How To Say “Take A Nap” In Italian

When you’re traveling, especially across time zones, there will come times when rest during the day is paramount for the future enjoyment of your trip. (In fact, I just woke up from a great one in Lago Maggiore, near Milan!) A handy phrase to know then in Italian is “to take a nap.”

There’s two great ways to say “take a nap” in Italian, and their meanings are practically the same:

  • fare un pisolino
  • fare un sonnellino

In both cases we start with the verb fare (to do, to make), which must be conjugated according to the context in which you say it. More on this below. But first, let’s quickly examine the noun options for “nap” and figure out how we can remember them easily.

Pisolo - How To Say Take A Nap In Italian

Pisolo is the name for the character Sleepy in the Italian version of Snow White And The Seven Dwarves. It’s no coincidence that the word for nap is pisolino. How cute!

The first way to say “a nap” may be easy to remember if you like Disney films. In the Italian version of Snow White And The Seven Dwarves, Sleepy has a different name–Pisolo. If we add the Italian suffix for making a noun small or cute (-ino) for “a nap” we get un pisolino. Now you can think of Sleepy’s cute little dwarf face every time you go to take a nap in Italy!

The other way of saying “a nap” may be even easier to remember, if you can recall the word for “sleep” (sonno) and again use the Italian suffix for making a noun little (-ino). Put them together and you get a new word for “a little sleep,” or what we like to call a nap: sonnellino.

Now the only thing left to do is to make the phrase fit the context you are using it in by conjugating the verb fareFare is one of the most common verbs you’ll use in Italian, so if you don’t have its conjugation down yet let’s look at a few ways to conjugate it with this phrase to denote different things.

Faccio un pisolino

Ho fato un pisolino

Ho appena fato un pisolino

Ho già fato un pisolino

Stavo facendo un pisolino

Hai fato il tuo pisolino oggi?

Vorrei fare un pisolino

Adoro fare i pisolini!

I’ll take a nap

I took a nap

I just took a nap

I already took a nap

I was taking a nap

Have you taken your nap today?

I would like to take a nap

I love taking naps!

Bonus:  The Roman word for “siesta,” a nap after lunch, is pennica. This was told to me by a Milanese, so the word may get around a little bit, but I believe it’s pretty specific to the Roman dialect, or Romanesco. As of this writing, it doesn’t even translate on Google Translate. The similar Roman word pennichella, however, does Google Translate to “nap.”

How'd we do? Do you have any experience with this topic, or are you planning to get some soon and have some questions in advance? Let us know about them in the comments below! Or, if we made any mistakes in this article, please kindly let us know in the comments below and we'll strive to make this website an even better resource.

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