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  • August 2010
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How can I say “on holiday” in Italian? The Italian preposition “IN”

Posted by Monica Corrias on August 15, 2010

Elementary language level – Italian language tips by Monica Corrias – Learn Italian with me

Are you on holiday in Italy? (= Sei in vacanza in Italia?) Would you like to know how to use the Italian preposition “IN”?  Here are some tips for you.

The Italian preposition  “IN” (= in/to/at/into/within):  some uses (not all)

Space/Place: indicates direction or position.  The place, the country, or the region  where I am or where I’m going to: to indicate the State (in Italy; in France, but NEGLI Stati Uniti), the Continent (in Europe; in America) or “Region” (in Tuscany; in Sicily), but remember we say “A” + name of city (A Roma, not in Rome!)

I always go to the country or to the hill on holiday:  I have never been to the seaside = Vado sempre IN vacanza IN campagna o IN montagna:  non sono mai stato  AL mare (be careful: AL mare)

We are going to France on holiday  = Andremo IN vacanza IN Francia  (be careful, we say IN vacanza)


In summer I go to Italy = IN estate vado IN Italia

I went to Sicily in 2008 = Sono andato IN Sicilia NEL (IN + IL = NEL) 2008

Means of transport:

We came by airplane/by train/by car/by bike = Siamo venuti IN aereo/ IN treno/IN macchina/IN bici

We go for a drive = Andiamo a fare un giro IN macchina

Now read the text:

Sono venuto IN Italia IN vacanza A Roma perché le mie ferie sono sempre IN estate e Roma è una città molto bella e piena DI cose interessanti e divertenti. IN settembre, però,  devo andare NEGLI Stati Uniti A New York per lavoro. Poi IN ottobre vado IN Canada e subito dopo IN Australia, sempre per lavoro. Finalmente IN dicembre sarò nuovamente IN vacanza e andrò A Parigi IN macchina e resterò a casa DI alcuni amici per  dieci giorni. Il mio lavoro è faticoso perché viaggio molto IN aereo, ma fortunatamente ho molti giorni DI vacanza, così posso viaggiare IN treno o IN macchina e incontrare i miei amici IN Europa.


When you are studying Italian avoid the temptation to make absolute comparisons to English (or other languages). There are too many fundamental differences between the (two) languages, although there are many similarities.

If you need Italian instruction,  email me!

I’m an experienced Italian language teacher.

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7 Responses to “How can I say “on holiday” in Italian? The Italian preposition “IN””

  1. sabrine said

    Hello Monica,
    what is the difference between “sto mangiando” (il gerundio)and “stia mangiando” the book translate this tense to (present prograssive subjunctive) and I don’t understand at all.

    According to this italian grammer book i have for example:
    sto mangiando means I am eating.
    and again stia mangiando it also means I am eating. so what is the difference please?
    or can we use any of these forms for saying I am eating, or sto parlando, o stia parlando???
    the translation in english is kind of complicated. that is why I don’t want to deal with english/italian grammer book. Unfortunately, the way they describe is rather confusing.

    and also, kindly let me know about the subjuncative and what is the best way to learn these different tenses?
    Thank you so very much.

    • Monica said

      Ciao Sabrine,
      ottima domanda sulla differenza tra indicativo e congiuntivo (la domanda qui non è sul gerundio). Ti risponderò in inglese:
      I’m eating now (it’s a real fact) = Io sto mangiando
      Paul thinks (that) I’m eating (it’s a Paul’s personal opinion) = Paul pensa che io stia mangiando
      Penso che sia un bel film = I think it is a beautiful film (personal opinion)
      E’ sicuramente un bel film = It is surely a beautiful film

      Italian subjunctive is generally used in subordinate clauses (after the “che”), when we do not speak about real facts (see indicative mood), but we express personal opinion, personal wishes, personal willingness or orders …
      read here the information about the subjunctive mood and the conjugation of the subjunctive present tense

      Per altri dubbi o domande io sono qui 🙂

  2. Reeby said

    Very interesting and informative! And as usual in a simple but fruitful form!

  3. sabrine said

    Ciao Monica,
    vi ringrazio per il vostro duro lavoro.
    Vorrei poter esprimere il mio apprezzamento per la creazione di questo sito.

    Grazie, grazie !!

  4. sims 4 keygen password said

    This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Many thanks!

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