The Most Important Italian Christmas Words & Vocabulary

The air is getting colder, the streets are filled with colourful lights, the trees are covered in beautiful decorations: that’s right, Christmas is just around the corner!

In Italy, Christmas is everyone’s favourite time of year. Children, in particular, spend Christmas Eve anxiously waiting for Santa Claus, the jolly fellow who has spent the entire year preparing gifts that he will deliver to all the good boys and girls around the world.

It’s a story we’ve all heard or told at some point in our lives…but what if you had to tell it in Italian? No doubt it would all go smoothly until you happened upon a word you don’t know or can’t remember!

To help you talk about the holiday season in Italian and increase your vocabulary, we have decided to share the most common Italian Christmas words in this article. Let us know which ones are new to you in the comment section below!

important italian christmas words

Italian Christmas Words – People

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Grandma, grandpa, mum, dad and children having fun near tree indoors. Family party.

L’Arcangelo Gabriele – The Archangel Gabriel

Babbo Natale – Santa Claus / Father Christmas

Gesù Bambino – Baby Jesus

Gesù Cristo – Jesus Christ

Giuseppe – Joseph

I Tre Re Magi – the Three Kings

La Befana – The Befana Christmas Witch

La Madonna – the Madonna

Maria – Mary

San Nicola – Saint Nicholas

Santa Lucia – Saint Lucy

Santo Stefano – Saint Stephen

Il Signore – The Lord

Italian Christmas Vocabulary – Nouns

Happy girl trying to put red decorative star on top of Christmas tree while decorating it

Gli addobbi – Decorations

L’agrifoglio – Holly

L’albero di Natale – Christmas tree

L’angelo – Angel

L’Annunciazione – Annunciation

Il bastoncino di zucchero – Candy cane

Il bicchiere di spumante – A glass of sparkling wine

Il biglietto di auguri – Greeting card

Il bue e l’asinello – The ox and donkey

La calza – Stocking

Il caminetto – Fireplace

Il camino – Chimney

La campana – Bell

La candela – Candle

Il canto natalizio – Christmas carol

Il carbone – Coal

La carta da regalo – Wrapping paper

La castagna – Chestnut

Il cenone – Christmas dinner

Il cenone di Capodanno – New Year’s dinner

Il coro natalizio – Christmas carollers

La caldarrosta – Roasted chestnut

La chiesa – The Church

La culla – Cradle

L’edera – Ivy

L’elfo – Elf

Il fiocco di neve – Snowflake

Il freddo – Cold / coldness

La frutta secca – Dried fruit

La ghirlanda – Wreath

Il giocattolo – Toy

L’inverno – Winter

La luce – Light

Le luci di Natale – Christmas lights

La mangiatoia – Manger

Il mercatino di Natale – Christmas market

La messa di mezzanotte = Midnight mass

Il nastro – Ribbon

Il Natale – Christmas

La neve – Snow

La pace – Peace

La pallina – Ball / bauble

Il pandoro = Italian Christmas cake

Pandoro is a traditional Italian sweet bread dusted with vanilla-scented icing sugar. It is shaped like a frustum with an eight-pointed star section.

Il panettone = Italian Christmas cake

Panettone is an Italian type of sweet bread originally from Milan. It contains candied orange, citron, lemon zest, and dry raisins.

Il Paradiso – Heaven

Il pastore – Shepherd

Il Polo Nord – North Pole

Il pranzo di Natale – Christmas lunch

La preghiera – Prayer

Il presepe – Nativity scene

Il presepe vivente – Living nativity scene

Il puntale – Tree topper

Il pupazzo di neve – Snowman

Il regalo – Gift / present

La renna – Reindeer

La stalla – Stable

La slitta – Sleigh

Il solstizio d’inverno – Winter solstice

La stella – Star

La stella cometa – Shooting star

Il tacchino – Turkey

Il torrone = Nougat

Il vin brulé – Mulled wine

Il vischio – Mistletoe

Italian Christmas Words – Important Holidays

Happy family enjoy together christmas traditional eve day with hug and smile - concept of real people at home during traditional event - hug and happiness with husband wife and teenager son in love

Il Capodanno – New Year’s Day

Il Giorno di Natale – Christmas Day

Il Giorno di Santo Stefano – St. Stephen’s Day / Boxing Day

l’Immacolata Concezione – Immaculate Conception

La Notte di San Silvestro – Night of St. Sylvester

La Vigilia di Capodanno – New Year’s Eve

La Vigilia di Natale – Christmas Eve

Italian Christmas Words – Important Verbs

Cheerful Caucasian family in family look relaxing on cozy couch with baby in arms at Christmas.

Addobbare – to decorate

Aspettare – to wait

Brindare – to toast

Cantare – to sing

Decorare – to decorate

Festeggiare – to celebrate

Mangiare – to eat

Pregare – to pray

Italian Christmas Phrases – Important Greetings

Auguri! = Best wishes!

(a catch-all phrase used as a substitute for “Buon Natale!”)

Buon Anno! = Happy New Year!

Buone Feste! = Happy holidays!

Buon Natale! – Merry Christmas!

Felice Anno Nuovo! = Happy New Year!

italian christmas vocabulary
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