An easy beginner's guide to the months of the year in Italian

Maybe you want to learn the months of the year in Italian to make reservations for your upcoming trip to the beautiful Mediterranean country, or you might need to improve communication with a business partner or just impress your Italian-speaking friends.

Whatever the reason, you’re in the right place; by the end of this article, you will not only know how to write and pronounce the twelve months of the year in Italian, you will also learn the names of the seasons, listen to some Italian music and learn to say some Italian proverbs.

By the way, if you’re an English speaker, you’re in luck - Italian is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Moreover, the names for i mesi dell’anno (the months of the year) in Italian and English are very similar, both in spelling and pronunciation, which means you will learn them in no time!

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Firstly, how do you say “months” in Italian?

Did you pay attention? In the paragraph above, I just gave you a very important word. The word we use in Italian to say “the month” is il mese. Its plural form is i mesi (the months).

As you can see, it is a masculine noun, so the adjectives that it goes with will be masculine, too:

Il mese scorso è sembrato lunghissimo.Last month seemed so long.
I mesi invernali sono freddi.Winter months are cold.


What about the Italian pronunciation?

The consonant “s” when it is in between two vowels (a-e-i-o-u), is pronounced like a soft “z”, like in the English word “maze”.

MESEmeh-zeh
MESImeh-zee


Months of the year in Italian and English

Right, let’s now move on to the actual names of the months in Italian and their pronunciation. Remember, Italian is a phonetic language, which means words are pronounced just as they are written. There are only a few rules to remember; once you know those, you’ll be able to pronounce any word you read (yes, even those you’ve never heard or seen before!).

Here, in addition to giving you the IPA transcription, we’ll recreate the Italian pronunciation by using a phonetic spelling of the word to help you get it just right!

Pay particular attention to the pronunciation of giuGNO (June), in which “gn” is pronounced as the Spanish “ñ”, and luGLIO (July) in which “glio”, which is similar to the way you pronounce “lli” in the English word “million”.

The bold indicates where the stress of the word falls.

Months in English

Mesi in italiano

IPA pronunciation

Pronunciation for English speakers

January

gennaio

[dʒenˈnajo]

jen-nah-yo

February

febbraio

[febˈbrajo]

feb-brah-yo

March

marzo

[ˈmartso]

mar-tsoh

April

aprile

[aˈprile]

ah-pree-leh

May

maggio

[ˈmaddʒo]

maj-joh

June

giugno

[ˈdʒuɲɲo]

joo-ñyoh

July

luglio

[ˈluʎʎo]

loo-llioh

August

agosto

[aˈɡosto]

ah-gos-toh

September

settembre

[setˈtɛmbre]

set-tehm-breh

October

ottobre

[otˈtobre]

ot-toh-breh

November

novembre

[noˈvɛmbre]

noh-vem-breh

December

dicembre

[diˈtʃɛmbre]

dee-chem-breh

TIP: Have you noticed? The name of the months are not capitalized. It’s not a mistake, in Italian we do not use a capital letter for the names of the months (nor for the seasons or the Italian days of the week!)


How to say the four seasons in Italian

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Are you getting the hang of it? Let’s do the four seasons straight away then!

Seasons in English

Stagioni in Italiano

IPA pronunciation

Pronunciation for native English speakers

Summer

primavera

[primaˈvɛra]

pree-mah-veh-rah

Autumn / Fall

estate

[esˈtate]

eh-stah-teh

Winter

autunno

[auˈtunno]

ah-ooh-toon-noh

Spring

inverno

[inˈvɛrno]

een-ver-noh

TIP: The word “season/s” is feminine in Italian, but the actual seasons can be either feminine or masculine.

  • The season/s – la stagione / le stagioni (feminine)
  • Spring – la primavera (feminine)
  • Summer – l’estate (feminine)
  • Autumn / fall – l’autunno (masculine)
  • Winter – l’inverno (masculine)

FAQs for Learning the months of the year in Italian

Ok, now that you learned how to say and pronounce the months of the year and the seasons in Italian, let’s answer some frequently asked questions to clear all your doubts!

1. Are months in Italian capitalized?

No, unlike in English, months of the year are NOT capitalized in Italian. (Unless they are at the beginning of a new sentence, of course!)

2. Are months in Italian feminine or masculine?

Months in Italian are all masculine and therefore take masculine adjectives!

