How to Say HAPPY NEW YEAR in Italian

Heading out for an Italian New Year’s Eve party? Here are phrases for your Italian New Year’s arsenal, and audio files so you’ll know how to pronounce them. Learn what to say at midnight, why it’s essential to pronounce buon anno correctly, how to make a toast, and how to write an Italian New Year’s card.


These phrases work when you’re making a toast, or brindisi, on New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. You can also say this to people in Italy as a New Year’s greeting, on January 1st or in the first few days of the New Year. Though they have slightly different meanings, these phrases all essentially mean Happy New Year! in Italian.


Two prosecco glasses toasting and a graphic speech bubble says "Buon Anno!"

Buon anno literally means good year, and is like saying have a good year.  Even though it doesn’t include the word for new, buon anno is the common way Italians say Happy New Year.

Make sure you pronounce buon anno carefully. Those two n’s in anno aren’t just for show, they are an important part of the word that need to be pronounced. Make sure you prolong the double n sound, otherwise you’ll say buon ano, which means good anus. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

The pronunciation of buon anno is: boo-OHN AHN-noh

Listen to how to pronounce buon anno here:


Buon anno nuovo literally means good new year, and is another way to wish someone a Happy New Year in Italian. Again, pronounce both those n’s in anno!

The pronunciation of buon anno nuovo is: boo-OHN AHN-noh noo-OH-voh

Listen to how to pronounce buon anno nuovo here:


Auguri is a word that Italians use on many special occasions and holidays to extend their best wishes. Auguri literally means wishes, but if you say it at the New Year it’s understood that you are saying best wishes for the New Year. This post explains all about auguri.

The pronunciation of auguri is: ow-GOO-ree

Listen to how to pronounce auguri here:


This phrase is a way of giving your best wishes specifically for the New Year. Auguri di buon anno means wishes for a good year in Italian.

The pronunciation of auguri di buon anno is: ow-GOO-ree dee boo-OHN AHN-noh

Listen to how to pronounce auguri di buon anno here:


Felice anno nuovo is the phrase that literally means Happy New Year in Italian, though buon anno is used just as much.

Again, remember to pronounce your n’s. I love butt jokes as much as the next person, but wishing someone a happy new anus isn’t always appropriate now is it.

The pronunciation of felice anno nuovo is: feh-LEE-cheh AHN-noh noo-OH-voh

Listen to how to pronounce felice anno nuovo here:


If you’re celebrating New Year’s in Italy, you’ll want to know these words and phrases as well.

Facciamo un brindisi!: Let’s make a toast

This phrase is essential, since toasting with sparkling wine is a big part of New Year’s in Italy.

Capodanno: New Year’s

Capodanno literally means head of the year, and refers to both New Year’s Day, the first day of the year, as well as the celebration of New Year’s Eve.

San Silvestro: Saint Silvester, or New Year’s Eve

In the Catholic calendar, the feast day of San Silvestro, Saint Sylvester, is December 31, so Italians often refer to New Year’s Eve as San Silvestro.

L’ultimo dell’anno: The last (day) of the year

Italians often call New Year’s Eve l’ultimo dell’anno, or the last day of the year.

Il cenone: The feast

Il cenone, or feast, is a major feature of Italian New Year’s Eve traditions. Prepare your stomach.


Handwritten new year's card with confetti and colorful markers.  The card says "Vi auguro buone feste e un felice anno nuovo."

New Year’s Eve is just one of many holidays that fall during the long Christmas holiday season in Italy. You can read all about Italian New Year’s traditions and festivities here.

Therefore, when you write a card to wish someone a Happy New Year in Italian, it makes sense to also wish them a happy holiday season. You can combine one of the Happy New Year phrases we discussed above with buone feste, which means happy holidays in Italian.

For example:

Buone feste e buon anno!
Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

Vi auguro buone feste e un felice anno nuovo!
I wish you happy holidays and a Happy New Year!

Tanti auguri di buone feste e di buon anno!
Best wishes for happy holidays and a happy New Year!

On the other hand, if you’d like to ask someone about what they’ll be doing on New Year’s, read How to Talk about New Year’s in Italian.