I have always loved Christmastime in Italy. From small towns to big cities, there are so many decorations and lots of holiday cheer that all adds up to beautiful places to see for the holidays. I also love that the Italian word for Christmas is Natale – very close to my own name. For weeks every year, it feels like everyone is wishing Happy Natalies to all their friends and family.
Want to say Merry Christmas the Italian way? Here are several ways to spread the holiday cheer.
The classic way to say Merry Christmas in Italy is simply Buon Natale. Buon = Good and Natale = Christmas.
Auguri can be used to mean ‘congratulations’ but its most common use is “best wishes.” This is the easiest way to wish someone well during the holidays.
Christmas is only one of the holidays celebrated in December and early January. 8 December, 26 December, and 6 January are also public holidays in Italy. You can wish someone Buone Feste – happy holidays – to capture them all.
Auguro a tutti Voi un Natale Sereno
This phrase means “I wish you all a Merry Christmas.” If you are going to write a Christmas card (or sign off on a holiday email) then this is the phrase to use. It would be a bit odd to say, but it is something that is commonly written at Christmas. If you are writing to just one person, verse a card addressed to a family, you can substitute ‘te’ or ‘Lei’ for ‘tutti voi’ depending on your relationship with the person.
While you can say “Buon Anno Nuovo” – Happy New Year! Most people say “Buon Anno.”
So however you want to say it: Merry Christmas from Rome!
Wishing you a wonderful year that is nothing like 2020, filled with happiness and health. And panettone.
P.S. Here are some Italian Christmas traditions you can incorporate to ensure it is a Buon Natale indeed.