Italian Word of the Day: Piscina (swimming pool)

Since the birth of our son, my husband and I have made a joint commitment to prioritise fitness in our lives. While I hit the gym and regularly attend spin classes, my husband has chosen to focus on running and swimming at our local piscina (swimming pool). Six months in and we’re seeing pretty good results!

/pi·scì·na/ – [piʃˈʃina]
Italian word "piscina"

Piscina comes from the late Latin piscina, a derivative of piscis (meaning “fish”).

Piscina is a feminine noun, so it takes the following definite and indefinite articles:

  • la piscina = the swimming pool
  • una piscina = a swimming pool
  • le piscine = the swimming pools
  • delle piscine = some swimming pools

There are two main types of swimming pools: la piscina coperta (indoor swimming pool or literally “covered swimming pool”) and la piscina scoperta (outdoor swimming pool or literally “uncovered swimming pool”). For the latter, you can also say piscina all’aperto (outdoor swimming pool) or piscina estiva (summer swimming pool).

A piscina olimpica is an Olympic-sized swimming pool designed for professional athletes.

Female swimmer relaxing in the swimming pool

Fun fact: Close to Turin, in the Piedmont area, lies a town named Piscina. It’s believed that in ancient times, Piscina was recognised for its numerous water tanks, resembling fishponds, where various fish were likely raised, possibly giving rise to the name Pescina. Additionally, several local names hint at the region once being abundant in marshes or swamps.

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