Italian is taken into consideration one that the many beautiful and melodic language in the world—the language of music—but how daunting it is to express sometimes! This is especially the case if your very first language is English and also you are not provided to reading all the letter in a word and also pronouncing every the vowels once you speak. 

In this article, we’d favor to focus on some particular sounds in the Italian language and their correct pronunciation to aid you come sound much more Italian in conversation. How numerous times have you stumbled upon a fancy Italian native in a food selection of a restaurant that you might not express properly? and also while zucchine (not zucchini) is more or less clear, managing gnocchi have the right to be a genuine struggle. Carciofi alla romana, crema di ceci, cannoli siciliani…the perform goes on. Following time, don’t border yourself to a basic pizza since you’re fear of seeing “amused” Italians around you! 

As you might have guessed, today we begin with the letter “c” and its together in various contexts.

You are watching: How to pronounce cc in italian

“C” is the third letter that the Italian alphabet and its together doesn’t follow the exact same rules as the English “c”. In Italian, the pronunciation of “c” always depends on the vowel or consonant following it. 

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How to express C followed by A, O, or U in Italian

If “c” is adhered to by the letter a, o, or u— “cat, cold, cut” is a good way to remember it—it’s a so-called “hard c” pronounced prefer a “k”. 

The dominance is: c + a/o/u = ka, ko, ku

These are some examples:

Calabria – a region in the southern of Italycoltello – knifecupola (stress top top the very first syllable) – domecantare – to singcopiare – to copycurioso – curious

How to express C adhered to by ns or E in Italian

On the other hand, if “c” is complied with by the letters i or e, it i do not care “soft” and also is pronounced choose a “ch”, together in cheat.

The rule is: c + i/e = tʃi/tʃe

These are some examples:

città (stress on the 2nd syllable) - citycena – dinnerCenacolo – “The critical Supper” through Leonardo Da Vinci

How to express CH in Italian

When you accomplish a combination of “c” and also “h”, keep in mind that the letter h renders the c sound “hard” again.

The dominance is: c + h = k


chiaro – clearschermo *– screenchiesa - church

*(pronounce “e” as in “scare”)

How to express C followed by a Consonant in Italian

Finally, when “c” is adhered to by an additional consonant, the is always pronounced favor the letter k.

The rule is: c + l/r = k


credo * – i believecrudo – rawclasse – classcliente – client

*(pronounce “e” together in “scare”)

Let’s try to say:

Civitavecchia – a city in main Italy, Lazio.cucinare – to cookcieco – blindsuccesso – success

Now try to review this tiny dialogue, valuable when you introduce yourself to someone. When reading, pay fist to the rules we have spoken about above.

- Ciao! Come ti chiami? (Hello! What’s her name?)

- Mi chiamo Marco. (My surname is Marco.)

- Piacere. Sono Chiara. (Nice to accomplish you. I’m Chiara.)

- Cosa fai qui? (What room you doing here?)

- not like that qui per un concerto. (I’m below for a concert.)

- Che bello! (Oh, it is great!)

Up to now it’s been simple ride v the simple rules. Let’s get in depth by including some extr information. 

How to pronounce C preceded by S in Italian

Above, us learned exactly how to attend to “c” when it’s complied with by other consonants and also vowels, but the joint of this tricky letter also depends top top the letter the comes before it, in specific the letter s.

C+i and also c+e (which typically sound prefer and ) v an “s” placed before them sound choose and , choose in she or shake.

The dominion is: S + ci/ce = shee/she

For example:

sciare * – come ski *(pronounce “a” as in “you are”)scimmia - monkeyscenografia - settingscenario - scenerycuscino - pillowuscire – to walk out, come exitsciabola – saber

Combinations like “schi” or “sche” have the right to be misleading, yet in such situations you should use the exact same rules for “chi” and also “che”, in i beg your pardon the letter c is hard due to the fact that it is adhered to by the letter h.

The dominion is: S + chi/che = skee/ske

For example:

schema * – schemeschizzare – come splashscherzare * – come jokeschiuma - foam

*pronounce “e” favor in “schedule”

As you can see, the rules are quite easy come remember since there are only two instances when the “c” is soft.

Now, at last yet not least, let’s see if you can pronounce those dreaded food selection items stated in the beginning:

Carciofi alla romana – Roman-style artichokesCrema di ceci – creamy chickpea soupCannolo siciliano – Sicilian pastry through ricotta cheese.Gnocchi – a form of pasta, usually made the potatoes.Scialatielli – another type of pasta, a usual dish the the Amalfi coast.

Learning exactly how to pronounce the letter c is a large step in conquering Italian phonetics, and once you begin to exercise more, you will not have to think about the rule every time friend speak. It will come to you naturally!

The crucial is regularity. Listen to an ext songs in Italian or watch part videos ~ above YouTube to get used come the sound that the language. And also as shortly as you get an opportunity to practice, just dive in!

Don’t be afraid of do mistakes, ask because that help—Italians will gladly explain to you the difference between “scarpa” and “sciarpa”.

See more: How Many Bricks In A House, How Many Bricks Does It Take To Build A House

Next time we will learn just how to pronounce the “g”. Spoiler: the rule are fairly similar!

(Note: This article was originally written because that Italy magazine by Pat Eggleton on march 30th, 2010. It has actually been updated and also expanded.)


This language short article is maintain by the professional instructors from L"Italiano Porticando Italian language and society school located in the love of historic Turin. Accredited by the ASILS (Association of institutions Teaching Italian together a second Language), L"Italiano Porticando offers individual and also group lessons, themed courses, and cultural classes on every little thing from Italian cinema to Turin’s well known chocolate.