Italian Lullabies

The Best Italian Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes

Italian lullabies weave a tapestry of soothing melodies that resonate through generations, embodying the cultural richness of this beautiful country. These tender tunes, designed to lull little ones into peaceful slumber, carry with them not just the promise of a good night’s sleep but also a connection to Italy‘s vibrant history and traditions.

In this exploration, we’ll uncover the magic of Italian lullabies and nursery rhymes, discovering the stories and cultural significance behind these cherished musical gems that have cradled countless Italian children into sweet dreams. Join us on this enchanting journey into the heart of Italy’s musical heritage.

Top 5 Italian Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes

Ninna Nanna Ninna Oh

“Ninna Nanna Ninna Oh” is a classic Italian lullaby that dates back centuries. Hailing from the southern regions of Italy, this gentle melody has been whispered by countless caregivers to comfort restless infants. 

The repetitive rhythm and soothing cadence create a calming atmosphere, making it a timeless favorite for bedtime.


Italian English
Ninna nanna, ninna oh

Questo bimbo a chi lo dò ?

Se lo dò alla Befana,

Se lo tiene una settimana.

Se lo dò all’uomo nero,

Se lo tiene un anno intero.

Ninna nanna, ninna oh,

Questo bimbo me lo terrò!

Lullaby, lullaby, ooh,

Who will I give this baby to?

If I give him to the old hag,

For a week she will keep him, ahh.

If I give him to the bogeyman,

For a whole year he’ll keep him,

Lullaby, lullaby, eeee

I will keep this baby for me!

Stella Stellina

Stella Stellina” is a beloved Italian nursery rhyme that captures the hearts of both children and parents. Originating from the northern regions, the song is often accompanied by a gentle swaying motion, creating a lulling effect. 

The lyrics speak of a little star and a little mouse, creating a whimsical narrative that engages young listeners while embracing the simplicity and beauty of childhood.


Italian English
Stella stellina
La notte s’avvicina
La fiamma traballa
La mucca è nella stalla

La mucca e il vitello
La pecora e l’agnello
La chioccia e il pulcino
Ognuno ha il suo bambino
Ognuno ha la sua mamma
E tutti fan la nanna

Star Little Star
The night is coming
The flame is trembling
The cow is in the stable

The cow and the calf
The sheep and the lamb
The mother hen and the chick
Each has their little one
Each has their mom
And everyone sleeps

Farfallina Bella e Bianca

“Farfallina Bella e Bianca,” translating to “Beautiful and White Butterfly,” is a charming lullaby from the Italian tradition. This sweet melody is often associated with the central regions of Italy. 

The lyrics tell the story of a beautiful white butterfly that flutters around, bringing a sense of grace and purity to the lullaby. The gentle melody mirrors the delicate nature of the butterfly, creating a peaceful ambiance for bedtime.


Italian English

Bella e bianca

vola vola

mai si stanca

gira qua

e gira la

poi si resta sopra un fiore

e poi si resta spora un fiore.

Ecco ecco

a trovata

bianca e rosa


gira qua

e gira la

poi si resta sopra un fiore

e poi si resta spora un fiore.


Beautiful and white

Fly and fly

Never get tired

Turn here

And turn there

And she rests upon a flower

And she rests upon a flower.

Here, here,

I have found her

White and red


Turn here

And turn there

And she rests upon a flower

And she rests upon a flower.

Cavallino arri’ arro’

“Cavallino arri’ arro’” is a playful Italian nursery rhyme that has been entertaining children for generations. Originating from the lively streets of Naples, this catchy tune often accompanies playful rocking motions. 

The lyrics describe a little horse that rocks back and forth, creating a joyous and rhythmic experience for children. This spirited lullaby embodies the exuberance of childhood and the joy of imaginative play.


Italian English
Cavallino arri, arrò,

prendi la biada che ti do,

prendi i ferri che ti metto

per andare a San Francesco.

A San Francesco c’è una via

che ti porta a casa mia.

A casa mia c’è un altare

con tre monache a lavorare,

una cuce, una taglia,

una fa cappelli di paglia;

la più piccola e vecchietta

Santa Barbara benedetta.

Little horse arri, arrò,

take the hey I give you,

take the irons I prepared

to go to San Francesco.

In San Francesco there is a road

that leads you to my place.

In my place there is an altar

with three nuns at work,

one sew, one cuts,

one makes straw hats;

the smallest and oldest

is blessed St Barbara.

Brilla Brilla La Stellina

“Brilla Brilla La Stellina,” or “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in Italian, transcends cultural boundaries as a universally cherished lullaby. While the melody is known worldwide, the Italian version adds a poetic touch to the familiar tune. 

The Italian lyrics speak of the little star illuminating the night sky, creating a dreamy and magical atmosphere for bedtime. This adaptation of a classic demonstrates the universal appeal of lullabies in comforting and enchanting young listeners.


Italian English
Brilla brilla una stellina

Su nel cielo piccolina.

Brilla brilla sopra noi,

Mi domando di chi sei.

Brilla brilla la stellina,

Ora tu sei più vicina.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

So small up in the sky

You shine, shine above us

How I wonder what you are

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

Now you are much closer.

Listen to These Melodies!

These lullabies, rooted in regional traditions and stories, serve as more than just tools to lull children to sleep; they are windows into the soul of a nation. They embody the warmth, creativity, and tenderness that define Italian culture, fostering a sense of connection and comfort for both children and their caregivers.

So, the next time you find yourself humming one of these melodies or gently swaying to the rhythm, remember that you are not just singing a song; you are joining a timeless tradition, where the cradle of culture rocks gently, ensuring that the melody of Italy continues to echo through the hearts of generations to come.

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