Decoding Italian Abbreviations and Acronyms

Discover the most common abbreviations and acronyms used in Italian for texting, states, provinces, days of the week, and much more.

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By Laura Pennacchietti · February 26, 2024 · 11 minute read

Abbreviations can be puzzling for language learners, and Italian abbreviations are no different. Did you ever find yourself reading a message or an article in your own language and missing the meaning because of an acronym that you didn’t know? If it can happen in your own language, imagine how challenging it can be to understand abbreviations in Italian!

Abbreviations and acronyms are typically part of the ‘insider knowledge’ linked to a language. They span from colloquial expressions to formal contexts, and they often belong to specific fields or topics within that language. They are like ‘shortcuts’ used to communicate efficiently. But they can also be tricky because they are a sort of code, and if you don’t know that code, it can make communication more difficult!

Whether you are already proficient in Italian or you are just starting your learning journey, common Italian abbreviations and acronyms can be particularly daunting. This article will provide you with that little bit of insider knowledge that will help you go the extra mile.

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What are abbreviations and acronyms?

Abbreviations are shortened forms of words, like ‘Dr.’ for ‘Doctor’ or ‘etc.’ for ‘et cetera.’ Two easy examples in Italian are the abbreviation for Italian, which is IT, and the abbreviation of Italy, which can be IT (two-letter country abbreviation) or ITA (the three-letter code). But it’s usually not that simple!

Acronyms are a type of abbreviation made of the first letters of a name or an expression that has more than one word, like US for ‘United States’ or ASAP for ‘as soon as possible.’ An acronym for Italy strictly speaking does not exist, as Italy is only one word, but some examples from Italian are UE (for Unione Europea) and FIAT (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino), the most important Italian car manufacturer.

While abbreviations are typically used in writing, acronyms are more commonly used in speaking as well as writing. In Italian they are mostly pronounced as if they were a word, with an Italian pronunciation — for example, FIAT is not pronounced ‘effe - i - a - t,’ but just ‘fiat,’ as if it was a word in itself.

If it’s too awkward to pronounce an acronym this way because the letters are hard to say in a row or there are no vowels, then the pronunciation is letter by letter — for example, DNA is pronounced ‘di - enne - a.’

Do you need to brush up on your Italian pronunciation? Check out our guide to the Italian alphabet.

Common Italian abbreviations and acronyms

Some abbreviations and acronyms are unique to a certain topic, so they are used in communication within a particular field and would not be used outside of that context.

Some of these context-specific abbreviations can still be useful in everyday life, for example, abbreviations used in formal writing. Anyone who lives in Italy or has anything to do with Italians could receive a formal letter from, let’s say, the authorities or a business, and they might need to reply using the same formulas.

Other abbreviations that are specific to a professional field are less interesting for us here (and would be hard to summarize in the space of one article!).

Finally, a large amount of Italian abbreviations are common knowledge and often used in written communication, public speech or conversation.

In this article we will provide lists of the most common Italian abbreviations and acronyms divided by fields or themes.

Italian abbreviations for states and provinces

Some of the most common words that get abbreviated in Italian are names of states and cities. In Italian, every state (or region) has an official abbreviation. Below you can find a list of 20 states and a list of provinces in Italy, along with their abbreviations.

Italy state abbreviations

Italy is segmented into 20 states (or regions). Presently, Italy consists of 101 provinces, 8 metropolitan cities, and Aosta. The provincial responsibilities of Aosta are managed by the regional government of Valle d'Aosta.

Here is a list of Italian abbreviations for the 20 states or regions in the country:

  1. Abruzzo - AB
  2. Basilicata - BA
  3. Calabria - CA
  4. Campania - CM
  5. Emilia-Romagna - EM
  6. Friuli-Venezia Giulia - FV
  7. Lazio - LZ
  8. Liguria - LG
  9. Lombardy - LM
  10. Marche - MR
  11. Molise - MO
  12. Piedmont - PM
  13. Apulia - PU
  14. Sardinia - SD
  15. Sicily - SI
  16. Tuscany - TS
  17. Trentino-Alto Adige - TN
  18. Umbria - UM
  19. Valle d'Aosta - VA
  20. Veneto - VN

Italian province abbreviations

Each city or town is a ‘comune,’ but the biggest or most important cities within each region are called ‘province’ (singular ‘provincia’). As well as the city itself, the provincia covers the surrounding territory, so that each comune belongs to a provincia.

