Autumn tends to be the rainiest season in Italy, with November being the wettest month for many areas around Italy. If you’re visiting this month, don’t forget your umbrella!

Today we’re going to look at some sayings and expressions to talk about rainy weather in Italian.

Let’s start with the verb to rain: piovere

 

This is generally used in the third person singular – ‘piove’ or ‘sta piovendo’. Both mean ‘it’s raining’, although the second specifies that it’s raining in this particular moment, rather than it’s raining in general.  

 

You can say ‘c’è la pioggia’, which also means it’s raining. Or ‘è piovoso’, which means it’s rainy.

 

If it’s raining just a little bit, you would use the verb ‘piovigginare’, which means to rain lightly or drizzle. Again this would be used in the third person singular, so ‘pioviggina’ for it’s drizzling. You could also say ‘c’è una pioggerella’ or ‘c’è una pioggia fine’, which also mean it’s raining lightly. ‘C’è una pioggerellina’ can be used for it’s raining very lightly.

 

If it’s raining heavily, you would say ‘piove forte’. ‘C’è una pioggia torrenziale’ or ‘c’è la pioggia scrosciante’ can both be used to describe a really heavy rain. 

 

A heavy shower or a downpour in Italian is ‘un’acquazzone’. And a rain storm is ‘un temporale’. You may find that these come a lot during ‘la stagione della pioggia’, the rainy season. 

 

There are also some informal expressions you can use to describe heavy rainfall. All of the following mean that it’s pouring down, it’s raining buckets or to use our funny English saying - it’s raining cats and dogs:

Piove a dirotto (literally there’s an abundance of rain)

Piove a catinelle (literally it’s raining basins)

Sta diluviando (literally it’s pouring)

 

There’s an Italian proverb which goes ‘cielo a pecorelle, pioggia a cantinelle’. This means that if the clouds are light and fluffy like cotton wool, then it means that it’s going to rain heavily. Don’t forget your ombrello (umbrella) or your impermeabile (rain jacket)!

 

And when the sun finally comes out during wet weather, hopefully you’ll see a beautiful rainbow: l’arcobaleno.