Muro and parete both translate to “wall” in Italian and are interchangeable most of the time, but there are a couple of slight differences:
- Parete is used when discussing an internal wall of a structure (house, building, etc.), while muro can be used to refer to a wall built anywhere.
- In biological terms (a cell wall) ONLY parete is used.
Similarly, stanza and camera both translate to “room” in Italian with negligible differences as well.
- Stanza is more general and indicates any internal space of a building separated by walls (and doors).
- Camera is more often used to reference a bedroom (“camera da letto”), but can also be used to refer to other areas of “habitation” (dining room).
Cortile literally translates to “courtyard”, but is also used to indicate the yard or lawn of a house.
The Italian terms for the major living areas of a house are widely left to interpretation as well and can prove somewhat confusing. Here is how one native speaker explained it:
- The soggiorno is the most important room of the house (with furniture, television, stereo, etc.), a place where you can relax with family or to entertain friends.
- The salotto is a room (generally not very large) furnished with a couch, armchairs, and end tables for reception and conversation.
- The sala da pranzo is the dining room or area of a house.
Sedia and seggiola are synonymous for “chair” and have no definitive differences. However, seggiola is an older term that (outside of Tuscany) is rarely used in most regions of Italy anymore. The Italian word specifically for “armchair” is poltrona.
When speaking in terms of furniture, il tavolo is “the table”. However, when referring to a table that is prepared for a meal, it becomes la tavola. A somewhat confusing caveat to this is that when calling to reserve a table at a restaurant, you would use the former.
- Vorrei prenotare un tavolo, per favore. (I would like to reserve a table, please.)
- La cena è in tavola. (Dinner is on the table.)
- Metti la scatola sul tavolo della cucina. (Put the box on the kitchen table.)
|la vasca da bagno
|la sala da pranzo