Each provincia has an official abbreviation that you can see, for example, on car license plates registered in that provincia. In writing an address, the provincia abbreviation must always be indicated in brackets next to the comune, as in the following example, where ‘MI’ is the abbreviation for Milano:

Via Amedeo Modigliani 7
20090 Segrate (MI)

The abbreviations for Italian province are, therefore, used a lot, and it’s useful to get acquainted with them. In this section you’ll find tables of all the Italian province abbreviations.

Abruzzo province abbreviations

  • Chieti - CH
  • L’Aquila - AQ
  • Pescara - PE
  • Teramo - TE

Basilicata province abbreviations

  • Matera - MT
  • Potenza - PZ

Calabria province abbreviations

  • Catanzaro - CZ
  • Cosenza - CS
  • Crotone - KR
  • Reggio Calabria - RC
  • Vibo Valentia - VV

Campania province abbreviations

  • Avellino - AV
  • Benevento - BN
  • Caserta - CE
  • Napoli – NA
  • Salerno – SA

Emilia Romagna province abbreviations

  • Bologna - BO
  • Ferrara - FE
  • Forlì-Cesena - FC
  • Modena - MO
  • Parma - PR
  • Piacenza - PC
  • Ravenna - RA
  • Reggio Emilia - RE
  • Rimini - RN

Friuli-Venezia Giulia province abbreviations

  • Gorizia - GO
  • Pordenone - PN
  • Trieste - TS
  • Udine - UD

Lazio province abbreviations

  • Frosinone - FR
  • Latina - LT
  • Rieti - RI
  • Roma - RM
  • Viterbo - VT

Liguria province abbreviations

  • Genova - GE
  • Imperia - IM
  • La Spezia - SP
  • Savona - SV

Lombardia province abbreviations

  • Bergamo - BG
  • Brescia - BS
  • Como - CO
  • Cremona - CR
  • Lecco - LC
  • Lodi - LO
  • Mantova - MN
  • Milano - MI
  • Monza Brianza - MB
  • Pavia - PV
  • Sondrio - SO
  • Varese - VA

Marche province abbreviations

  • Ancona - AN
  • Ascoli Piceno - AP
  • Fermo - FM
  • Macerata - MC
  • Pesaro e Urbino - PU

Molise province abbreviations

  • Campobasso - CB
  • Isernia - IS

Piemonte province abbreviations

  • Alessandria - AL
  • Asti - AT
  • Biella - BI
  • Cuneo - CN
  • Novara - NO
  • Torino - TO

Verbano-Cusio-Ossola province abbreviation

  • Vercelli - VC

Puglia province abbreviations

  • Bari - BA
  • Brindisi - BR
  • Foggia - FG
  • Lecce - LE
  • Taranto - TA

Sardegna province abbreviations

  • Cagliari - CA
  • Nuoro - NU
  • Oristano - OR
  • Sassari - SS
  • Sud Sardegna - SU

Sicilia province abbreviations

  • Agrigento - AG
  • Caltanissetta - CL
  • Catania - CT
  • Enna - EN
  • Messina - ME
  • Palermo - PA
  • Ragusa - RG
  • Siracusa - SR
  • Trapani - TP

Toscana province abbreviations

  • Arezzo - AR
  • Firenze - FI
  • Grosseto - GR
  • Livorno - LI
  • Lucca - LU
  • Massa-Carrara - MS
  • Pisa - PI
  • Pistoia - PT
  • Prato - PO
  • Siena - SI

Trentino Alto Adige province abbreviations

  • Bolzano - BZ
  • Trento - TN

Umbria province abbreviations

  • Perugia - PG
  • Terni - TR

Veneto province abbreviations

  • Belluno - BL
  • Padova - PD
  • Rovigo - RO
  • Treviso - TV
  • Venezia - VE
  • Verona - VR
  • Vicenza - VI

Italian days of the week and months abbreviations

Besides names of states and cities, in Italian it’s very common to use abbreviations when writing dates. In the following tables you’ll find abbreviations for days of the week and months (check out our article on Italian seasons as well!).

