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How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Italian

How to Say Merry Christmas in Italian

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Italian? ItalianPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Italian Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Italian speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, ItalianPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Italian!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Italy
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How ItalianPod101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Italy

Christmas Words in Italian

Almost everyone is familiar with Christmas, but do you know that in Italy it’s the most important festival of the year?

Christmas is above all a Catholic festival; in fact, it coincides with the birth of Jesus Christ, but in reality the origins of this festival are much older. Today even non-believers celebrate it. In this lesson, we’ll talk about how Italians celebrate Christmas.

Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you-

Do you know why the price of the fish increases dramatically before Christmas in Italy?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

In Italian homes, Christmas preparations begin long before December 25. It’s a tradition to start decorating the Christmas tree, whether its fake or real fir, from December 8. In many homes, mainly in southern Italy, families prepare a nativity scene representing the birth of Jesus in addition to the tree. There are various traditions for this, but the most famous is one from Naples. In Via San Gregorio Armeno, there is a permanent market with the nativity scene which can be visited all year.

Meanwhile, in many cities in northern Italy, Christmas markets are held from December 8 to January 6. Among the most famous are those of Trento and Bolzano, where you can buy decorations, gifts, and various kinds of sweets. Among the most traditional Christmas sweets is the torrone, which is simple but delicious, and made with egg whites, sugar, honey, almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios.

For Italians, the most important moment of Christmas is the Christmas Eve dinner. Usually everyone goes back to their parents’ house to eat together and wait for midnight. Dinner almost always involves fish. The most typical dish is the codfish. Among the treats are panettone, a sweet bread from Milan, and pandoro, a sweet bread from Verona. Finally at midnight the exchange of the gifts under the Christmas tree takes place. Naturally, this is the moment Italian children are most eager for.

For many years Italians have also been very fond of the so-called “cine-panettone,” a comic film broadcast every year during the winter holidays.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

Do you know why the price of fish increases dramatically before Christmas in Italy?

It’s because everyone wants to eat it! In fact, according to Catholic tradition, it’s good to fast and especially to avoid eating meat on December 24 as a sign of respect for Jesus, who was born in poverty.

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

Buon Natale!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Italian? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

Felice Kwanzaa!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

Passa un felice Anno Nuovo!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

Felice Hanukkah!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

Passa una bella vacanza invernale!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

Ci vediamo l’anno prossimo!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

I miei più cari auguri!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Italian Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

Buone vacanze!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Italian, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

Godetevi le vacanze!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Italian, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

I migliori auguri per il nuovo anno!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Italian! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At ItalianPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

Natale

This is the Italian word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Italian will include this word!

2- Snow

pupazzo di neve

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

fiocco di neve

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

pupazzo di neve

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

tacchino

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

ghirlanda

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

renna

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

Babbo Natale

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

elfo

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph la renna dal naso rosso

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

Polo Nord

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

slitta

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

regalo

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

campana

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

camino

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

caminetto

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

Natale

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

decorazione

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

calza

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

agrifoglio

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

casa di marzapane

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

bastoncino di zucchero

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

vischio

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Italian, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Italian! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

6. ItalianPod101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

Visit ItalianPod101!

We don’t just say this - we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From Italian for Absolute Beginners to Advanced Italian, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, ItalianPod101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Italian. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in ItalianPod101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

How to Start Thinking in Italian

Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in Italian

Going through Italian lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of Italian, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in Italian. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between Italian and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the Italian vocabulary word and the tangible object.

start thinking in Italian

In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through ItalianPod101.com.

Create Your Free Lifetime Account and Start Learning the whole Italian Language from the Beginning!

1. Surround yourself with Italian

Surround Yourself

By surrounding yourself with Italian constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a Italian radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

One great feature of ItalianPod101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

2. Learn through observation
learn through observation

Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then Italian words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in Italian.

ItalianPod101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach Italian.

3. Speak out loud to yourself
talk to yourself

Speaking to yourself in Italian not only gets you in the mindset of Italian, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

With ItalianPod101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native Italian speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

4. Practice daily

If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but ItalianPod101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with ItalianPod101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

Conclusion

Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that ItalianPod101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

Learn Italian With ItalianPod101 Today!

