Italian Word of the Day: Estate (summer)

The word for summer in Italian is estate (masculine, plural: estati).

IPA: /esˈta.te/

What is considered the first day of summer (il primo giorno d’estate) depends on whether you are using the meteorological (meteorologico) or astronomical (astronomico) definition of the seasons.

According to the meteorological definition, summer always begins on June 1st and lasts until August 31st, whereas the astronomical date depends on the date of the summer solstice (solstizio d’estate), which comes later in June and varies slightly from year to year. This year, it happens to fall early on the 20th but it may occur on any date between the 20th and the 22nd.

Il solstizio d’estate cade il 20 giugno quest’anno.

The summer solstice falls on June 20th this year.


summer landscape of vineyards in tuscany
L’estate in Toscana = Summer in Tuscany

So, what do Italians enjoy doing during the summer months?

Because most of Italy experiences very warm and humid temperatures between May and September, many people enjoy escaping the big city (città) for the beach (spiaggia), the lakes (laghi) or the mountains (montagne). Peak holiday season is Ferragosto, the summer vacation period around mid-August, which may be a long weekend (ponte di ferragosto) or last most of August. During this period, the vast majority of businesses remain closed for at least two weeks, with workers being forced to take an imposed vacation.

If you don’t care for shopping or large crowds, and are able to stand the heat, this is probably one of the best times for a tourist to visit Italy’s famous cities!

girl sitting on the beach in front of a costal village
Mi piace rimanere sulla spiaggia in estate. = I like staying on the beach in the summer.

The adjective summer translates as either estivo or d’estate in Italian. Below are a few summery terms you’ll come across that use these adjectives.

  • campo estivo = summer camp
  • scuola estiva = summer school
  • vacanze / ferie estive = summer vacation
  • giorno d’estate = summer day
  • stagione estiva = summertime
  • mesi d’estate = summer months

L’Estate Sta Finendo by Righeira

L’Estate Sta Finendo (The Summer is Ending), released in 1985, was a disco summer hit by the duo Righeira (Stefano Righi and Stefano Rota).

L’estate sta finendo
e un anno se ne va
sto diventando grande
lo sai che non mi va.
In spiaggia di ombrelloni
non ce ne sono più
è il solito rituale
ma ora manchi tu.

Languidi brividi
come il ghiaccio bruciano
quando sto con te.
Baciami
siamo due satelliti
in orbita sul mar.

È tempo che i gabbiani
arrivino in città
L’estate sta finendo
lo sai che non mi va.
Io sono ancora solo
non è una novità
Tu hai già chi ti consola

a me chi penserà?

Languidi brividi
come il ghiaccio bruciano
quando sto con te.
Baciami
siamo due satelliti
in orbita sul mar.

Baciami (repeat)

L’estate sta finendo
e un anno se ne va
sto diventando grande
lo sai che non mi va.
Una fotografia
è tutto quel che ho
ma stanne pur sicura
io non ti scorderò.

L’estate sta finendo
e un anno se ne va
sto diventando grande
anche se non mi va.

L’estate sta finendo
l’estate sta finendo
l’estate sta finendo
l’estate sta finendo…

The summer is ending
and one year passes by
I’m growing up
you know I don’t like it.
On the beach, there are no more parasols
it’s the usual ritual
but now you’re not here.

Lingering thrill
like ice they burn
when I am with you.
Kiss me
we are two satellites
orbiting on the sea.

It’s time for the seagulls
to arrive in town
The summer is ending
you know I don’t like it.
I am lonely again
it’s no news
You already have someone to comfort you
Who will take care of me?

Lingering thrill
like ice they burn
when I am with you.
Kiss me
we are two satellites
orbiting on the sea.

Kiss me

The summer is ending
and one year passes by
I’m growing up
you know I don’t like it.
A photograph
it’s all I have
but rest assured
I won’t forget you

The summer is ending
and one year passes by
I’m growing up
you know I don’t like it.

The summer is ending
The summer is ending
The summer is ending
The summer is ending…

Trivia: This song has inspired many football chants for various European clubs. One of the latest, Allez Allez Allez (which means let’s go let’s go let’s go in French) was created by Liverpool F.C fans after hearing it sung by Porto supporters at the 2016 UEFA Europe League match. It became popular during the 2017-2018 Champions League season.


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