Bel paese (phrase)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bel paese (or Belpaese, IPA: [ˌbɛl paˈeːze, -eːse]) is the classical poetical appellative for Italy, meaning the "beautiful country" in Italian, due to its mild weather, cultural heritage and natural endowment.

The usage of the term originated in the Middle Ages, being used by Dante and Petrarch:

del bel paese là dove 'l sì suona,

Of the fair land there where the 'Sì' doth sound,

il bel paese
ch'Appennin parte e 'l mar circonda et l'Alpe

that fair country
the Apennines divide, and Alps and sea surround

The term is currently widely used in modern Italian as in other languages as a synonym for Italy, but can sometimes be intended slightly ironically.[1] It is commonly used as a term of endearment by members of the Italian diaspora, and it is often used to endorse or promote goods[2] and services[3] both in Italy and abroad.


  1. ^ Italy: Farewell to the 'Bel Paese'?. Berg Publishers. 1999. ISBN 9781859739655. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
  2. ^ Bel Paese (cheese)
  3. ^ "Google results for '"Bel Paese" restaurant'". Retrieved 2009-11-30.