The Days of the Week in Italian – Pronunciation + Examples

Are you coming to Italy and feeling like improving your language skills? One of the first and most important things to learn is the days of the week in Italian.

Whether you are taking a vacation or want to move to Italy, you are going to need the days of the week to plan your travels, book a hotel or a restaurant, and schedule an appointment with friends, colleagues, or your doctor.

Learning the days of the week in Italian is really something you can’t overlook. Thankfully, it’s very easy to remember them.

In this easy guide, I’m going to explain the origins of the names, tell you exactly how to pronounce them, and give you plenty of examples and a richer glossary to use them and be confident in your future conversations. As fun trivia, I will mention some Italian proverbs and even link to a children’s song about the days of the week to memorize them quicker.

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Image: Diary with the days of the week in Italian

Translation and pronunciation of the days of the week in Italian: easy table

Italian day of the weekPronunciationEnglish translation

How to pronounce the days of the week in Italian: audio








The Italian weekdays: the origin of the names

Since Roman times, the days of the week in Italy have been named after the planets. Unlike the English version, in Italian, the days of the week don’t start with a capital letter.

Day of the weekLatin versionName’s origins
LunedìDies LunaeThe day of the Moon
MartedìDies MartisThe day of Mars
MercoledìDies MercuriiThe day of Mercury
GiovedìDies IovisThe day of Jupiter
VenerdìDies VenerisThe day of Venus
SabatoDies SaturniThe day of Saturn
DomenicaDies SolisThe day of the Sun

The first day of the week in Ancient Rome was “dies lunae”, the day of the moon. This means that the goddess moon was no less important than the other gods after which the other days were named, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. In modern Italian, this has remained the first day of the week, lunedì.

The days that kept the root of the planets end with ““, which in Italian is another way to say “day”. Today, is not in use anymore in daily speaking and writing, but you can find it in poems and older literary works.

The last two days of the week, Saturday and Sunday, sabato and domenica in Italian, initially devoted to pagan gods or planets like the others, were later changed in reference to the local religious evolution.

When Christianity started to spread in the Western world, the word “shabbat”, day of rest in Hebrew, in many neo-Latin languages replaced the pagan name. In Italian, it became sabato, in Spanish and Portuguese, sábado, in the Sardinian language sàbadu, in French samedi, from the Latin sambati dies, day of sabbat.

Other European languages, especially Germanic ones, also for the Saturday kept their astronomic origins, such as English (Sunday) and German (Samstag).

Dies solis, Sunday

The Sunday (dies solis) has been strictly linked to the cult of the sun, very heartfelt in ancient Rome. On December 25th, 274, emperor Aurelianus consecrated a temple to Sol Invictus founding the festival of the birthday of the undefeated sun (Dies Natalis Solis Invicti).

On this occasion, he proclaimed the God Sun the main deity of his empire. Rounding off the Saturnalia, the oldest among the Roman festivals, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti became increasingly important.

In 321, Emperor Constantine the Great issued a decree establishing that the day of the sun, dies solis, was going to be the first day of the week and to be devoted to rest.

In 330, for the first time in Roman history, Constantine officially established the festival to celebrate the birth of Christ and set it on the same day as the festival of the Sol Invictus, December 25th. In 337, Pope Julius I made it official in the name of the Catholic Church.

In 380, Flavius Theodosius Augustus, the last emperor of the Roman Empire before the division between the Western and Eastern empires, established Christianity as the one and only official religion of the empire.

Three years later, in 383, he made the day of rest mandatory, and at the same time, he renamed Dies Solis (day of the sun) into Dies Dominicus, the day of the lord. Since then, in Italian, the day of rest has been called domenica and became sacred for all Christians, while the English language kept the original name and meaning (Sunday).

Image: Days in the Italian calendar.

More week- and day-related words + phrases

Here are some other words strictly connected with the Italian days of the week that you are likely to find in common sentences.


