Understand Italian used by Leonardo da Vinci: aphorism 1

Aforismo 1

Chi vol essere ricco in un dì è impiccato in un anno.

— Leonardo da Vinci

Here is my translation of the aphorism:

He who wishes to be rich in day is hanged within a year.

For study purposes, here now is a literal translation of the aphorism, including accents in the Italian to show the stressed syllable of a word:

Chi vol (he who wants) èssere rìcco (to be rich) in un dì (in a day) è impiccàto (is hanged) in un ànno (in a year).

Vol is the third-person singular, presente conjugation of the verb volere (to want); it is synonymous with vuol, vuole.

Il dì is synonymous with il giorno (day). An example of appears in a verse from il libro della Genesi (book of Genesis), which is the focus of study elsewhere on this site: Poi, all’aura del dì, udirono la voce del Signore Iddio che camminava per lo giardino.

The verb impiccare means to hang. The Treccani dictionary offers some useful examples:

impiccare a un albero
to hang from a tree

Fu condannato a morte e impiccato.
He was sentenced to death and hanged.

S’è impiccato a una trave di casa.
He hanged himself from a house beam
.

The reflexive impiccarsi, from the last example, means to hang oneself.