For example, a sentence in a conversation starts with Guardate, …, but in this case, the person is speaking just to another person. So, are they using voi as a form of politeness?

Per esempio, una frase comincia con «Guardate …», ma pare che la persona parli solamente con un'altra persona. Si può usare il voi per essere più gentile?

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    – Charo
    Aug 24 '16 at 7:01

Nowadays, the polite pronoun used in Italian is lei, even though in some regions is still used voi, especially in the southern Italy.

It could also be that the conversation involved more than one person, and that guardate was referred to all those people. For example, a son tells his mother what he did with his friends. In that case, his mother could reply with (for example) Guardate che è pericoloso, avvicinarsi troppo a quegli scogli.

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