Festa di Sant’Oronzo, the feast of the city’s founding Saint

Festa di Sant’Oronzo, the feast of the city’s founding Saint

Once a year between August 24th and August 26th, the city of Lecce celebrates la festa di Sant’Oronzo, the feast of the city’s founding Saint. This celebration literally shuts the city down, and allows its members, and any tourists that get caught up in the mix, to enjoy the festivities, including music, food and dozens of booths set up in the historic center.

During the months prior to the festa, strapping local men can be seen assembling huge light sculptures throughout the streets, stringing them down the main drags where everyone takes their passeggiata, or stroll, in the early evening hours. These lights are then used to illuminate the city and create a whimsical atmosphere, especially in Piazza Sant’Oronzo where most of the concerts take place.

Marco and I decided to spend our Saturday night wandering the streets and entertaining ourselves with sweets and live music on the streets, while we perused the vendors that sold everything from brooms to trinkets from Africa. We first bought a bright pink cotton candy from a vendor in Piazza Sant’Oronzo, we then made our way to one of the many crepe booths stationed near the square and picked up one of those as well. Marco’s love for all things spicy brought us to a booth that sold all kinds of sweets, (called caramelle), as well as crunchy snack items, from which we chose the one sprinkled with red pepper flakes.

We made our rounds at each of the booths, squeezing between the immense crowds of people, stopping to watch old Italian men with calloused hands, work warmed caramel, full of almonds, into bite sized shapes. Thankfully Marco and I share a passion for sweets, so we spent most of our time filling ourselves on licorice flavored candies and gummy worms, watching numerous demonstrations on useful household products.

When the crowds became too much we made our way back to Piazza Sant’Oronzo, and found a spot on a bench where we could relax and watch the parade march past, it was full of holy people chanting, all in honor of Sant’Oronzo. These types of festivals were once held at cities throughout all of southern Italy as each città has been given its own Saint, therefore each has its own Saint’s day. Most of the festivals were similar to Lecce’s, with the lights, food and music. I was fortunate enough to be crammed into Marco’s Fiat on trips to these kinds of feste. Events where bands would play and caramelle would always finish off the night.

Want to learn more about holidays and festivals in Italy?
Check out our Video Culture Class: Italian Holidays

6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

There are plenty of destinations where you can get by with English, but sometimes you want to do better than just ‘get by’. Here are 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination.

What are the 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination?

1. You will be able to discover your destination better than other tourists.
Getting by is one thing, but actually experiencing a trip abroad is quite another. No amount of guidebooks and online research can compensate for a basic lack of language ability. Speaking the language of your destination permits you to explore that destination beyond the regular tourist traps. Your language skills will not only allow you to dig into all the hidden gems of your destination, but they will also allow you to mingle with the locals to get a true experience on your holiday. Think of it this way: you’re not restricted to talking to the people at the tourist desk anymore.

2. Knowing how to communicate with local police or medical personnel can be life-saving.
Before you leave for your destination, make sure you learn how to ask for help in that destination’s local tongue. Do you know how to ask the waiter if this dish has peanuts in it? Or tell your host family that you’re allergic to fish? Can you tell the local doctor where it hurts? Moreover, an awareness of an environment improves your chance of remaining safe inside it. For example, walking around a busy marketplace, dazzled by an unfamiliar language, signs and accents will instantly render any tourist a more attractive mark for pickpockets. Communicating with other people, asking questions and looking confident will make you look like a semi-local yourself, and will ward off potential thieves.

Click here for Italian Survival Phrases that will help you in almost every situation

3. It helps you relax.
Traveling is much less stressful when you understand what that announcement at the airport was saying, or if this bus line reaches your hotel. These things stress you out when traveling and they disappear when you understand the language. This allows you to focus on planning your trip in a better, easier way.

Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.

4. Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.
Sometimes those relationships turn into friendships, and other times they’re nothing more than a lively conversation. Either way, as Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” When you approach someone – even staff at a store or restaurant – with English, rather than their own language, an invisible divide has already been erected. Making even a small effort to communicate in the language of the place you’re visiting can go a long way and you’ll find many more doors open up to you as a result.

Click here for the Top 25 Italian Questions you need to know to start a conversation with anyone

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

5. You’ll be a better ambassador for your country.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we know very little about other countries and cultures, especially the local politics. And what we do know is often filtered to us by the media, which tends to represent only certain interests. When you can speak the local language, you’re able to answer questions that curious locals have about your country and culture. Are you frustrated with how your country is presented in global news? Are you embarrassed by your country’s leaders and want to make it clear that not everyone is like that where you’re from? This is a very good opportunity to share your story with people who have no one else to ask. We all have a responsibility to be representatives of the place we come from.

