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  2.17.1 The signs for the open and closed o in the IPA phonetic transcription

open o donna = woman
closed o   conoscere = to know (someone, something)

You find the open 'o' in words like call / ball, the closed version in words like low. If you pay attention to your lips when producing these sounds (au / o) you realize that in the case of low your lips are rounded and more closed, and not rounded and more open in call. If you pay attention to the examples above you will notice that the Italian closed 'o' is closer than the English version, in other words, the lips are more rounded.

In order to make clear the difference between an open 'o' and a closed 'o' hear the sound examples below. For didactic purposes you have a correct version and a wrong version (a closed 'o' pronounced as an open one and vice versa).

correct: atroce = atrocious (closed o)
wrong: atroce
correct: dolore = pain (closed o)
wrong: dolore
correct: amore = love (closed o)
wrong: amore

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