Italian days of the week abbreviations

Abbreviation Full word English
lun. lunedì Monday
mar. martedì Tuesday
mer. mercoledì Wednesday
gio. giovedì Thursday
ven. venerdì Friday
sab. sabato Saturday
dom. domenica Sunday

Continue learning more Italian abbreviations!

italian abbreviations

Whether you are a football fan who knows that the abbreviation commonly used for the football team A.C. Milan is “Inter”, or an all around sports fan curious to know more Italian sports abbreviations, you can learn more via Busuu’s free online courses!

Italian months abbreviations

Abbreviation Full word English
gen. gennaio January
feb. febbraio February
mar. marzo March
apr. aprile April
mag. maggio May
giu. giugno June
lug. luglio July
ago. agosto August
set. settembre September
ott. ottobre October
nov. novembre November
dic. dicembre December

Other time-related abbreviations

Abbreviation Full word English
sec. secolo century
a.C. avanti Cristo before Christ (BC)
d.C. dopo Cristo lit. after Christ, or anno Domini (AD)

Italian SMS and texting abbreviations

Until a few years ago, texts had a strict 160 character limit. Going over this limit meant paying double. In Italy, the use of abbreviations at the time was huge – texts often looked like coded messages! Nowadays instant messaging apps that don’t have such restrictions are normally preferred to texts, so the use of abbreviations in texts has shrunk. However, some words are still often abbreviated when messaging, which can make understanding hard – here’s a list of the most common!

Italian SMS and texting abbreviations

Abbreviation Full word English
cmq comunque anyway
prox prossimo / prossima next
doma domani tomorrow
x per for
però but
xchè perché why, because
xchè perché why, because
qnd quando when
qlc qualcuno someone
qlcs qualcosa something

Italian institutions acronyms

Institutions and organizations often have names made of multiple words, which is why acronyms are particularly common in this sphere. Italian acronyms for international organizations are often different from English ones, because the words that make up the names are in a different order.

In this section you will find a list of acronyms for international institutional bodies, as well as acronyms related to Italian institutions.

Italian institutions acronyms

Acronym Full name English
ONU Organizzazione Nazioni Unite United Nations (UN)
OMS Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità World Health Organization (WHO)
UE Unione Europea European Union (EU)
CEE Comunità Economica Europea European Economic Community (EEC)
FAI Fondo Ambiente Italiano Italian Environmental Fund
PP.AA. Pubblica Amministrazione Public Administration
FF.SS., FS Ferrovie dello Stato State Railway
ONG Organizzazione Non Governativa Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
INPS Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale Social Security Service
SSN Sistema Sanitario Nazionale National Health Service (NHS)
ASL Azienda Sanitaria Locale Local Health Authority

Other Italian abbreviations and acronyms

In this section you will find a list of common abbreviations and acronyms that do not belong to any of the previous categories.

Other Italian abbreviations

Abbreviation Full word English
fam. famiglia family
pag., p. pagina page
vol., voll. volume, volumi volume, volumes
v. vedi see
cfr. confronta check
ecc. eccetera et cetera
cap. capitolo chapter
all. allegato attached
deca decaffeinato decaffeinated coffee
dx destra right

Other Italian acronyms

Acronym Full name or expression English
TG telegiornale newscast
RAI Radiotelevisione italiana Italian state broadcaster
FIAT Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino Turin Italian car factory
CV curriculum vitae curriculum vitae
CAP codice di avviamento postale postcode
CF codice fiscale tax code
CIE carta d’identità elettronica electronic identity card
SPID Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale Public Digital Identity System
POS Point of Sale point of sale (the machine used for card payments)
c/c conto corrente bank account

Wrapping up

Learning abbreviations and acronyms is part of knowing a language, but they are not taught in language school like grammar or vocabulary. This is why they can be particularly challenging for language learners.

In this article, we have tried to fill this gap by providing you with lists of the most common Italian abbreviations and acronyms. This is guaranteed to give your comprehension and communication skills a significant boost! Next time you text someone or have a conversation in Italian you might want to show off and throw the odd abbreviation or acronym in – you’ll sound like a real Italian!

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