Italian Vocabulary: Calendar Months

Learn the words for January - December

Close up of man writing on calendar at gym reception desk
Eugenio Marongiu/Cultura/Getty Images

You want to tell your language partner when you’re going to Italy for a vacation, and that’s when you realize you’re not sure how to say you’re arriving in May and leaving in July. What were the vocabulary words for those months again?

In case you need a quick review or are learning these months for the first time, here is a list of the months to help you use them in daily conversation along with example sentences and cocktail party facts.

I Mesi - The Months

  • January - gennaio
  • February - febbraio
  • March - marzo
  • April - aprile
  • May - maggio
  • June - giugno
  • July - luglio
  • August - agosto
  • September - settembre
  • October - ottobre
  • November - novembre
  • December - dicembre

Cocktail party fact: Notice that the first letter of the month isn’t capitalized in Italian. In case you were wondering, the days of the week and the seasons aren’t capitalized either.

Some Examples

  • Vado in Italia a maggio per tre mesi. - I’m going to Italy in May for three months.
  • Parto per l’Italia a luglio. - I’m leaving for Italy in July.
  • L’anno scorso sono stato in Italia da settembre a dicembre. - Last year I was in Italy from September to December.
  • Il mio migliore amico abita in Italia sei mesi all’anno da gennaio a giugno. - My best friend lives in Italy for six months of the year from January to June.
  • Il mio compleanno è il diciotto di aprile, quindi il mio segno zodiacale è l’ariete. - My birthday is April 18, so my zodiac sign is Aries.
  • La festa sarà a marzo. - The party will be in March.
  • Vorrei andare in Danimarca a settembre, ma devo frequentare le lezioni. - I would like to go to Denmark in September, but I have to go to my classes.
  • Ogni febbraio c’è una celebrazione dell’amore si chiama Il Giorno di San Valentino. - Each February there is a celebration of love called Valentine’s Day.
  • Siamo ad ottobre! - We’re in October!/It’s October!

Which Prepositions to Use With Months

Typically when you talk about an activity happening in a certain month, you use the preposition “a” before it to mean the English definition of “in”. In the examples above, you may have also seen the use of “da”, which mirrors the English definition of “from” when separating a distance of months. Finally, you also saw “di” precede a month, and that was used to indicate possession since it was a birthday.

Why Was September the 7th Month Instead of the 9th Month?

During the Roman empire, September was considered the 7th month, October the 8th, November the 9th, and so on. Why is that? According to the University of Chicago, after around 753 BCE, the Roman calendar began in March instead of January and only consisted of ten months instead of twelve. This structure was created by King Romulus and was based on a combination of the lunar cycles and the agricultural seasons. However, structuring the calendar in this way wasn’t as effective because the lunar cycles didn’t match up with the earth’s rotation around the sun and therefore didn’t accurately pair with the seasons.