Word of the Day – “Compleanno”

La Maestra Maldestra

Oggi e’ il mio compleanno. Today is my birthday, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to teach you some birthday-related and well-wishing vocabulary.

I am extremely thankful for all the auguri  that have been sent across the pond by my Italian friends (and friends of other nationalities who happen to speak Italian), the wishes for a bon anniversaire (happy birthday) from my Francophone friends and the warm happy birthdays from my English-speaking friends and family.

While in English I would never congratulate someone on their birthday, in Italian it is very common to say auguri  which translates as, all the best, congratulations, or best wishes. You can also say buon compleanno, simply meaning happy birthday, or you can combine the two for the all-encompassing auguri di buon compleanno!  If you really hope that someone’s birthday is over the top, you can wish them the more grandiose buonissimo compleanno, so that they may have a very happy birthday, or you could wish them auguroni, which are even bigger best wishes.

If you’re the lucky birthday boy or girl, you’d be the festeggiato/a. Hopefully you’re having a festa (party)  complete with torta di compleanno (birthday cake), biglietti di compleanno (birthday cards) and regali (presents)!

Two years ago, I celebrated my birthday in Siena. A friend organized a birthday party for me at the Tea Room, a popular, well, tea room, that serves all sorts of drinks, cakes, teas and coffees. I rang in my birthday with a flaming (yes, actually on fire) Bellini drink. (They’re not usually served on fire, FYI) and then proceeded to indulge in some Prosecco. We also had a coconut cake drizzled in chocolate, complete, not with birthday candles (the Bellini took care of the “make a wish” part) but with miniature Italian flags.  All in all, a wonderful Italian compleanno!

Pouring Prosecco

Birthday Bellini

If all this talk of birthdays and well wishes has made you want to do something to help me celebrate my birthday, “like” Not Just Another “Dolce Vita’s” Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, or subscribe to the blog!


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