Italian Tattoos

Chiara Ferragni


Chiara Ferragni got her third tattoo in April 2011.  The phrase “Ode Alla Vita,” meaning “Ode to Life” in her native Italian, is the title of a poem by Brazilan writer Martha Medeiros (though it has often been misattributed to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda). She wrote on her blog:

My third tattoo: the sentence “Ode alla vita” on the right arm, to always remind me how important it is to live at our best each day, and to celebrate a friend who used to share with me the passion for this poem.

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Chiara Ferragni


Chiara Ferragni has a large tattoo on her side that says “LUCE” — the Italian word “light.”  It is a matching tattoo with an ex-boyfriend but she has no regrets about it.  She told Glamour:

I was with my ex-boyfriend and I decided to get a tattoo on my ribs. It says LUCE (that means light in Italian). This is how he used to call me when we were together. He is my best friend now. He also had a tattoo on the same spot.

On her website The Blonde Salad, she wrote:

My second tattoo, from October 2010: the word “Luce” (light) on my ribs, with a thousand meanings and dedicated to a person in particular

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Marzia Bisognin

Marzia got this tattoo on her left forearm in September 2015. The writing, which says “La casa sulla luna” in her native language Italian, means “The house on the moon” in English. It’s a phrase from the book We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, which has helped Marzia to deal with her social anxiety. The house on the the moon is a metaphor for a feeling of safety. On her blog she explained:

But this topic brings me to the next tattoo: “La casa sulla luna”, which translated is “The house on the moon”.

This refers to my social anxiety: once again, you know I struggle with it, and it used to be really really bad. This sentence comes from one of my favourite books, “We Have Always Lived in the Castle”, where the protagonist, after going through a tragedy, can never leave the house without feeling observed and judged by people.

If you have social anxiety you know that feeling very well: as soon as you leave your safe place, it feels like everybody is staring at you, and you just want to hide from the world.

In the story, the girl would imagine her safe place in her head (the house on the moon) while being outside, just so that thought could be somewhat comforting to her. And so I tried it myself, I would think about it as well while leaving the house, or when I was in uncomfortable situations, and it helped me greatly.

That’s why it’s on my body, it’s a constant reminder that I can do it, it’s all in my head, and if I think about positive things instead of letting my dark thoughts come to mind, everything will be fine.

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Melissa Marie Green


In February 2016 Melissa Marie Green got a tattoo on her stomach which says “Prima Donna” in huge script letters. In Italian “Prima donna” translates literally to “first lady” and describes an opera singer in a a leading role. The term has been co-opted into English to describe someone with a diva-like attitude who is arrogant and vain. Though some might see this an insult Melissa likes to act like a queen bee. As one half of the pop duo Millionaires, Melissa often sings about being better than everyone else and being high-maintenance.

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Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande neck tattoo

Ariana Grande has a tattoo on the left side of her ribcage of the word “Bellissima” which is the Italian word for “beautiful.” It’s a nickname given to her by her grandfather and she got the tattoo in honor of him. “I got ‘bellissima’ small on my side. It’s what grandpa’s called me my whole life,” she tweeted. Romeo Lacoste did this tattoo in March 2014.