Italian Word of the Day: Neve (snow)

Today’s word of the day is part of our Italian Christmas Word Advent Calendar series. Each day throughout December, we’ll post a word that is related to the holiday season. Enjoy!

Are you a fan of the fluffy white stuff that falls out of the sky close to Christmastime? Well, then you might be keen to learn what it is called in Italian!

wooden sign on top of a mountain with snow all around

The word for snow in Italian is neve (feminine, plural: nevi).

IPA: /ˈne.ve/

It is contained within lots of words associated with snow including:

  • fiocco di neve = snowflake
  • pupazzo di neve = snowman
  • palla di neve = snowball
  • tempesta di neve = snowstorm
  • scarpe da neve = snow boots
  • nevicata = snowfall
  • neve artificiale = artificial snow
  • nevischio = sleet
  • spazzaneve = snowplow
  • bufera di neve = blizzard
  • Bianca Neve = Snow White

Nevoso is the adjective that most closely translates to snowy. It can be used to describe things such as a day (giornata nevosa), weather (tempo nevoso), skies (cielo nevoso) or air (aria nevosa) for example. You can also use the expression di neve when talking about snowy days or nights.

Oggi è una giornata di neve. Andiamo a sciare!

Today is a snowy day. Let’s go skiing!


view from the top of the mountain with snow all around and trees

When talking about something that is snow-covered, on the other hand, you would use the adjective innevato.

Le case innevate sono circondate da piccoli pini.

The snow-covered houses are surrounded by small pines.


Neve can also be a slang term for cocaine because of their physical similarities. Effetto neve is how you would refer to static on a television screen.


La Magia della Neve (Lyrics + Translation)

La Magia della Neve is a beautiful Christmas song for children written by Daniela Cologgi and Vittorio Giannelli. Why not try singing along and picking up some new snow-related vocabulary in the process!


Come d’incanto s’avvera quel sogno
Che sa di poesia
Dal cielo discende un silenzio profondo
E comincia una grande magia.

Scende giù, scende giù e tutto coprirà
Come un mantello che la terra vestirà,
Diventerà anche per te
Bianca e bellissima

E come un petalo bianco di rosa
Che poi scivola via.
Un fiocco di neve leggero si posa
E danzando disegna una scia.

Scende giù, scende giù e tutto coprirà
La neve soffice come una nuvola
Diventerà anche per te
Dolce e bellissima

Fiocchi di neve, perline di cielo
Magia della realtà
Come una torta di zucchero a velo
Laggiù la collina sarà

Scende giù, scende giù e tutto coprirà
Leggera e splendida
La neve morbida
Diventerà anche per te
Neve bellissima
E penserai dentro di te che notte magica.

That dream that tastes of poetry comes true as if by magic
A profound silence descends from the sky
And a great magic begins.

It falls, it falls and covers everything
Like a cloak that the earth will wear
It will become white and beautiful for you as well


And like a white rose petal
Which then slips away.
A light snowflake settles
And dancing it draws a trail.

It falls, it falls and covers everything
The snow is as soft as a cloud
It will become sweet and beautiful for you as well

Snowflakes, pearls of the sky
The magic of reality
Like a powdered sugar cake
Down there the hill will be

It falls, it falls and covers everything
Light and splendid
The soft snow
It will become beautiful snow for you as well
And you will think to yourself what a magical night.


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