Italian Proverbs Beginning With "C"

Popular Italian proverbs that start with the letter "c"

Old street in Vernazza, Italy
Old street in Vernazza, Italy. Valentina Rimondi / Getty Images

Proverbs are a beautiful part of the Italian language and help learners understand the Italian culture on a deeper level. Below you’ll find a list of common proverbs beginning with “c”.

Campa cavallo!

You may also hear “campa cavallo che l’erba cresce”.

  • English translation: Living horse!

  • Idiomatic meaning: Fat chance!

Cambiano i suonatori ma la musica è sempre quella.

  • English translation: The musicians changed, but the song is the same.

    • Idiomatic meaning: The melody's changed but the song remains the same.

    Cane che abbaia non morde.

    • English translation: The dog that barks doesn't bite.

    • Idiomatic meaning: His bark is worse than his bite.

    Casa mia, casa mia, per piccina che tu sia, tu mi sembri una badìa.

    • English translation: My home, my home, as tiny as you are, you seem like an abbey to me.

    • Idiomatic meaning: East or west, home is best.

    Casa senza fimmina 'mpuvirisci. (Sicilian proverb)

    • English translation: How poor is a home without a woman!

    Chi ben comincia è a metà dell'opera.

    • English translation: A good start is half the battle.

    Chi cento ne fa, una ne aspetti.

    • English translation: Who does one hundred of them awaits one of them.

    • Idiomatic meaning: What goes around comes around.

    Chi cerca trova.

    • English translation: Seek and you shall find.

    Chi di spada ferisce di spada perisce.

    • English translation: He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.

      Chi dorme non piglia pesci.

      • English translation: Who sleeps doesn't catch fishes.

      • Idiomatic meaning: The early bird catches the worm.

      Chi è causa del suo male piange se stesso.

      • English translation: He who has created his own evil cries over the same.

      • Idiomatic meaning: He who has made his bed must lie in it.

        Chi fa da sé, fa per tre.

        • English translation: He who works by himself does the work of three (people).

        • Idiomatic meaning: Do it yourself if you want it done right.

        Chi fa falla, e chi non fa sfarfalla.

        • English translation: Those who act make mistakes; and those who do nothing really blunder.

        Chi ha avuto ha avuto e chi ha dato ha dato.

        • English translation: What's done is done.

        Chi ha fretta vada piano.

        • English translation: Make haste slowly.

        Chi ha moglie ha doglie.

        • English translation: A wife means pains.

        Chi la fa l’aspetti.

        • English translation: Who does it awaits it.

        • Idiomatic meaning: What goes around, comes around.

        Chi lava il capo all'asino perde il ranno e il sapone.

        • English translation: He who scrubs the head of an ass loses lye and soap.

        • Idiomatic meaning: All for nothing.

        Chi lascia la strada vecchia per la nuova sa quel che lascia, ma non sa quel che trova.

        • English translation: Who leaves the old road for the new knows what he leaves, but doesn’t know what he will find.

        • Idiomatic meaning: Better the devil you know than the one you don’t know.

        Chi non fa, non falla.

        • English translation: Those who do nothing, make no mistakes.

        Chi non ha moglie non ha padrone.

        • English translation: A man without a wife is a man without a master.

          Chi non risica, non rosica.

          • English translation: Nothing ventured nothing gained.

          Chi pecora si fa, il lupo se la mangia.

          • English translation: Those who make themselves sheep will be eaten by the wolf.

          Chi più sa, meno crede.

          • English translation: The more one knows, the less one believes.

          Chi prima non pensa in ultimo sospira.

          • English translation: He who first does not think breathes his last.

          • Idiomatic meaning: Look before you leap.

          Chi sa fa e chi non sa insegna.

          • English translation: Those who know, do, and those who don't, teach.

          Chi s'aiuta, Dio l'aiuta.

          • English translation: God helps those who help themselves.

          Chi tace acconsente.

          • English translation: Silence gives consent.

          Chi tardi arriva male alloggia.

          • English translation: Those who arrive late lodge poorly.

          Chi trova un amico trova un tesoro.

          • English translation: He who finds a friend, finds a treasure.

            Chi va piano, va sano; chi va sano, va lontano./ Chi va piano va sano e va lontano.

            • English translation: He who goes softly, goes safely; he who goes safely, goes far.

            • Idiomatic meaning: Slowly but surely.

            Chi vince ha sempre ragione.

            • English translation: Might makes right.

            chiodo scaccia chiodo

            • English translation: One nail drives out another nail

            • Idiomatic meaning: Out with the old, in with the new

            FUN FACT: While the phrase above can be used for a variety of situations, it’s generally used for relationships.

            Con niente non si fa niente.

            English translation: You can't make something from nothing.