Italian Word of the Day: Fattoria (farm)

Don’t let the appearance of today’s word fool you: fattoria (feminine, plural: fattorie) is the word for farm in Italian, not factory! (If you’re interested in learning about even more “false friends” in Italian and English, check out our dedicated article!)

It derives from the word fattore, the name for a person who manages a farm.

cover image with the word “fattoria” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of cofee

Some common animali (animals) you’d expect to see on a farm include:

  • capra = goat
  • asino = donkey
  • anatra = duck
  • toro = bull
  • gallina = hen
  • gallo = rooster
  • gatto = cat
  • cane = dog

The way you’d say to work on a farm in Italian is lavorare in una fattoria.

Da piccolo sono cresciuto nella fattoria di famiglia. Ero circondato da animali di ogni tipo.

As a child, I grew up on the family farm. I was surrounded by all kinds of animals.

old factory in the middle of wine yards
Una fattoria abbandonata = An abandoned farm

Some different kinds of farms include the fattoria biologica (organic farm), fattoria collettiva (collective farm), fattoria statale (state farm) and fattoria didattica (teaching farm).

When talking about animal farming and breeding, the word allevamento is generally used instead. For example, a sheep farm would translate as allevamento di pecore.

You may also come across the term azienda agricola, with azienda meaning business and agricola meaning agricultural or farming. Unlike a fattoria, which simply breed animals and grow produce, an azienda agricola is a more commercially oriented farming businesses.

As for the words farmhouse or farmstead, there are a few possible translations:

  • casa colonica: a type of farmhouse where the residents work the land but do not own the farm
  • cascina: a square-yard farm located at the centre of a large piece of cultivated land
  • cascinale: a group of farmhouses in the open countryside
farm house with cypress trees in front of the villa and a barley wheat field with a curvy driveway under a clear blue sky in Pienza, Val d’Orcia in Tuscany, Italy.
Una cascina in Val d’Orcia, Toscana

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