Italian Word of the Day: Refrigerio (coolness / relief)

There isn’t an exact one-word translation in English for the Italian word refrigerio, but it can be best described as ‘relief from the heat’.

It comes from the Latin refrigerium, a derivative of refrigerare meaning ‘to refrigerate / become cold’.

/re·fri·gè·rio/
cover image with the word “refrigerio” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of coffee

Refrigerio is a masculine noun, and its plural is refrigeri.

un refrigerio
il refrigerio

dei refrigeri
i refrigeri

You can experience refrigerio by entering a cool cave after walking for hours in the hot sun, drinking a cold glass of water, or lathering a cool cream onto sunburnt skin for example.

Abbiamo apprezzato la vista sul mare e il refrigerio della brezza marina.

We enjoyed the sea view and the refreshing coolness of the marine breeze.


Finalmente arriva un po’ di refrigerio dopo tanti giorni di caldo soffocante.

Finally some relief is coming after many days of sweltering heat.


Skin nutrition. Girl spreading nourishing cream on palm against towel
Prova a spalmare questa pomata sulla scottatura. Ti darà un po’ di refrigerio. = Try spreading this ointment on the sunburn. It will cool you down a little.

More generally, refrigerio can refer to any kind of physical relief or psychological comfort. Often it is used in literary or written form. For example:

  • parole di refrigerio = comforting words
  • refrigerio al proprio dolore = relief from one’s pain
  • refrigerio serale = evening relaxation

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