Italian Language Blog

Rainy Day Blog Posted by on Jan 20, 2009 in Grammar

Stamattina mi sono svegliata col rumore della pioggia che batteva sul lucernaio.

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain beating on the skylight. Hmm, inspiration for a rainy vocabulary blog!

As is true of just about anywhere, us Italians like talking about the weather. It’s nearly always too hot, too cold, too wet, or too dry, and if the weather is beautiful? “Si’, e’ una bella giornata ma mi hanno detto che domani piovera’!” (Yes it’s a beautiful day but they say it’s going to rain tomorrow!)

Pioggia means rain and the verb ‘to rain’ is piovere, which is obviously only used in the third person singular: piove = ‘it’s raining’ or ‘is it raining?’. Piovera’ is the simple future and it means, depending on the intonation of voice, either ‘it will rain’ or ‘will it rain?’ To say ‘it rained yesterday’ you can say either ieri e’ piovuto, or ieri ha piovuto.

Pioggerella is the type of rain I became so familiar with in England: drizzle, and the verb ‘to drizzle’ is piovigginare. Ieri e’ piovigginato tutto il giorno ma oggi piove a catinelle (yesterday it drizzled all day but today it’s bucketing down). Instead of saying piove a catinelle (it’s bucketing down) you could say piove da morire (literally, it’s raining to death).

In the summer, especially the long hot days of august, we often have an acquazzone (a heavy shower) in the afternoon. This is frequently heralded by i tuoni (thunder) in the distance which means that the acquazzone will become un temporale (a thunderstorm) bringing with it the danger of fulmini (lightning strikes) or grandine (hail) which can ruin crops and do a lot of damage to property. 

If it is un giorno piovoso (a rainy day) and you have to go out there are a few things that might come in handy such as un ombrello (an umbrella, literally ‘a little shadow!) less commonly known as un parapioggia (literally a rain stopper). Of course umbrellas aren’t very practical if your going for a hike, in which case it’s better to  wear una giacca impermeabile or simply un impermeabile (a waterproof jacket). If on the other hand you enjoy splashing in pozzanghere (puddles) it’s best to wear gli stivali di gomma (rubber boots). Finally Se vai in macchina e comincia a piovere devi accendere i tergicristalli (if you are travelling in the car and it starts to rain you have to turn on the windscreen wipers).

I do hope of course that when you come to visit Italy non piovera’ (it won’t rain), but at least if it does you’ll now be able to discuss it with the locals in Italian!

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  1. Bruno:

    Ciao! Sono brasiliano e sto studiando l’italiano da ottobre dell’anno passato. Non mi piacciono le scuole tradizionali e, per questo, lo studio da solo, sull’internet. Boh, ma non voglio parlare su di me: ho visto che hai scritto ‘pioggio’ all’inizio del testo. Ovviamente è un errore di digitazione, ma credo che vuoi ripararlo.
    Alla prossima!

  2. Serena:

    Grazie Bruno per aver segnalato l’errore. Non so quante volte ho letto e riletto il blog, ma non l’ho mai visto. Comunque, adesso l’ho corretto. Complimenti per il tuo italiano: e’ ottimo.
    Ciao e a presto!

  3. Liz:

    Thank you so much for this latest blog. Being British the terms used for rain are dear to my heart! I, also, have experienced the ‘temporale’ while in Tuscany in the summer.I now feel more confident of using the correwct words! Thanks again!

  4. Relais Lorenzo:

    Thanks for sharing this article, the weather has plays an important role in our daily lives here in Florence!

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