Noun (nome) is a person, place, or thing. Nouns have endings that change depending on the gender and number. So, the ending of an Italian noun reveals its gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural).
|MASC.||il piatto bianco (the white plate)
il cane grande (the large dog)
|i piatti bianchi (the white plates)
i cani grandi (the large dogs)
|FEM.||la pizza calda (hot pizza)
la carne tenera (tender meat)
|le pizze calde (hot pizzas)
le carni tenere (tender meats)
Nouns often are accompanied by a masculine or feminine definite article (In english: "The"): il, lo, la (singular); i, gli, le (plural). Indefinite articles (Like the English a, an, some) - un, una (singular). However, As in English, there's no indefinite articles for plural nouns.
In English, a vast majority of nouns are neutre (masculine and feminine are only used for human beings or for animals), while articles and adjectives have no gender at all. In Italian instead, nouns, adjectives and articles too are either masculine or feminine, but never neutre.
For nouns, the number (whether the word is singular or plural) works exactly as in English: the singular form is used when referring to one subject and the plural form when referring to two or more. But in Italian also adjectives and articles are number-sensitive, whereas in English only the noun changes; while in Italian also the article and the adjective would be turned in plural form.