Heading to Italy for New Year’s? We’ve got you covered. Here are important words and phrases for talking about New Year’s in Italian, like capodanno (New Year’s); making New Year’s plans; making a toast; and wishing people a Happy New Year! There’s also audio, so you can learn to pronounce these phrases like a pro.
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IMPORTANT WORDS FOR NEW YEAR’S IN ITALIAN
First let’s look at some essential words you’ll need for talking about New Year’s in Italian.
Capodanno refers to the time when we celebrate New Year’s Eve, from the evening of December 31st through the beginning of January 1st. Technically, however, capodanno is the Italian word for New Year’s Day, because capodanno means head of the year: the first day of the year, or January 1st.
Another way to say New Year’s Eve is l’ultimo dell’anno, which literally means the last (day) of the year. Italians also call it San Silvestro, or Saint Sylvester, because December 31st is the feast day of Saint Sylvester in the Catholic calendar.
The big dinner or feast, called il cenone in Italian, is one of the main Italian New Year’s Eve traditions. You’ll definitely want to discuss plans for this major part of the evening. Learn more about the feast and Italian New Year’s Traditions here.
HOW TO MAKE NEW YEAR’S PLANS IN ITALIAN
If you’d like to ask a friend, or friends, what they’re doing on New Year’s Eve, here are some helpful phrases. Italian distinguishes between single you and plural you, so make sure you use the right phrase depending on whether you’re talking to one person, or a group of people.
What are you doing on New Year’s?
Che fai a capodanno? if you are speaking to one person.
Che fate a capodanno? if you are speaking to a group.
What are your plans for New Year’s?
Che programmi hai per capodanno? if you are speaking to one person.
Che programmi avete per capodanno? if you are speaking to a group.
What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?
Che fai per l’ultimo dell’anno? if you are speaking to one person.
Che fate per l’ultimo dell’anno? if you are speaking to a group.
To propose doing something together, ask:
Facciamo qualcosa insieme a capodanno?
Shall we do something together at New Year’s?
Facciamo qualcosa insieme per l’ultimo dell’anno?
Shall we do something together for New Year’s Eve?
If you already know who you’ll be celebrating with, you can say to them:
Che facciamo a capodanno? What should we do for New Year’s?
Dove facciamo il cenone? Where should we have the feast?
LET’S MAKE A TOAST! IN ITALIAN
An important part of celebrating New Year’s in Italy is making a toast with sparkling wine, called spumante in Italian, like Prosecco or Franciacorta. To get things rolling, say:
Facciamo un brindisi! or Let’s make a toast!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! IN ITALIAN
When making a toast on New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day, Italians say:
Buon anno! or Happy New Year!
Read about more ways to say Happy New Year! in Italian.