I was thinking about this expression in English:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

In others words we can translate like:

Out of sight, near the heart.

In Italian I translated it like

Lontano dagli occhi, vicino al cuore.

I found this translation on the Internet:

Lontano dagli occhi, vicino dal cuore.

What is the correct translation? And what is the real difference between "al" and "dal"?

2 Answers 2


You say "vicino al cuore". I don't think there is any specific reason, prepositions just work like this. More in general, "da" is usually employed when something is moving "away" from something (away from the eyes in this case). "A" generally expresses instead the motion "towards" or "close" to something (here, close to the heart). But both of them allow exceptions in idiomatic expressions.

  • 1
    Thank you case, you solve my question. In my case, then I'll use "Lontano dagli occhi, vicino al cuore" because it's close to the heart. Correct? Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 20:07
  • Yes, it is correct. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 20:11
  • 1
    @RodolfoOliveira: No, you use “vicino a [something]” because this is how the Italian adjective vicino is construed.
    – DaG
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 20:11
  • @DaG Really guy? Then the correct is "Lontano dagli occhi, vicino a cuore"? OMG. Italian is complicated kkkk Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 20:15
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    @RodolfoOliveira: Sorry for the misunderstanding. Vicino al cuore is correct, and al is simply a (preposition) + il (article). I was just stressing out that vicino is always construed with a/al/allo/alla etc. and never with da (nor dal, dalla etc.).
    – DaG
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 20:19

The correct Italian idiom would be "Lontano dagli occhi, vicino al cuore". DA è una preposizione di moto DA luogo, mentre A è una preposizione di moto A luogo - DA e A hanno dunque un significato opposto. Infatti esiste anche un proverbio dal significato contrario "Lontano dagli occhi, lontano dal cuore". Quindi: "Lontano da" e "vicino a". La forma "vicino da" non è corretta. Hope it helps.

  • Welcome to Italian.SE, @Anna. Please, note that here we have the policy of answering in English to a question posted in English and in Italian to a question posted in Italian.
    – Charo
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 12:48
  • Oh sorry, I apologize with you all, I didnt know that... Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 19:23

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