Italian Word of the Day: Gabbiano (seagull)

I spent most of my early life living in big cities, but for the past seven years, I’ve had the immense privilege of being able to live by the mare (sea). There is nothing quite like breathing in the fresh salty air and falling asleep to the sound of the waves and the gabbiani (seagulls)!

/gab·bià·no/
cover image with the word “gabbiano” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of coffee

Gabbiano is a masculine noun, and its plural form is gabbiani. It derives from the Latin gavia of the same meaning.

il gabbiano
the seagull

un gabbiano
a seagull

i gabbiani
the seagulls

dei gabbiani
(some) seagulls

Several species of gull inhabit Italy, some of the most common being:

  • gabbiano comune = black-headed gull
  • gabbiano reale = yellow-legged gull
  • gabbiano reale pontico = Caspian gull
  • gabbiano reale nordico = European herring gull
  • mugnaiaccio = great black-backed gull
  • gabbianello = little gull

Il gabbiano è piombato all’improvviso e mi ha rubato il gelato!

The seagull swooped down unexpectedly and stole my ice cream!


Seagull in flight with the blue sky background

Il Gabbiano e La Balena

Below you can watch Il Gabbiano e La Balena (“The Seagull and the Whale”), a simplified story in slow Italian with English subtitles for beginner to intermediate Italian learners of all ages. If you find this story useful, you can watch even more videos by visiting The Fable Cottage.


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