Il superlativo assoluto
Bellissimo! might be what you would say when admiring Michelangelo’s David or a breathtaking view in the Dolomites. Bellissimo means very beautiful, extremely beautiful: the suffixes -issimo / -issima / -issimi / -issime take the place of very and extremely. Consider the examples:
Questa sciarpa è bellissima. [This scarf is very beautiful.]
I camerieri in questo ristorante sono gentilissimi. [The waiters in this restaurant are very kind.]
Assumere Carla è stato facilissimo. [Hiring Carla was very easy.]
Le ferie sono state cortissime. [The vacation was very short.]
To form this superlative, simply drop the last letter of the adjective, as in bello → bell; gentile → gentil, etc., and add the -issimo / -issima / -issimi / -issime forms.
You can also use this superlative for adverbs, such as bene → ben → benissimo, and male → mal → malissimo.
- there are a few special forms: ottimo is a synonym of buonissimo, and pessimo is a synonym of cattivissimo.
- you cannot use this superlative for adjectives that already have a very strong meaning, such as delizioso, fantastico, meraviglioso, stupendo, orribile and terribile.
- you can either say molto + adjective or adjective + –issimo, but you cannot combine the two forms and say
molto gentilissimo, for example.