Etymology
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dolce vita (n.)

"life of pleasure," 1961, Italian, from the title of Fellini's 1960 film. The Italian elements are from Latin dulcis "sweet" (see dulcet) +  Latin vita "life," from PIE root *gwei- "to live."

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al dente (adv.)
1935, Italian, literally "to the tooth," from Latin dentem (nominative dens) "tooth" (from PIE root *dent- "tooth"). Italian al represents a contraction of words from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + ille "that" (see le).
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bel canto 
1894, Italian, literally "fine song." See belle + chant.
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al fresco (adv.)
also alfresco, 1753, Italian, literally "in the fresh (air)." Italian al represents a contraction of words from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + ille "that" (see le). Alfresco also meant "painted on plaster that was still fresh or moist" (1764; see fresco).
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dolce far niente 

"pleasing inactivity, sweet idleness," 1814, from Italian, literally "sweet doing nothing." The Latin roots are dulcis "sweet" (see dulcet), facere "to make, do" (see factitious), and nec entem, literally "not a being."

This phrase, frequent enough in English literature, does not seem to occur in any Italian author of note. Howells says that he found it current among Neapolitan lazzaroni, but it is not included in any collection of Italian proverbial sayings. [Walsh]
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bel paese (n.)
proprietary name of a type of mild, creamy cheese, 1935, Italian literally "beautiful country or region."
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terza rima (n.)
1819, Italian, literally "third rhyme." Dante's measure: a-b-a-b-c-b-c-d-c-, etc.
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commedia dell'arte (n.)

"improvised popular comedy involving stock characters," 1823, Italian, literally "comedy of art;" see comedy + art (n.).

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lingua franca (n.)
1620s, from Italian, literally "Frankish tongue." A stripped-down Italian peppered with Spanish, French, Greek, Arabic, and Turkish words, it began as a form of communication in the Levant. The name probably is from the Arabic custom, dating back to the Crusades, of calling all Europeans Franks (see Frank). Sometimes in 17c. English sources also known as Bastard Spanish.
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Black Hand (n.)
Italian immigrant secret society in U.S., 1904; earlier a Spanish anarchist society, both from the warning mark they displayed to potential victims.
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