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How to wish someone a Happy New Year in Italian

Learn how to say happy new year in Italian and wish your loved ones a great beginning Italian style!

With the festive season approaching rapidly, we have been looking at drinking cheers in Italian and how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Italian.

Today, we add to this series and look at how we can wish someone a happy new year!

Celebrations for the near year are a big thing in Italy.

Gathering to celebrate the new beginning and wish each other well for a fresh start is a huge part of our holiday festive traditions and, if you have Italian friends, being able to wish them all the best in Italian is a lovely skill to have.

Today, we will look at how we say happy new year in Italian in person and on greeting cards.

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How to say Happy New Year in Italian

The Italian for Happy New Year is Buon Anno!

Hear it here

Buon is the short form for buono = good and anno = year so, as you can see, we are missing the ‘new’ part of the English expression.

This is not a mistake.

When speaking, Buon Anno is understood as a wish for the new year ahead and the use of the word ‘nuovo‘ is redundant.

When you are cheering or you are saying goodbye to someone, you can simply say: A presto, buon anno!

In writing, there is more leniency.

While it is common and correct to write Buon Anno, it is also perfectly acceptable to write ‘Buon Anno Nuovo’ or other similar expressions (see below).

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Photo of champagne glasses and bottle with overlay text: How to wish Happy New Year in Italian

Other ways to wish a happy New Year in Italian

In English, we wish the new year to be happy.

In Italian, we wish it ‘buono’ however, both languages also have other ways of summoning a good beginning.

These alternative expressions are most common in writing and make for lovely and thoughtful greeting cards.

Other things can say to wish someone a happy new year in Italian are:

Auguri per un sereno anno nuovo – best wishes for a serene/ peaceful new year

Auguri per un prospero anno nuovo – best wishes for a prosperous new year

Buona fine e buon inizio! (wishes of a) good ending and a good beginning!

Felice anno nuovo! Happy new year!

Wishing a happy new year in Italian in writing

Greeting cards are a bit part of the festive tradition in a large part of the English-speaking world.

However, cards are not quite as common in Italy so if you don’t receive one or you don’t feel like sending one, don’t worry!

Businesses commonly send out season greetings to their clients at this time, often by email, but you are not expected to send a card to a friend or a relative in Italy.

A phone call or text /WhatsApp message is appropriate.

If you however like sending greeting cards, you can and the receiver will be extra grateful as it will be a welcome surprise!

If you are wishing a happy new year in Italian in writing, useful expressions are:

Buon Anno! Happy New year!

Tanti Aguri per un sereno a prospero anno nuovo – best wishes for a serene and prosperous new year

Tanti cari auguri di buon anno a te e alla tua famiglia – many warm wishes for a happy new year to you and your familiy

Tantissimi Auguri! A little like ‘congratulations’, ‘auguri‘ is a universal Italian expression to wish good things ahead

Augurandovi un felice anno nuovo, vi porgiamo i nostri piu’ cordiali saluti (formal) – wishing you a happy new year, we send our kindest regards

How to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Italian

If you want to bundle up greetings for Christmas, New Year’s and Epiphany on one all-encompassing sentence, there are several useful expressions in Italian you may like to learn.

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Buon Natale e Buon Anno! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Buone Feste! Happy Holidays / Seasons Greetings

wooden surface with  pinecones, fir and seasonal items with greeting cards saying Tantissimi Auguri di Buon Natale e Felice anno nuovo

How to respond is someone wishes Buon Anno to you

If someone wishes you Buon Anno, polite and appropriate ways to respond are:

Grazie, buon anno anche a te! Thank you, happy new year to you too!

Grazie, anche a te! Thank you, to you too!

Grazie, altrettanto! Thank you, to same to you!

Buon Anno! Happy New Year!

Other useful words about the new year in Italy

Notte di capodanno – New years’ eve

Capodanno – the first day of the year but also short for New Years’ Eve.


Cosa fai a capodanno? What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?

A capodanno, molti negozi sono chiusi: on the fiest day of the yeark maby shops are closed.

Il primo dell’anno – the first day of the new year

Fun fact: in Italian, we have a saying that whatever you do on the first day of the year, you will do the whole year, whether literally or metaphorically!

An example of this is an Italian proverb about lentils, typical food of new year’s eve in Italy:

Chi mangia lenticchie il primo dell’anno, tocca soldi tutto l’anno = who eats lentils on the first day of the year, touches money all year round.

Veglione – new year’s eve celebration

Brindisi = toast

Cenone / Cenone di Capodanno= the big dinner traditional on new year’s eve

Cotechino / zampone: pork bases dish typical of new year’s celebrations in Italy

Lenticchie = lentils, a typical new year’s day dish said to bring financial fortune

Spumante = Italian sparkling wine for toasts

Fuochi d’artificio = fireworks

Botti di capodanno = fireworks (‘botto’ in this case means ‘boom’ and refers to the noise fireworks make and it is pronounced with a wide oh sound)

Girandola – sparkler

I hope you enjoyed this quick lesson and it helped you find the best way to send seasons’ greetings to someone in Italian no matter the circumstances. Buon Anno a Voi!

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Marta Correale is an Italian mama of two. Born and raised in Rome, Marta has a passion for travel and especially enjoys showing off Italy to her kids, who are growing up to love it as much as she does! A classics graduate, teacher of Italian as a second language and family travel blogger, Marta launched Mama Loves Italy as a way to inspire, support and help curious visitors to make the most of a trip to Italy and learn about Italian culture on the way.