In his song "Tu sei bella" Biagio Antonacci says to his girl "tu sei bella come Venezia addosso." Does this mean you are as beautiful as 1) a decorated/dressed up Venice (a la Carnival); or 2) a breath-taking Venice smothering you?

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    Honestly, as a native speaker I have no idea of what he means. I even tried to listen to the song to see if the rhythm gave any indication, but no dice... My current theory is that addosso is added only to make sure the verse fits the melody and has no meaning here, but we'll see if anyone has a better answer.
    – Denis Nardin
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 21:08

2 Answers 2


There's a film called "L'estate addosso", which is translated into English as "Summertime". Maybe his usage of "Venezia addosso" is similar to "l'estate addosso". If that is true, it means something like "Venice around" or "Venice inside". Basically, a very close spacial relation, figuratively as well.


In Italian language "addosso" has many different meanings, that depends by the context in which word is used. For example:

"Mettiti addosso una giacca, fa freddo fuori" means keep on a jacket, it's cold outside

"Mi sento addosso una grande tristezza" means I feel myself very sad

"Non mi stare addosso, lasciami spazio" means please leave me alone (even if it's not literal translation, but an informal expression proper of italian)

"Non mi addossare tutte le colpe" means don't give me all faults

All these examples are different by context of usage, but they have in common use of the word addosso, that basically means something you feel very close to you. It could be something good like the first example, in which the warm given by the jacket is a positive feeling, or something bad like last example, in which faults are seen like a weight to carry.

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    While the reasoning is sound, I'm not sure I'd consider the verb addossare as equivalent to the adverb addosso. If anything, I'd mention the “phrasal verb” dare addosso (a qualcuno).
    – DaG
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 9:58

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