La dolce vita

La dolce vita is a borrowed Italian phrase first used in English in the 1960s. We will examine the meaning of the phrase la dolce vita, how and why it became popular in English and some examples of its use in sentences.

La dolce vita describes a way of life that is easygoing, enjoying things to the fullest. Usually la dolce vita involves luxury and pleasure of varying degrees. It may be considered hedonistic, shallow and materialistic or simply carefree. La dolce vita literally translates as “the sweet life”.  The term is derived from the title of a film by Frederico Fellini, which debuted in 1960 and was quite popular in the English-speaking world.  The movie La Dolce Vita is an Italian film starring Marcello Mastroianni as a gossip journalist. The film is also famous for introducing the word paparazzi to the public. La dolce vita is one of many borrowed foreign phrases in the English language, also known as loan phrases.


Rome’s Via Veneto was the epicentre of La Dolce Vita, a period in the fifties and sixties when the capital was known as Hollywood on the Tiber. (The Telegraph)

Lap up la dolce vita in the shadow of spectacular historical sights in the Italian capital of Rome, where atmospheric haunts sit alongside designer glamour and foodie destinations… (Hello Magazine)

The La Dolce Vita itinerary, which takes participants from rolling hills to sandy beaches to legendary cities, features highlights of some of Italy’s top tourist destinations, including Rome, Venice, Florence, San Gimignano, Sorrento and Positano. (The Los Angeles Times)

“La Dolce Vita” will be an elegant evening of delectable desserts, sparkling champagne and refreshments, beautiful music and light conversation. (The Mesquite News)

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