padding and is comfortable. A smaller armchair, that is, a chair with braccioli (arms or armrests), may be called una poltroncina. It’s not necessarily comfortable. Il bracciolo (arm, armrest) comes from il braccio (the arm).


If we want to seat two people, we can talk about un divanetto. It is usually smaller in size and importance than a proper divano (sofa, couch) where you can usually lie down, put your feet up,  and take up space.


Mi distendo sul divano, guardo un po' di televisione.

I stretch out on the couch, I watch a little TV.

Captions 41-42, Adriano - Giornata

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Sometimes people have a divano letto (a sofa bed) for guests, or even for themselves, if they lack space.


What you sit on in a car, train or plane, or other means of transport is un sedile (a seat). They are often called posti a sedere (places to sit).

In prima classe, i sedili sono più comodi.
In first class, the seats are more comfortable.


Babies and young children need special seats in a car.


È passeggino per i bambini molto piccoli, oppure seggiolino auto.

It’s a stroller for very small babies, or else a little car seat.

Caption 42, Anna presenta - Attrezzature per un neonato

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Babies eat in special chairs called seggioloni (highchairs).


If you go skiing in Italy, you may want to travel up the slopes on a seggiovia (chairlift).


And if you really want to get comfortable, you can stretch out on un letto matrimoniale (a double or king-size bed) or un lettino (usually a single bed), or if you go to the doctor’s or to see a massage therapist, or even a psychoanalyst, you might also find yourself lying on un lettino.


Si metta sul lettino e mi parli del Suo rapporto con i piedi.

Get on the couch and tell me about your relationship with your feet.

Caption 7, Psicovip - Cappuccetto Rosso

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Un lettino may also be seen at the edge of pools or at the beach.


E quanto costa affittare un lettino?

And how much does it cost to rent a sunbed?

Caption 7, Una gita - al lago

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Another comfortable seat is uno sdraio (a deck chair, a recliner).


Sdraio comes from the verb sdraiare (to lay down) or its reflexive version, sdraiarsi (to lie down, to recline). The plural is the same as the singular as we see in the following example.


Vengono messi ombrelloni, sdraio.

Beach umbrellas, beach chairs will be installed.

Caption 5, Antonio - e il Lido Costa Blu

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