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