Italian Language/use of "dorato"


Dear Maria,

My question is about the use of the adjective “dorato”.

Can you please tell me if “dorato” can be used to refer to the metal.

For example, would it be acceptable to say:  

“una statua dorata”
“a golden statue”  or   “a gold statue”     -     meaning  the statue is made of gold

Thank you very much.

Very Sincerely,


Dear Rich,

the adjective "dorato" can be used to refer to the metal only if you want to say that a statue is gilt, i.e."covered with a ​thin ​layer of ​gold or a ​substance that ​looks like ​gold" as in e.g. “Questa statua non è d’oro, è semplicemente dorata” ("This statue is not solid gold, it's just gilt") or “Cornice dorata” meaning “ gilt frame”.  

It's therefore  not acceptable to say “una statua dorata” if you want to say that such a statue is “a golden statue” / “a gold statue”, i.e. a statue made of gold. In Italian in fact you must say “Una statua d’oro”.

Kind regards,


Italian Language

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 All rights reserved.