Italian Expressions to Go to the Sea! – Learn Italian Vocabulary!

Have you ever gone to the beach in Italy? There are a lot of wonderful beaches here, so we thought it might be a good idea to give you some useful expressions to use when you go to the sea in Italy: enjoy!

Italian Expressions When You Go to the Sea!

August 15th is a public holiday in Italy, named Ferragosto, which Italians usually associate with sun, sea, vacations and relaxation.

Where does this term come from?

It comes from the Latin expression feriae Augusti (Augustus’ holiday) in honor of the first Roman Emperor, Ottaviano Augusto (who is also the reason why the eighth month of the year is known as August). The Emperor had established this holiday in 18 B.C in order to rest and celebrate the end of the agricultural work. Over time, this pagan holiday turned into a religious celebration dedicated to the Mother of Jesus, Mary. But nowadays, as we have said, people associate the word Ferragosto with sea, sun and relaxation.

Here are some common expressions to use when you go to the sea in Italy:

  • fare il bagno → spending time in the water, possibly swimming
  • fare il morto → lying on your back and floating in the water to relax 
  • affogare / annegare → swallowing too much water and risking dying
  • prendere il sole → sunbathing, the skin becomes darker thanks to sunlight exposure
  • stare sotto l’ombrellone → staying in the shade created by the beach umbrella to avoid the sunlight
  • andare sott’acqua → going underwater, immersing yourself in water
  • schizzare l’acqua → pushing the water against someone or something with your hands, splashing


  • la boa (buoy) → rounded floating item which is docked at the seabed, useful to signal the limit bathers should not go beyond (they can have different colors, it is usually not recommended to cross the red one);
  • il bagnino (lifeguard) →  the person who is in charge to watch, to assist and to save the bathers in case they are in danger;
  • la canoa di salvataggio (canoe) → the vehicle used by the lifeguard to rescue bathers who are too far away;
  • il salvagente (life preserver) → floating object used to save drowning people or to keep people unable to swim afloat;
  • bandiera bianca (white flag) →it means that the sea is calm and it is possible to go swimming. When the flag is yellow you need to be careful, when it is red, you better not to go swimming.

Did you enjoy this video-lesson? Don’t forget that we have many other lessons on Italian expressions!

… We also have many Italian grammar lessons!

Let’s see if you’ve mastered the contents of this class. Have a go at completing the exercises!

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