6. Learning another language can fend off Alzheimer’s, keep your brain healthy and generally make you smarter.

5 Tips To Motivate Yourself While Learning A Second Language

5 Tips to Motivate Yourself

1. Schedule your time.

One of the most important factors in keeping your motivation up is developing it into a habit. Whether it be 20 minutes or 3 hours, schedule time to study every day and stick to it. Regular exposure solidifies what you learn and keeps you progressing. To make sure you stick to your routine, a great idea is to build a schedule for your day and decide that every day/Monday/weekend, you study from 6pm to 8pm. Just remember that 30 minutes a day, every day, is better than a binge 8-hour study session at the end of the week (though it’s obviously better than nothing).

2. Learn a word a day with our great Word of the Day learning tool.

Trying to learn everything at once and getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of words in your new language is not a good idea. Sometimes, even if you do learn new words, you forget them quickly because you haven’t heard them enough in context. As mentioned above, daily exposure to new words is an important factor in solidifying your target language. Our Word of the Day tool delivers you daily words and phrases, shows you how to pronounce them and use them in different contexts. Since you can get the WOTD via email, Facebook, or Twitter, this is a passive way of learning a language that fits into your existing daily social media routine. It only takes 3 minutes to review a word and practice its pronunciation, so you can do it on the way to work, in the gym, or even before you go to bed.

Click here to get the Italian Word of the Day for FREE!

3. Make friends!

Make friends!

If there’s a community of people who speak the language you want to learn in your city, start attending those events! Friendship is the easiest way to get comfortable with the slang, intonation, and mannerisms of a new language. The key to learning any language is speaking a lot, so try to find a native speaker who can be your conversation partner. Having friends that speak your target language means that you will find yourself in situations where you have no choice but to speak that language. But since they are your friends, you will be doing things you enjoy with them. So these situations will probably have little or no stress. These friendships will also mean that you have someone you can ask about language, culture, and so on.

4. Take a break!

Break time

If you’re having an off day or if your brain is already tired of studying, see if you can take a break and do something fun AND useful. Comic books, illustrated stories, and cartoons are a fun way to keep learning while reducing the target language text load for weary eyes. Plus, the images help you plant lasting seeds of memory, as researchers say humor opens up cognitive doors. This is a way to keep the target language active in your brain without the strain of studying a textbook.

Don’t get stuck with the same content though. When things start to bore you, move on. Change up your books, movies, anime, music, dramas, and so on when they start getting old.

5. Don’t give up!

As with any goal, there are going to be pitfalls along the way. You’d have to be incredibly determined to never have an off-day or consider giving up. And when you do it’s ok, but the important thing is to pick yourself up after this temporary setback and keep going. Knowing you’ve overcome a few obstacles is only going to make the moment you have your first conversation in another language that much sweeter. Like the Italian proverb says, ‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight.’

If you need more motivation, check out this list of the Top 10 Inspirational Quotes in Italian.

Do People Understand Where You’re Coming From in Italy?

Imagine you have landed in Italy and are out and meeting people and exploring your surroundings. After you say “Ciao!” ( the equivalent to ‘Hello’ in English), your Italian friend may become more curious about you and your origins. And if your new friend asks you:
Da dove vieni? 

Don’t be surprised! Your friend just wants to know where you come from. Da dove vieni? (informal) or Da dove viene? (formal), translates to “Where do you
come from?” 

In this case, you should answer with your country of origin. For example:
Vengo dall’Italia (I come from Italy)

You may also hear Di dove sei?, which also means  “Where do you come from?” , with the small difference that Di dove sei? requires a more specific location, and you should answer with the name of your hometown or the most famous city you can think of that can give your Italian friend an idea of the location or environment that you come from.

And you can be sure that there will be many different countries of origin around you. With its historical heritage and panoramic views (not to mention its world-recognized cuisine!), Italy is is a very popular destination for travelers all around the world, attracting over 4 million tourists every year!

First Impressions can last a lifetime!

As you may have seen in Italian movies or during your stay in in Italy if you had the chance , you will notice that ciao is the easiest and most common Italian greeting people use to say “hello” or “goodbye.”
Usually though, you should only use this greeting with people whom you are well acquainted with, such as friends or
relatives.

