Italian Holiday Greetings are Easy but Come with a Few Warnings!

Have no fear!

Italian holiday greetings aren’t difficult. In fact, you can probably nail them all within a mere thirty minute’s practice. Then you need to put them to use! If you live in Italy, plan on living here, or if you’re visiting Italy during the holiday season, these Italian holiday greetings will serve you well.

However, a couple of easy mistakes can land you red-faced with embarrassment.

Believe me, I’ve been there. When you watch the video below or read my previous post about Italian holiday greetings, you’ll understand why. Hint: It has to do with saying Happy New Year! My oldest sister and I still get a hearty laugh about her getting this wrong with a neighbor in Umbria and saying something entirely different than what was intended.

The video below is not only about Italian holiday greetings, but about proper responses.

There’s a definite cadence and lingo when you are interacting with Italians during the holidays. It’s an art that I’m still learning. Mastery and fluidity are still a way’s off. But, I don’t feel awkward anymore. (A glass of Prosecco helps ease my fears!).

Without further ado, I’ll let my video speak for itself.

You’ll learn the basics of Italian holiday greetings: Buone Feste! (Happy Holidays),  Buon Natale! (Merry Christmas), Buon Anno! (Happy New Year!), Buon Capodanno! (Happy New Year’s Day!), Tanti Auguri! (Best wishes) and more!


By |2019-01-19T08:20:37+01:00December 23rd, 2018|Speaking Italian|16 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Debra Polson December 24, 2018 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Buon Natale, Jed!
    Cant wait til I’m walking the streets of Sulmona next Christmas singing out “Buon feste” and “Buon anno”! And thanks for the tip on pronouncing that correctly. I would so do that and be mortified later.
    Wishing you and yours the very warmest of holidays…xo

    • Jed December 24, 2018 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      Altrettanto, Debra! Yes, you’ll be experiencing this all for yourself in Sulmona. If you’re anything like me, I suspect you discover Christmas all over again when you immerse yourself in the Italian “version” of the holidays. Tanti auguri! Looking forward to seeing you in the New Year! Bacioni! Jed

  2. Kevin December 24, 2018 at 5:50 am - Reply

    Jed, Amy and I just watched this video tonight….really enjoyed the content….including: you…your cat Oscar….and the beautiful beautiful night complete with holiday lights. Buone Feste!

    • Jed December 24, 2018 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      Grazie mille, my friend! So happy that I could teleport myself to join you for the holidays!

  3. Mary Anne Della Fera December 23, 2018 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Molto Bella! o forse dovrei dire ‘molto bello’ (il suo film)! Aargh!

    I love your blog site and have shared it with many people. I am exactly one month away from leaving for Italia permanentamente! Sono eccitata e ansiosa. Molto! Frantically working on my Italiano.

    Your blog posts have been keeping me on track and helping me not lose sight of the reasons I’m going. After years of thinking, wishing, planning and anxious waiting for acknowledgement of my Italian citizenship, this has been coming together in a much more real way in the last few months. My Italian passport arrived just a couple weeks ago!

    By the way, I love your post about your anxiety about transporting your kitty to Italy! I’m bringing 3 older rescue pekingeses with me, and my main anxiety is about their wellbeing. I bought plane tickets for 2 other people to come with me so all 3 dogs can travel in the cabin! OMG!

    But I especially love your more philosophical posts. Although this seems like a big outward journey, it is really much more of an inward journey for me. Your posts speak to that.

    Grazie & Buone Feste, Jed!
    Mary Anne

    • Jed December 24, 2018 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      Mary Anne, You totally made my day! It means the world to me to know that in some small way I have helped keep your dream and move to Italy going. Brava to you for persevering and wading through all the necessary steps. Congratulations on receiving your passport. That’s huge! Thanks for the encouragement on the more philosophical posts. I have another one brewing about “bringing out the silver,” a post about not postponing living and enjoying the things that give you extra pleasure and meaning in one’s life! Stay in touch! Jed

      • Mary Anne Della Fera December 25, 2018 at 6:13 am - Reply

        Oh, good! I’ll be watching for that post!
        Your photos are absolutely stunning, by the way! I’ve spent hours on your website, reading and admiring your photos.
        I will definitely stay in touch!
        Mary Anne

        • Jed December 28, 2018 at 1:13 pm - Reply

          Stay tuned for the new post coming out tomorrow. I had a fun little creative photography session making the most out of silver teaspoon (the feature image) and three espresso cups!

  4. Michelle December 23, 2018 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Amazing, fun and helpful, Jed! Grazie mille e Auguri! – Michelle

    • Jed December 24, 2018 at 3:34 pm - Reply

      Grazie mille, Michelle! Auguri!

  5. Elizabeth Wholey December 23, 2018 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Well done, and buone feste!

    • Jed December 23, 2018 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      Grazie mille, Elizabeth! Miss you. Buon Natale! Bacioni!

  6. Joe December 23, 2018 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    What a sweet video Jed! Thanks for sharing. Joe

    • Jed December 23, 2018 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Joe. This one was a last minute idea. I had it sort of mapped out in my head and then I hopped in the car, drove to the center of town, and started “playing.” It’s not always easy when you don’t have another person to focus and start the camera, so that takes a bit ingenuity! I also gave myself a tight window to get it finished, and I’m finding I work well “under the gun?”

  7. Chip Meeks December 23, 2018 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Grazie mille e Buone Feste Jed! Oder Hertzlichen Vielen Dank und Fröhe Weihnachten! (But, that was “Christmas” not “Holidays”!) I trust you and your loved ones have a great holiday and “Ein gute rutsch!” (A good slide) into 2019! Take care-Chip

    • Jed December 23, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      Altrettanto, Chip! Always good hearing from you! Stay warm and safe! Jed

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