It’s most definitely summer somewhere in Italy! Italians can look stylish all year round, but have you ever wondered whether there are any customs or etiquettes in terms of what to wear when?
When I lived in Italy, I remember that in late spring or early autumn it could be quite warm. My British and American friends would wear light summer clothes but my Italian friends would be all wrapped up in their puffa jackets. Another example of this is in the summer time. I often saw tourists wearing flip flops while walking around Italian towns, whereas my Italian friends would say flip flops are only for the beach!
Today we’re going to talk about summer and summer clothing in Italian. Let’s start with some Italian proverbs about the summer months and what to wear when:
Aprile non ti scoprire, maggio va adagio, giugno apri il pugno
Literal meaning: Don’t undress in April, go slowly in May, loosen your grip in June
Real meaning: Stay covered up in April, start wearing slightly lighter clothes in May, and even lighter clothes in June.
This translates to an English proverb – never cast a clout until May is out
Finchè giugno non è all’otto, non ti togliere il cappotto
Literal meaning: Don’t take your coat off until June 8th
Real meaning: It could be cool right up until June 8th, so it’s best to not go out without your coat just in case.
Now let’s learn, or revise, clothes in Italian. Here is a list of some common clothes you may want to wear or buy in Italy during the summer months:
I pantaloncini – shorts
I pantaloni – trousers
I jeans – jeans
Una maglietta – a top or t-shirt
Un maglione – a jumper or sweater
Una gonna – a skirt
Un vestito – a dress
Un costume da bagno – a swimsuit, swimming trunks, swimming costume
Una camicetta – a blouse
Una camicia – a shirt
Un cappello – a hat
Gli occhiali da sole – sunglasses
Una borsa – a bag
Le scarpe – shoes
Le scarpe col tacco – high heels
I sandali – sandals
Le infradito – flip flops
Vestiti leggeri – light clothes
Una giacca – a jacket
Un impermeabile – a rain coat
Uno scialle – a shawl: if you’re visiting a church in Italy remember to cover up! You can’t go in with bare legs or shoulders so keeping a shawl or scarf with you can be useful to cover yourself up.
If you’re lucky enough to have hot weather when you visit Italy next time, then these expressions and saying about the sun should come in handy.
Un sole che spacca le pietre
Literal meaning: A sun that splits the stones
Real meaning: A blazing hot sun, a sun hot enough to fry an egg
Bello come il sole
Literal meaning: As beautiful as the sun
Real meaning: Really beautiful, or as beautiful as a summer’s day
Il sole picchia
Literal meaning: The sun beats
Real meaning: The sun beats down, the sun is blazing
Il sole a picco
Literal meaning: The sun at its peak
Real meaning: Blazing sun, boiling hot, roasting hot