Italian Language/use of "bello"

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Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the expression -   “la bella vita”.

I understand that the adjective “bello” means “good” when referring to “things or experiences” – so that “la bella vita” would mean -   “the good life”.  

But, I am also wondering if the adjective “bello” is always placed before the noun.  For example, is it possible to say -  “la vita bella”?

If “yes” is there any difference in the sense of meaning between placing the adjective “bello” before the noun as opposed to placing the adjective “bello” after the noun?

Does “la bella vita” (the good life) convey a different meaning than - “la vita bella” (the good life)

Thank you very, very much for your great help.  As always, it is much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

the expression  “la bella vita” can mean “the good life” as well as “the high life” and “the  good living”.See for example the following sentences:”Ci stiamo godendo la bella vita” (we are living the good life); “Faceva la bella vita, come al solito”( He was living the high life, as usual); “Attirava le ragazze con i soldi e la bella vita” (He was luring the girls with money and the high life);” Una volta facevo la bella vita fingendo di essere un riccone”( I used to make a good living pretending to be a  nabob).

Anyway, the adjective “bello” is not always placed before the noun, and then it is  possible to say  “la vita bella”  as in e.g. “Tu mi hai reso la vita bella” (You made my life good” or “ You made my life worth living."); “Quaranta  milioni di dollari possono rendere la vita decisamente bella” ($40 million can give a very good life).

As you can see, there is a difference in the sense of meaning between placing the adjective “bello” before the noun as opposed to placing the adjective “bello” after the noun  and then “la bella vita”  conveys a different meaning than  “la vita bella”.

Hope this is clear enough.

Have a nice evening,

Maria

Italian Language

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Maria

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

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

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