Italian word of the day: ‘Primavera’

Italian word of the day: 'Primavera'
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Spring has sprung here in Italy and we've got a few phrases to help you talk about it.

Some people are surprised by just how cold winter can get in Italy, so it’s always a relief when the spring sunshine arrives.

And today’s word, primavera, means spring  – as well as being the name of Botticelli’s famous Renaissance painting.

Click below to hear primavera pronounced:

It comes from the Latin primus (‘first’) and ver (‘spring’), which means the word originally meant something like ‘in the early springtime’.

Here are a few examples of how you can use this noun in a sentence.

La primavera è la mia stagione preferita.
Spring is my favourite season.

È stato il primo giorno di primavera.
It was the first day of spring.

La primavera è finalmente arrivata.
Spring has finally arrived

Le mie allergie si infiamma ogni primavera.
My allergies flare up every spring.

You might see the word used in other contexts to mean the ‘beginning’ of something.

la primavera di una civiltà
the beginning of a civilization

Una primavera is also the word for ‘a primrose’, the pretty yellow or pink flower you’ll see appear at this time of year.

The flower also happens to be the symbol of Italy’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign, and new beginnings post-pandemic – making primavera a more timely word than ever.

Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

See our complete Word of the Day archive here.

Do you have a favourite Italian word you’d like us to feature? If so, please email us with your suggestion.

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