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Italian Language/use of preposition "per"


Dear Lauren,

Would you please help me some more with the following dialogue:

Ecco.  Iniziamo da Napoli, poi visitiamo Bologna e prendiamo la direzione di Firenze attraversando l’ Umbrria.   Poi proseguiamo per Genova.  

I am wondering about the use of the preposition “per” in the sentence - “Poi proseguiamo per Genova.”

I am thinking that this sentence is translated as - “Then we will continue through Genova” where the preposition “per” is used to say "through" as an expression of  “motion through a place”.   Can you please tell me if I am correct?

But, I was also wondering if the preposition “da” could not have been used instead of the preposition “per” as in saying -   “Poi proseguiamo da Genova.”  (Then we will continue through Genova).   Is this possible?  I am thinking that the preposition “da” is also used to indicate “motion through a place”.

These prepositions are so difficult for me.

Thank you.



Hi Rich,

I would translate the sentence as "Then we will head on to Genova".

"Per" is acting as an expression indicating direction forward as in motion towards a place in this case.

Here, "da" would not be acceptable as this instead will give the impression of "from". Therefore, it would make the translation as "we will continue on from Genova".

Typical rule of thumb - "per"is heading towards a destination and "da" is heading from somewhere.

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,

Italian Language

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Lauren O' Hagan


Although not my mother tongue, I have spoken Italian fluently for more than 12 years so I am very confident to answer any questions about the Italian language. I am also competent in Roman Dialect if there are any questions relating to this.


MA Applied Linguistics First Class Honours in Modern Language Studies (Linguistics, Italian, Spanish) Received the top grade in the whole of UK for GCSE Italian, receiving a letter of congratulations from the Italian Consulate Completed my two-year A Level in 1 year with a grade A country. Carried out many translation jobs for a wide range of clients and topics including self-help, literature and exam papers. For personal reference, I have also translated Federico Moccia's Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo and 2 of Francesco Totti's book.

El Pensador, University of Bristol

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