Symptoms of heartburn and their impact on health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) are often evaluated in clinical trials. When a questionnaire is translated into a new language, a linguistic validation is necessary but not sufficient unless the psychometric characteristics have been verified. To document the psychometric characteristics of the Italian translation of the Gastrointestinal Symptom-Rating Scale (GSRS) and Quality of Life in Reflux and Dyspepsia (QOLRAD) questionnaire. 152 consecutive patients with symptoms of heartburn (mean +/- SD age 46.5 +/- 16.2 years; 40.1% males) completed the Italian translation of GSRS, the heartburn version of QOLRAD, the 36-item Short-Form health survey (SF-36), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale. The internal consistency reliability of GSRS ranged from 0.62 to 0.76 and of QOLRAD from 0.77 to 0.89. The relevant domains of the GSRS ('Reflux', 'Abdominal Pain' and 'Indigestion') and QOLRAD domain scores significantly correlated. GSRS domains 'Reflux' and 'Abdominal Pain' strongly correlated (negatively) with most of the domains of the SF-36. Similarly, all QOLRAD domains significantly correlated with all SF-36 domains. The psychometric characteristics of the Italian translations of GSRS and QOLRAD were found to be good, with satisfactory reliability and validity.