40 Important Italian Words to Use at Thanksgiving

When I first moved to Turin many years ago, I was surprised to discover that not only is Thanksgiving not celebrated in Italy, but also that many Italians have never even heard of the national American holiday. (Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have been so shocked since the celebration is based on the 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists and Native Americans!)

Despite this, we still think it is worth learning some Italian Thanksgiving vocabulary, especially if you are part of an Italian-American family that still uses the Italian language at home, or wish to describe the holiday to your Italian friends in Italy.

In this article, you’ll find forty Italian Thanksgiving words we feel are useful to learn if you celebrate this important American holiday. Each word is accompanied by an audio file to help you with the pronunciation. Buona Festa del Ringraziamento! (Happy Thanksgiving!)

italian thanksgiving words

L’americano / L’americana

Translation: American

Rear view of young people sitting on a pier with American flag and celebrating the holiday on the nature


Translation: love

Mother, I love you. Happy daughter embracing her mom, enjoying time together


Translation: autumn / fall

Young female woman babysitter and toddler baby girl read book in autumn park. Happy family mom and toddler outdoors in fall park.

Gli avanzi

Translation: leftovers

Chihuahua looking up at leftovers on table

Il banchetto

Translation: feast

Feast with turkey on Thanksgiving, vegetables and fruit

Benedetto / benedetta

Translation: blessed

A man praying hand for blessings

La candela

Translation: candle

A handmade candle made of natural wax with texture of honeycomb bees. beeswax for craft candles. Organic candle.

Il centrotavola

Translation: centrepiece

Floral centrepiece on the table

La colonia

Translation: colony

Augusta, Maine, USA at historic Fort Western in the morning.

Il colonizzatore

Translation: coloniser / settler

Sailboat replica of the Santa Maria boat, boat that discovered america.


Translation: to celebrate

Crazy family mixed ages celebrate and enjoy the football match together with coloured clothes of the team - group of people enjoy the sport watch activity at home and have fun for championship tournament

La foglia

Translation: leaf

Leather shoes walking on fall leaves Outdoor with Autumn season nature on background Lifestyle Fashion trendy style

Il Giorno del Ringraziamento

Translation: Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving Day! Autumn feast. Family sitting at the table and celebrating holiday. Grandparents, mother, father and children. Traditional dinner.

Il giovedì

Translation: Thursday

page is marked with a date calendar

La gratitudine

Translation: thankfulness

Happy family sitting at the table and celebrating holiday.

Grato / grata

Translation: grateful

Happy mature man bringing turkey to dining table for Thanksgiving lunch.


Translation: thank you

Il mais

Translation: corn

Farmer holding corn cob and talking on cell phone in a field

Mangiare troppo

Translation: to overeat

Beautiful adult caucasian woman eating italian food pizze - man couple point of view with beer and fresh drink on the table - people enjoying restaurant together sitting outdoor

La mela

Translation: apple

Fresh apples in a paper bag on a wooden background

Il nativo americano

Translation: Native American

Traditional houses of native Americans installation in Gesgapegiag city, Quebec, Canada.


Translation: November

Note: Novembre is a masculine noun, so it takes the article il in phrases such as “il novembre più caldo della storia” (the hottest November in history). In contrast to English, novembre and the other months of the year are always written in lower case unless they appear at the beginning of a sentence.

attractive young woman walking in autumn park with coffee wearing checkered coat, sunglasses, happy mood, fashion style trend, long brown hair

Il pellegrino

Translation: Pilgrim

Pieno / piena

Translation: full

Cute little girl refuses to eat, pushes the plate

Il ponte

Translation: long weekend

Note: Ponte literally means “bridge; Italians often say “fare il ponte” = to take a long weekend

old man looking at calendar and remembering dates

La preghiera

Translation: prayer

Hands of an unrecognizable woman in white cardigan praying

Il purè di patate

Translation: mashed potatoes

mashed potatoes in a bowl

Il quarto giovedì di novembre

Translation: the fourth Thursday in November

Top view of November calendar surrounded by red ripe apples, pumpkins, walnuts, acorns and autumn leaves

Il raccolto

Translation: harvest

A top view of farmers hands holding their harvest outdoors at community farm.

Il raduno di famiglia

Translation: family reunion

Happy Latin family having fun lunching together at home


Translation: to thank / to give thanks

Happy parents and their kids celebrating Thanksgiving and toasting at dining table.

La salsa ai mirtilli rossi

Translation: cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce or cranberry jam with orange and rosemary. Top view on light stone table.

La salsa di carne

Translation: gravy

Dark Homemade Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner

Lo spaventapasseri

Translation: scarecrow

scarecrow in a field

Il tacchino

Translation: turkey

turkey being cut on a plate

La torta di mele

Translation: apple pie

Apple pie on blue background

La torta di zucca

Translation: pumpkin pie

Homemade Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving.

La tradizione

Translation: tradition

Le verdure grigliate

Translation: roasted vegetables

Roasting vegetables on the barbecue

La zucca

Translation: pumpkin / gourd / squash

Note: Italians don’t differentiate between pumpkins, gourds and squashes. All three are called zucca.

Set of colorful pumpkins on wood flat lay empty space.
thanksgiving vocabulary italian

Ethics statement: Below you will find affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Thank you!

Lingopie (affiliate link) is the Netflix of language learning application that uses real TV shows and movies to help you learn a new language. You can choose a show to watch based on your fluency level, and use the interactive subtitles to get instant translations to help you learn quickly.

Are you interested in improving your Italian in a fun and stress-free manner? Then we highly recommend Serena Capilli's short stories in Italian (affiliate link), designed for beginners, advanced beginners, and lower intermediate learners (A1-B1 CEFR). These stories have been optimised for English speakers in search of a fun, laid-back learning experience! Read our full review here.

Leave a Comment