The study discusses theoretical and applied aspects of lexical semantics with reference to Italian verbs. The theoretical section evolves a process typology for Italian verbs. The study focuses centrally on the discussion of such concept hierarchies and their value for semantic descriptions. In addition, the possible readings of the 1,000 most common Italian verbs are allocated to a process hierarchy. The theoretical basis and the empirical section are evaluated by a disambiguation programme displaying selection restrictions in terms of concept hierarchies and selecting contextually correct readings of the verbs.