3. How do you abbreviate months in Italian?

To abbreviate the months of the year in Italian, simply use the first 3 letters of the month with a dot at the end.

gennaiogen.
febbraiofeb.
marzomar.
aprileapr.
maggiomag.
giugnogiu.
lugliolug.
agostoago.
settembreset.
ottobreott.
novembrenov.
dicembredic.


4. Do you use articles with months of the year?

No, in Italian you do not need to use articles with the months of the year. We do, however, use articles with the seasons.

Agosto è il mese più caldo dell’anno.August is the hottest month of the year.
L’estate è la stagione più calda dell’anno.Summer is the hottest season of the year.


5. What prepositions do you use with months of the year?

In Italian we generally use the preposition a with months of the year, although in can also be correct in some cases. If you want to make things easier, though, using a is the best solution!

Mio padre è nato a luglio.My father was born in July.
Il giorno di Natale è a/in dicembre.Christmas day is in December.


With seasons, on the other hand, the general rule is to use the preposition in.

La neve cade in inverno.The snow falls in winter.
In autunno iniziano le scuole.Schools start in the fall.


TIP: Unlike in English, when we say a date, we do not need to use a preposition before the month:

Sono nata il 24 maggio.I was born on the 24th of May.
Il giorno della Liberazione è il 25 aprile.The day of Liberation is the 25th of April.


Songs that will help you learn the months in Italian

Just like in many languages, we have a little rhyme to remember how many days there are in each month. Try to memorize it, all Italians know this!

Here it is:

Trenta giorni ha novembre,
con april(e), giugno e settembre,
di ventotto ce n'è uno,
tutti gli altri ne han trentuno.

Thirty days has November,
with April, June and September,
there's just one with twenty-eight,
all the rest have thirty-one.

If you feel like something a little less childish, check out this song by one of the most famous Italian singers-songwriters, Francesco Guccini, in which he describes all months and seasons.

Here’s a song by Vibrazioni about a summer’s night… In una notte d’estate.


And if we’re talking about seasons, we cannot leave without listening to the mega classic Maledetta primavera.



Using the Italian months in everyday Italian conversation

Let’s see some examples on how to use the months of the year and seasons in everyday language!

In Italia, ad agosto vanno tutti in vacanza e tutto costa il doppio!In Italy, everyone goes on holiday in August and prices double!
Il primo aprile si fanno gli scherzi per il “pesce d’aprile”, ne facciamo uno a Gianna?On the first of April we do “April’s fool” tricks, shall we play one on Gianna?
A giugno inizia l’estate, non vedo l’ora di andare in vacanza.Summer begins in June, I can’t wait to go on holiday.
All’equatore non esistono le stagioni, che strano!At the equator, seasons don’t exist, how weird!
Dicembre è il mio mese preferito, mi piace troppo il Natale!December is my favorite month, I love Christmas!
Vorrei prenotare un volo di sola andata da Roma a Napoli per il 17 luglio.I would like to book a one-way flight from Rome to Naples for the 17th of July.
Adoro andare al mare in inverno… Le onde, il cielo azzurro e la calma della spiaggia.I love going to the seaside in winter… the waves, the blue skies and the calm of the beach.
La primavera dura tre mesi… come tutte le stagioni!Spring lasts for 3 months… like all other seasons!
Nell’emisfero australe l’autunno inizia a marzo, e la primavera a settembre. In the Southern Hemisphere, fall starts in March, and spring starts in September.

Proverbi

Now, let’s have a look at some interesting Italian proverbs related to months and seasons, just for fun! (If you use these, you’ll surely sound like a native speaker!)

TIP: Read them aloud in Italian to practice your pronunciation, and you’ll notice they rhyme.

A gennaio l’Epifania tutte le feste porta via.The Epiphany in January is the end of all holidays.
Marzo pazzerello, guarda il sole e prendi l’ombrello.Crazy March, look at the sun and take your umbrella.
Ad aprile non ti scoprire.In April don’t take your clothes off.
Giugno ciliegie a pugno.In June, handfuls of cherries.
Acqua ad agosto dà castagne e mosto.Water in August means chestnuts and wine must.
A settembre pioggia e luna, è dei funghi la fortuna.In September rain and moon are great for mushrooms.


We’re sure after reading this article, you’re ready to talk about months of the year and seasons in Italian. What are you waiting for? Get out there and start practicing! And remember, don’t be afraid of making mistakes, as they say in Italy, sbagliando s’impara!

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