Days of the Week in Italian: La Settimana!

Learn the words for Monday–Sunday in Italian

Calendar
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What day does the market come to town? What day does the post office close early? What day of the week do you want to go to Chianti?

To organize your daily life, figure out when to go to events, and schedule time to hang out with friends while you are in Italy, you'll need to know how to tell time and be familiar with the days of the week—la settimana.

Days of the Week: I Giorni della Settimana

  • Monday: lunedì
  • Tuesday: martedì
  • Wednesday: mercoledì
  • Thursday: giovedì
  • Friday: venerdì
  • Saturday: sabato
  • Sunday: domenica
  • the week: la settimana (from the number sette)
  • the weekend: il fine settimana or il weekend.

(Pronunciation note: Notice the grave accent mark (`) on the words for lunedì through venerdì. That accent mark lets you know where to put the stress in the word so, in this case, the stress falls on the last syllable.)

Note also that in Italian the days of the week and the names of months and seasons are all lowercase.

  • Che giorno è oggi? What day is it today?
  • Oggi è mercoledì. Today is Wednesday.
  • Ieri era martedì. Yesterday was Tuesday.
  • Domani è giovedì. Tomorrow is Thursday.
  • Il mio compleanno è sabato. My birthday is Saturday.

Days of the Week: Article or Not?

As shown above, days of the week are used without definite article (la, il, lo) when talking about an immediately upcoming day of the week—in other words, the upcoming Sunday or Monday or the past Sunday or Monday.

  • Sunday I am going to the beach. Domenica vado al mare.
  • Tuesday I don't have school. Martedì non ho scuola.
  • Wednesday morning I am not working. Mercoledì mattina non lavoro.
  • This past Sunday I went to visit a friend. Domenica scorsa sono andata a trovare un'amica.
  • Next Wednesday I am going to Prague. Mercoledì prossimo vado a Praga.

You use a definite article when you mean every Sunday or Monday. Days of the week are all masculine except for domenica.

  • On Sundays I go to the beach. La domenica vado al mare.
  • On Tuesdays I don't have school. Il martedì non ho scuola.
  • On Wednesday mornings I don't work. Il mercoledì mattina non lavoro.

Note that in Italian you do not need a preposition before the day of the week so there is no on Sunday). Also note that if you add mattina or sera to your day of the week, it does not alter the gender of the day of the week, which stays masculine.

Plural or Singular?

Like all other accented nouns in Italian, lunedì, martedì, mercoledì, giovedì, e venerdì are invariable, so they don’t change in their plural form, but if you use an article, that must be plural (i giovedì). Sabato e domenica have regular plural forms when needed—i sabati e le domeniche.

  • Sundays in summer are fabulous. Le domeniche in estate sono favolose.
  • I love Saturdays in June. Amo i sabati a giugno.
  • Mondays are busy days. I lunedì sono giorni impegnativi.

To speak about something that happens regularly every Monday or every Sunday, in addition to using the definite article as mentioned above, you have a couple of options with the adjectives ogni (always singular) and tutte/tutti:

  • I take my dance class every Monday. Vado a danza tutti i lunedì.
  • I study every Sunday. Studio ogni domenica.

Also note, if you want to take a few days off—let's say from Tuesday to Friday—you use da...a:

  • Il negozio è aperto dal lunedì pomeriggio al giovedì incluso. The store is open from Monday afternoon through Thursday.
  • Faccio festa da martedì a venerdì. I am taking off from Monday to Friday.

(Yes, fare festa means to take days off!)

Other Examples

  • Il weekend il mercato è aperto. The market is open on the weekends.
  • Parto per l’Italia sabato. I’m leaving for Italy on Saturday.
  • Perché non vieni venerdì? Why don't you come on Friday?
  • Sono libero venerdì sera. Ti va di andare al cinema? I’m free Friday evening. Want to go to the movies?
  • Martedì mattina vado dal dottore. Tuesday morning I am going to see the doctor.
  • Andiamo al mare da giovedì a domenica? Do you want to go to the beach from Wednesday to Sunday?
  • Di solito il venerdì lavoro sempre, ma questo venerdì non lavoro. Usually I work on Fridays, but not this Friday.
  • Il giorno più bello della settimana è lunedì perché è l’inizio di una nuova settimana. The nicest day of the week is Monday because it’s the start of a new week.

Note that stores in Italy usually have half a weekday off—grocery stores usually on Wednesday afternoons and other stores such as clothing stores on Mondays. It is called the giorno di chiusura or giorno di riposo.

  • Qual è il vostro giorno di riposo (di chiusura)? When is your day off?
  • Siamo chiusi tutte le domeniche mattine or Siamo chiusi la domenica mattina. Our day off is every Sunday morning.
  • I negozi di alimentari sono chiusi il mercoledì pomeriggio. Grocery stores are closed on Wednesday afternoons.

A Long Weekend: Il Ponte and Other Curiosities

If you are struggling to remember the names of the days of the week, it might help to remember whence they came—all from the Romans, pre-Christianity, and mostly from the names of the planets: lunedì from the moon (lunae dies, the day of the Moon), martedì from Mars (Martis dies, the day of Mars), mercoledì from Mercury (Mercuri dies), giovedì from Giove (Iovis dies, the day of Jupiter), venerdì from Venere (Veneris dies, of the day of Venus), and sabato from Saturno (Saturni dies, the day of Saturn). Domenica was added later as Dominica, the day of the Lord.

When a religious festival or holiday such as the Festa della Repubblica or Ognissanti falls on a Tuesday (martedì) or a Thursday (giovedì), Italians often do something called fare il ponte, which literally means to make a bridge, and figuratively means to take a four-day holiday. That means they take off the intervening Monday or Friday.

In Italy the week starts on Monday; most activities, including schools, are open on Saturdays, at least in the morning. A few uses of the word la settimana: la settimana bianca (a winter vacation, skiing, mostly), la settimana santa (Holy Week, for Easter), la settimana lavorativa (the work week), la settimana corta (a short work week, Monday through Friday), and la settimana lunga (a long work week, including Saturday).