In Italian, "to love someone" has two translations:
- amare qualcuno, meaning "to desire a romantic relationship with someone";
- voler bene a qualcuno, meaning "to care for someone" (literally: "to wish for someone's good") - for example, "to love a friend" is translated as "voler bene a un amico".
I don't know of any word in English which is as strong as "to love", yet cannot be misunderstood for interest in a romantic relationship. Is there such a phrase?
So far, the best I came up with is "to care for someone", but it doesn't express the same strength, so to speak, as "to love [a friend]".