  • Oggi = Today
  • Ieri = Yesterday
  • Domani= Tomorrow
  • Fine settimana = Weekend
  • Stamattina = This morning
  • Stanotte = Tonight
  • Domani mattina = Tomorrow morning
  • La notte scorsa = Last night
  • Mattina = Morning
  • Pomeriggio = Afternoon
  • Sera = Evening
  • Notte = Night

Common sentences

Domani sera ti chiamoI will call you tomorrow evening
La notte scorsa non ho dormitoLast night I couldn’t sleep
Da oggi sono in vacanzaFrom today, I’m on holiday
Il giorno di Natale le scuole sono chiuseFor Christmas, schools are closed
Che giorno è oggi?What day is today?
Buon fine settimana!Enjoy your weekend!
Ho preso l’appuntamento dal dottore per domani pomeriggio perché stamattina lavoroI made a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow afternoon because I’m working this morning
Ieri ho incontrato MariaYesterday I met Maria
Questo fine settimana andiamo a sciareNext weekend we go ski
Le previsioni dicono che domani pioveràForecasts say it will rain tomorrow
Image: Using the days of the week in Italian

How to use the days of the week in Italian: common examples and sentences

With article vs without article

When mentioning the days of the week in Italian, sometimes we also use the article. As a general rule, when we are talking about a specific day, we don’t start with the article, while if the day is mentioned as a routine, we do. This is in general, but obviously, there are exceptions. Here are a few examples.

  • Sabato la mia scuola è chiusa >> Saturday, my school is closed
  • Il sabato la mia scuola è chiusa >> On Saturdays, my school is closed
  • Martedì vado al cinema >> On Tuesday I’m going to the cinema
  • Adoro il venerdì >> I love Fridays
  • Il mercoledì ho pallavolo >> On Wednesdays I play volleyball
  • Lunedì prossimo ho appuntamento dal dentista >> Next Monday, I have a dentist appointment

Which day? This, last, or next?

To specify which day we mean, you can ask:

Quale martedì?/Che martedì? (Which Tuesday?) or Quale giorno? (Which day?)

And the answer is likely to be one of these:

  • Questo martedì >> This Tuesday
  • Martedì prossimo >> Next Tuesday
  • Martedì scorso >> Last Tuesday

Masculine or feminine?

In English, there is no such thing, but in Italian, we give gender to everything and anything. That’s right, also the days of the week in Italian bear their gender.

Every day of the week in Italian is masculine. This is why when you want to generalize an event to every and each of the same days, you are going to add “il” (the, masculine singular) to make it:

  • il lunedì
  • il martedì
  • il mercoledì
  • il giovedì
  • il venerdì
  • il sabato.

What about Sunday? That’s the only day of the week in Italian that is feminine:

  • la domenica.

Common sentences with the days of the week in Italian

Quest’anno Natale cade di martedìChristmas is on a Tuesday this year
Pasqua è sempre di domenicaEaster is always on a Sunday
Lunedì torno al lavoroOn Monday, I’m going back to work
Il venerdì mattina vado a fare yogaEvery Friday morning I go to yoga class
Questo sabato è il mio compleannoThis coming Saturday is my birthday
Il prossimo mercoledì ho l’esame della patenteNext Wednesday I have the exam for the driver’s license
Giovedì scorso ti ho vista in centroLast Thursday I saw you downtown
Sto male da lunedì scorsoI’ve been sick since last Monday

How do you say days of the week in Italian?

Day translates in Italian into “giorno” and since it’s plural, it becomes “giorni”. Week means “settimana”. So, “days of the week” translates into “giorni della settimana”. If you want to use the article “the”, it becomes “i giorni della settimana”.

Italian proverbs and funny phrases with the days of the week

  • Né di Venere, né di Marte, non si sposa non si parte, né si dà principio all’arte >> On Fridays of Tuesdays, better not to get married, leave or start any art. This old proverb means that according to some folk beliefs, on Fridays and Tuesdays it would be better not to start anything new.
  • Pensaci il sabato per non pentirti il lunedì >> Do it on Saturday so you don’t regret it on Monday.
  • Sei sempre in mezzo come il giovedì >> You are always in the middle like Thursdays

Italian children’s song with the days to memorize

This is the song they taught my son in kindergarten to learn the days of the week.

These are the lyrics:

Girano in fila indiana sette i giorni della settimana

Girano, girano in fila indiana
Sette i giorni della settimana

Girano, girano in fila indiana
Sette i giorni della settimana

Lunedì lo faccio viola
Il primo giorno della scuola

Martedì invece giallino
Mi alzo sempre di buon mattino

Mercoledì in mezzo a far confusione
Lo dipingo col marrone

Girano, girano in fila indiana
Sette i giorni della settimana

Girano, girano in fila indiana
Sette i giorni della settimana

Giovedì si fan gli gnocchi
Il rosso rubino come i fiocchi

Venerdì azzurro mare
Mangio il pesce e vado a pescare

Sabato son proprio stanco
io lo lascio quasi bianco

Domenica che è festa
Ho l’arcobaleno in testa

Girano, girano in fila indiana
Sette i giorni della settimana

Girano, girano in fila indiana
Sette i giorni della settimana

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