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A number of early maps have titles in Italian, among them maps by Coronelli, Dudley, Zatta, and publishers of the Lafreri School. Most titles are fairly easy to guess, but the following list of terms may be helpful. Italian nouns and adjectives have two genders, masculine and feminine. Many masculine words end in -o, which changes to -i in the plural. Many feminine words end in -a, which changes to -e in the plural. However, there are exceptions. Nouns ending in -e in the singular become -i in the plural.


For the articles and article-preposition combinations, several forms are given. The form used depends on the gender and starting letter of the following word, but the rules need not be known to translate into English. Occasionally, when a word ends in a vowel, and the following word begins with a vowel, the terminal vowel is often replaced by an apostrophe, as in dell'America..


a prep to

adiacente adj adjacent

ai, agli, alle prep to the (pl.)

al, allo, alla prep to the (sing.)

alto adj high, upper

altrementi adv otherwise

altro adj other

anticamente adv anciently

appresso prep near

arcano n mystery

atlante n atlas

australe adj southern

baia n bay

banco di sabbia sandbank

basso adj low, lower

Belgio n Belgium

bocca n mouth

boreale adj northern

caduta n waterfall

canale n channel

capitale n capital

capo n cape

carta n map, chart

cento card num hundred

che conj that

chi rel pron who, whom, whose

chiamato adj named

Cina n China

cinque card num five

citta, civita n city

coi, cogli, colle prep with the, by the (pl.)

col, collo, con lo, colla prep with the, by the (sing.)

cominciare v to begin

con prep with

conosciuto adj known

contea n county, earldom

contenere v to contain

corretto adj correct

corso n course

cosmografo n cosmographer

costa n coast

da prep from

dai, dagli, dalle prep from the, by the (pl.)

dal, dallo, dalla prep from the, by the (sing.)

Danimarca n Denmark

decimo ord num tenth

dei, degli, delle prep of the (pl.)

del prep of

del, dello, della prep of the (sing.)

delineato adj drawn

della prep of

descritta adj described

descrittione, descrizione n description

detto adj said, called

di prep of

dieci card num ten

disegno n plan, drawing

dodicesimo ord num twelfth

dodici card num twelve

ducato n duchy

due card num two

e, ed conj and

Egitto n Egypt

emisfero n hemisphere

entrata n entrance

esatto adj exact

est n east

fatto adj done

finire v to finish, to end

fino prep as far as, until

fiume n river

foce n mouth

foglio n sheet

fortezza n fortress

fra prep in, between, among

Francia n France

Galles n Wales

geografia n geography

geografico adj geographical

geografo n geographer

gia adv formerly

Giappone n Japan

gli art the

golfo n gulf

grado n degree

grande, gran adj large

Grecia n Greece

hoggidi adv nowadays

i art the

il art the

impero n empire

in prep in

Inghilterra n England

Inglesi n Englishmen

intagliata adj engraved

intagliatore n engraver

intorno prep around

Irlanda n Ireland

isola n island

isoletta n islet

istmo n isthmus

la art the

lago n lake

le art the

levante n east

lo art the

Luigiana n Louisiana

maestro adj main

maestro n master

maggiore adj greater, major

mappa n map

mare n sea

meridionale adj southern

Messico n Mexico

meta n half

miglio n mile

mille card num thousand

minore adj lesser, minor

molto adj much

mondo n world

montagna n mountain

monte n mount

navigare v to navigate, to sail

nei, negli, nelle prep in the (pl.)

nel, nello, nella prep in the (sing.)

nono ord num ninth

nord n north

nove card num nine

Nuova Zelanda n New Zealand

nuovamente adv again, newly

nuovo adj new

o conj or

occidentale adj western

Olanda n Holland

Olandesi n the Dutch

orientale adj eastern

osservazione n observation, comment

ostro n south

ottavo ord num eighth

otto card num eight

ovest n west

ovvero conj or

paese n country, village

parte n part

particolare adj particular

penisola n peninsula

pianta n map

piu adj most

polo n pole

ponente n west

porto n harbor, port

Portogallo n Portugal

presso prep at, by, near, in

primo ord num first

principale adj principal

privilegio n copyright

projezione n projection

provincia n province, pl. -cie

quarto ord num fourth

quattro card num four

questo, questa adj this

qui adv here

quinto ord num fifth

rada n roadstead

rappresentante pres part representing

redatto adj written, drawn up

regno n kingdom

ridotto adj reduced

ritratto n image

riviera n coast

scoperta n discovery, pl. scoperte

scoperto adj discovered

Scozia n Scotland

secca n shoal

secondo ord num second

secondo prep according to

sei card num six

selvaggio n savage, native

sesto ord num sixth

sette card num seven

settentrionale adj northern

settimo ord num seventh

sia conj else; sia...sia, both...and; o sia, or else

sino prep as far as, until

sobborgo n suburb

sonda n sound

Soria n Syria

sotto prep under

Spagna n Spain

Spagnuola n Hispaniola

specchio n mirror

spiaggia n shore, beach

stabilimento n establishment

stampa n printing press, print

stamperia n printing establishment

Stati Uniti United States

stretto n straits

su prep on

sud n south

sui, sugli, sulle prep on the (pl.)

sul, sullo, sulla prep on the (sing.)

suo adj his, her, its

superiore adj upper

Svezia n Sweden

Svizzera n Switzerland

tavola n map

terra n earth

terzo ord num third

tramontana n north

tre card num three

Turchia n Turkey

tutto adj all

ultimo adj latest

un, uno, una art a

undicesimo ord num eleventh

undici card num eleven

Ungheria n Hungary

universale adj universal

uno card num one

vecchio adj old

veduta n view

vero adj true

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