As a special case, you may notice that it is common to address foreigners entering into Italy with ciao. The reason for this is that it’s
a friendly and easy way to greet them. Sometimes owners of casual, modern shops may greet customers with ciao as a way to keep social distances at a minimum and make talking easier and faster,thus making you feel more comfortable (and this way making their patrons feel relaxed and at home).

For first time meetings though, you may use buon giorno (also written buongiorno) with anyone. Literally, buon giorno means “good day,” however, you may also interpret it to mean “good morning” or “good afternoon.”

As a rule of thumb you can use buon giorno only during daytime-from morning until evening-or from before daybreak to before dusk. If we want to express “good morning” clearly, we may use buon mattino, but this expression is very rare. As for “good afternoon,” we sometimes use buon pomeriggio.

Yet, we are sure that if there was to be any confusion with greetings, your Italian hosts will be kind to you no matter what. Italians are known for their friendliness and warmth, so even a simple “Ciao!” will bring about a smile and maybe a long lasting friendship!

Italian Culture - Assumption Day/Assunzione or Ferragosto – Italian

Assumption Day/Assunzione or Ferragosto – Italian

Assumption Day observes that Mary, the mother of Jesus died and her body was united with her soul and ascended to heaven instead of enduring the physical decaying of the body through normal death. It has been a belief of the Roman Catholic faith since the fourth century CE and is celebrated as the Feast of Our Lady of the Harvest.

This day was once a pagan holiday until it was decided to be Christianized and make it solely about the Virgin Mary. Before, it was first celebrated in honor of the goddess of the Isis of the Sea who was said to be born on this particular day according to myths that have been spreading.

Ferragosto (Assumption Day) is celebrated on August 15th in Italy. The Italians will hold festivals locally throughout the cities where their regional and low priced cuisine is available for sampling. There are many who use this time to go on their seasonal vacations to the seaside where there are some festivals ongoing there. There are sometimes festivals with a medieval theme and people dressed in such costumes. Performances outdoor during that time is filled with music and dancing.

The Italians in Italy and all over the world go all out with their celebration with fireworks and bright processions in the streets. The main event on that day in Sicily, Rome is a bowing procession. The Virgin Mary’s statute is carried through the streets dressed with flowers and a statute of Jesus waits for her at a different location. The procession heads back to the church where an important benediction takes place.

In the past, people would flood the Italian plazas and go for carriage rides through lakes that were temporarily constructed. They would carry rose scented water in bowls that they use to sprinkle on themselves.

Italians extend their celebration to superstitious believe of throwing coins through their windows on to the streets. The color blue is used to symbolize the truth about the Virgin Mary and as an indication that the color of the sky is blue, which is symbolic also of heaven.

Italian Culture - Republic Day/Festa della Repubblica in Italy

Everyone knows how important holidays are especially when they symbolize a specific event in your life. In Italy, for example, there are people who experienced the change in their government and use this public holiday, Republic Day, as a reminder of how important that occasion is.

This holiday is also known as Festa della Repubblica and it was created after a referendum in 1946 was filed by the Italian government to change from being a Monarchy to becoming a Republic government. The House of Savoy ran the monarchy. The entire population of Italy was asked to vote on this referendum and the majority ruled.

The Italians celebrate this holiday on the second day of June each year and they treat it just as important as the United States treat their Fourth of July holiday. It is considered to be the National Holiday of Italy.

After World War II, the Italians saw the fall of Fascism take place in their country, which made it quite clear that the eighty five year old Monarchy government would fall with it. The Monarchs were exiled and a rebirth of a nation took place.

On June second of each year, the Italians hold a large military parade that takes up the streets of Central Rome. This event is attended by the Prime Minister of Italian and other Political dignitaries and authorities.

The holiday parade lasts for about an hour and ends with fighter jet planes flying over the area leaving a colorful smoke behind that represented the colors of the Italian flag. The parade consists of different military branches and personnel as well as firefighters, police and the Red Cross following behind the motorcade with the Italian President in it.

Italians look forward to celebrating the Republic Day every year because of the reminder of how fortunate and liberated they are today and how the past has shaped their country. When they look back at the Monarchy and its rule, fascism leaves a bad taste of the government rule at that time. Now that all that is behind them, Republic Day seems a welcomed change.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From ItalianPod101.com!

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