How to Say: Festa

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 02:00

Let's start with la Festa dell’Immacolata, as today, December 8th, marks exactly that, la festa dell’Immacolata Concezione in Italy. This is a public and religious holiday to celebrate the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary. It is often celebrated with mass, fireworks, parades and processions. In Rome, a laurel wreath is placed on top of a statue of the Virgin Mary by Piazza di Spagna.

La festa (plural le feste) has a variety of meanings in Italy, such as:

  • Christian saint’s feast day, such as la festa dell’Immacolata
  • Non-religious celebratory days, such as La festa della mamma  (Mothers’ Day) or La festa di San Valentino (Valentine's Day)
  • Celebratory (again, non-religious) days that are also public holidays, such as La festa della Repubblica (Italian National Day)
  • General party e.g. function, dinner, shindig
  • General fun e.g. merriment, celebration

This saying uses the word festa: L’anima della festa (the life and soul of the party).


Alesha Allen is an Oxford graduate of Italian who is back in London after years spent living and working in Rome as a language teacher and PR consultant. Alesha is CEO and Italian teacher at Alesha’s Italian Masterclass, which runs group Italian immersion courses at Italian restaurants and cafes such as Nonna Rosa’s in Coulsdon, and private lessons throughout London. You can contact her at or through Facebook or Twitter. Her website is