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How To Translate “To Visit” In Italian

There is a verb in English, “to visit”, that creates confusion when translated in Italian, because most learners tend to translate them with the verb “visitare”, which is not always correct, so in this article we will find out about the contexts!

1) Visitare:

  • visitare for a city, museum or place: “vorrei visitare Roma”.
  • visitare a person who is not necessarly a friend, so a formal visit: “visitare gli infermi in ospedale”.
  • visitare as “controllare”, in a medical context, as in “the doctor checks on the patien”: “il dottore visita il paziente”.

2) Andare a trovare:

  • andare a trovare a friend or family member: “vado a trovare mio cugino”.

3) Venire a trovare:

  • a friend or family member viene (comes towards me) a trovare me o te: “quando vieni a trovarmi?”.

Let’s sum it up:

When in English we would say “to visit a friend”, in Italian we have to use the verb “andare a trovare”, whereas if the friends comes towards us, then he “viene a trovarmi”, with the verb “venire” rather than “andare”.

We can use the verb “visitare” if we refer to a tourist place or to formal / official visits.

We also need to underline that the verb “visitare una persona” does exist in the vocabulary, but not really in everyday usage if not in the context of the doctor checking on the patient, so a learner or a tourist who uses the verb “visitare” to translate the original expression, will immediately give the idea of being a foreigner. Therefore, if we want to sound more Italian and more natural, we definitely will prefer the phrase “andare/venire a trovare”.

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