This is your guide to all about sabato, the word for Saturday in Italian. Learn how to pronounce sabato, how to use it, useful related words in Italian, and the important grammar details you need, all in one place. I’ve included plenty of examples too.
Not only that, find out about what’s open and what’s not on Saturdays in Italy from someone who actually lives there!
Andiamo! Let’s go!
Table of Contents
ALL ABOUT SATURDAY IN ITALIAN
The word for Saturday in Italian is sabato. It is the first day of the Italian weekend, though some post offices and middle schools are opening in the morning.
Sabato derives from the Hebrew word “shabbat”, the day of rest.
Sab. is the abbreviation for sabato (Saturday in Italian).
Sabato is a masculine singular noun.
HOW TO PRONOUNCE SABATO
The pronunciation of sabato is: SAH-bah-toh
Listen to the pronunciation of sabato here:
IS SATURDAY IN ITALIAN CAPITALIZED?
Like all of the other Italian days of the week (and months of the year), sabato is not capitalized.
HOW TO USE SABATO
The grammar rules in this section hold true for all of the days of the week in Italian, not just Saturday.
WITHOUT THE DEFINITE ARTICLE
When you use sabato alone without the definite article, you are referring to that specific Saturday.
For example, sabato (vado al mercato) means This Saturday (I’m going to the market).
WITH THE DEFINITE ARTICLE
The correct definite article for sabato is il, because it’s a masculine noun. When we use the definite article with sabato (or any other day of the week), it is like saying every, and refers to an action that will repeat.
For example, Il sabato (vado al mercato) means Every Saturday (I go to the market), or On Saturdays (I go to the market).
You can also use the definite article to talk about Saturdays in general.
For example: Adoro il sabato perché vado sempre al mercato! I love Saturdays because I always go to the market!
IN THE PLURAL
Another way to say every Saturday is tutti i sabati. Literally, tutti i sabati means all the Saturdays.
Vado al mercato tutti i sabati.
I go to the market every Saturday.
WITH THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE
The correct indefinite article for sabato is un. You can use the indefinite article in a couple ways.
To talk about a Saturday, for example:
Un sabato di settembre siamo andati al mare.
On a Saturday in September we went to the beach.
Non mi ricordo la data del concerto, ma era un sabato.
I don’t remember the date of the concert, but it was on a Saturday.
To talk about something that will take place on a Saturday, or some Saturday coming up:
Perchè non andiamo a prendere un caffè un sabato?
Why don’t we go get a coffee on a Saturday/some Saturday?
HELPFUL ITALIAN WORDS TO USE WITH SABATO
Here are some helpful Italian words that we often use with sabato and the other days of the week:
Sabato mattina il meccanico è aperto.
Saturday morning the mechanic is open.
Sabato pomeriggio la scuola è chiusa.
Saturday afternoon school is closed.
And of course, you can also talk about a specific time on Saturday, for example sabato alle 15 (Saturday at 3pm). Read this post for all about how to talk about the time of day in Italian.
NEXT AND LAST SATURDAY
To talk about a Saturday in the past or in the future, use scorso (next) and prossimo (last).
Sabato prossimo andiamo a Milano per 2 giorni.
Next Saturday we’re going to Milan for 2 Days.
Sabato scorso siamo andati a Ravenna.
Last Saturday we went to Ravenna.
WHAT’S OPEN ON SATURDAY IN ITALY?
Sabato is the beginning of the Italian weekend, or fine settimana!
Even so, a lot goes on in Italy on Saturdays. Most shops are open, at least on Saturday morning. Almost all museums and archeological sites are open.
Restaurants are almost always open for dinner on Saturdays, but not necessarily for lunch. I always recommend checking ahead of time, and making a reservation.
In fact, some post offices and middle schools are open on Saturday morning.
Nightlife is buzzing on Saturdays: bars, clubs and discoteques are open.
When trying to decipher Italian parking signs and bus schedules, remember: in Italy sabato is considered a giorno feriale, or a weekday/workday, even though it’s on the weekend!
SPECIAL EVENTS ON SATURDAYS IN ITALY
Many Italian towns, and big city neighborhoods, have a weekly outdoor market. Market day is a special day, with more people coming in from the area to come shopping. Depending on the market, there may be everything from housewares to hats to food!
Some places in Italy that hold their weekly outdoor market on Saturday mornings are:
- Chianti villages in Tuscany: Greve in Chianti, Barberino Val d’Elsa, Castellina in Chianti
- Montelupo Fiorentino, Tuscany and Caltagirone, Sicily– famous for hand-painted ceramics
- Lucca, Pisa, Volterra, Arezza and Cortona, Tuscany
WHAT IS CLOSED ON SATURDAY IN ITALY?
Most public Italian offices and schools are closed on Saturday.
In Italy, it’s always a good idea to check if you want to go to a specific store or restaurant. Italian businesses often have a giorno di riposo (day of rest) or giorno di chiusura (closed day). It’s already a given that most shops are closed on Sunday. The giorno di riposo is an additional morning or afternoon (or both) when the shop is closed.
In Italy, it is common for all of the local shops in a small town to be closed at the same time on the giorno di riposo (day of rest). Keep this in mind when planning a trip to a small Italian village!
AN ITALIAN SATURDAY
Un sabato italiano (An Italian Saturday) is a well-loved song by Roman singer-songwriter Sergio Caputo, released in 1983. It captures the feeling of an ordinary Saturday in Rome.
Listen closely to the lyrics for the word sabato. Here’s the chorus and translation:
|E sembra un sabato qualunque, un sabato italiano||It seems like an ordinary Saturday, an Italian Saturday|
|Il peggio sembra essere passato||The worst seems to be over|
|La notte è un dirigibile che ci porta via lontano||The night is an airship that carries us far away|