100 Italian Baby Names

Learn the meaning and origins of popular Italian baby names

Whether you have Italian roots or you simply love the way Italian names roll off the tongue, there are many choices of Italian names for your baby boy or girl. Much like the other Romance languages, Italian baby names may have originated in Latin, or they may be Latinized versions of names from other languages.

Traditionally, Italian parents choose their children's names based on the name of a grandparent, choosing names from the father's side of the family first and then from the mother's side.

Some Italians have also followed the tradition of naming their child after a patron saint. By knowing the Italian equivalent of a name, you can keep this tradition alive even if one side of your family isn't Italian. Or, you might choose a name with ancient Roman roots.

popular Italian baby names
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin

Popular Italian Baby Names for Girls

These names include those that are popular in Italy, as well as those with Ancient Roman or Latin roots.

Alessandra

  • Origin: Italian form of Greek Alexandra
  • Meaning: Defender of mankind
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alessa, Sandra, Alexandra
  • Famous Namesakes: Model Alessandra Ambrósio, actress Alessandra Torresani, Italian politician Alessandra Mussolini
  • Peak Popularity: Alessandra has long been a popular name in Italy, though less so in recent years, reaching the 35th most popular in 2010. In the U.S. it has gained in popularity over the past two decades and ranked 324 in 2018.

Fun Fact: St. Alexandra, the Empress of Rome, was a noblewoman and the wife of Emperor Diocletian or Dacian, a Roman Prefect, who was secretly converted to Christianity and died a martyr in the year 303.

Alice

  • Origin: Old French, which was derived from German
  • Meaning: Noble type (German Adalheidis)
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alicia, Alecia, Alisha, Alyce, Alys, Alise
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Alice Walker, actress Alice Ghostley, St. Alice of Schaerbeek (feast day June 15 in her honor)
  • Peak Popularity: Alice has been a consistently popular girl's name in Italy for the past two decades, ranking 4th in 2018. In the U.S., it was in the top ten in 1906 and remained in the top 50 names through World War II before dropping slightly. Alice has had a resurgence since 2010 and was the 71st most popular in 2018.

Fun Fact: In Italian, the pronunciation of Alice is a-LEE-cheh.

Angelica

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Angelic
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Anjelica, Angelique, Angela, Angelina
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Anjelica Huston, singer Angelica Hale
  • Peak Popularity: Angelica was most popular in the 1990s in the U.S., when it ranked near the top 100.

Fun Fact: The Catholic church has honored St. Angela Merici, an educator, as well as the Blessed Angelica of Milazzo and Blessed María Angélica Pérez.

Arianna

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Most holy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ariana, Ariadna, Ariadne
  • Famous Namesakes: Journalist and author Arianna Huffington, singer Ariana Grande
  • Peak Popularity: Arianna has long been popular in Italy, ranking in the top 25 over the past couple of decades. In the U.S., it entered the top 1,000 in 1982 and reached a high of 40 in 2014.

Fun Fact: Arianna comes from Ariadne of Greek mythology. She was the daughter of King Minos who fell in love with Theseus and helped him escape the labyrinth. Abandoned by Theseus and left to die, she was rescued by Dionysus, the god of wine, revelry, and dance, whom she married and became immortal.

Aurora

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Dawn, luminous, dazzling
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aurore
  • Famous Namesakes: Professional race car driver Aurora Straus, Harry Potter character Aurora Sinistra, and the late poet Aurora de Albornoz
  • Peak Popularity: Aurora reached the second most popular girl name in Italy in 2016. It has surged in the U.S. since 2009 and ranked 44 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Aurora was the Roman goddess of morning.

Beatrice

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: She who makes happy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Beatrix, Beatriz, Bea, Trixie
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Beatrix Potter, actress Beatrice Straight, Princess Beatrice of York
  • Peak Popularity: Beatrice has long been popular in Italy and ranked 9 in 2018. In the U.S., it was popular early in the 20th century and then fell out of favor. It ranked 573 in 2018.

Fun Fact: The Italian poet Dante Alighieri (known simply as Dante) portrays Beatrice Portinari as his guide through paradise in "Divine Comedy," which was completed in 1320—a year before his death. Beatrice is also a main character in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."

Benedetta

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Blessed
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bettina
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian actress and model Benedetta Barzini, Italian saint Blessed Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello
  • Peak Popularity: Benedetta has ranked in the top 50 girl names in Italy for over 20 years. It is not in the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Benedetta is the female version of Benedictus, after St. Benedict who was the founder of the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in the sixth century and is known as the father of monasticism in the West.

Bianca

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: White, pure
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Blanca, Blanche
  • Famous Namesakes: Tennis player Bianca Andreescu, human rights advocate and former actress Bianca Jagger, singer Bianca Ryan
  • Peak Popularity: Bianca ranked 17 in Italy in 2018. In the U.S., it ranked around 400 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Shakespeare liked the name Bianca well enough to give it to characters in both "Othello" and "Taming of the Shrew."

Camilla

  • Origin: Latin and possibly Etruscan
  • Meaning: Servant for the temple, free-born, noble
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Camille, Camila, Millie, Milly
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Camilla Luddington, British Royal Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
  • Peak Popularity: Camila has been popular in Italy for decades, and was at number 19 in 2018. In the U.S., it has new popularity and was at number 302 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Camillus was an ancient Roman first name, with Camilla being used by females. A legendary warrior maiden named Camilla was featured in the "Aeneid" by the Roman poet Virgil.

Carlotta

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Free man (from Charles)
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Carla, Carlota
  • Famous Namesakes: Journalist Carlotta Gall, actress Carlotta Monti, Empress Carlota of Mexico
  • Peak Popularity: Carlotta is usually in the top 50 names in Italy, but it rarely makes it into the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Carlotta is the Italian version of Charlotte, which itself is the feminine version of Charles.

Carmen

  • Origin: Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Ode, poem, or charm
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Carmel, Carmenta
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress and model Carmen Electra, singer Carmen Miranda
  • Peak Popularity: Carmen was most popular as a girl name in the U.S. in the 1960s.

Fun Fact: Carmen can be a unisex name, although it has less popularity as a boy name than as a girl name.

Caterina

  • Origin: Greek, Italian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Catherine, Katrina, Katarina, Tina
  • Famous Namesakes: Businesswoman Caterina Fake, Italian nun St. Catherine of Bologna, Italian noblewoman and queen of France Catherine (Caterina) de' Medici
  • Peak Popularity: Caterina has been in the top 50 girl names in Italy for the past 20 years. It is never in the top 1,000 in the U.S., where the English versions of Katherine or Catherine have always been preferred.

Fun Fact: Catherine (Caterina) de' Medici was known as the "mother of kings." An Italian noblewoman, she was the queen of France by marriage to King Henry II. Her sons became King Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III. She ruled France as regent from 1560 to 1574.

Chiara

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Bright, luminous, clear
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Clair, Claire, Clara, Clare
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Chiara Zanni, Italian physicist Chiara Nappi, St. Clare (Chiara) of Assisi (feast day is August 11 in her honor)
  • Peak Popularity: Chiara has been in the top 10 girl names in Italy for the past 20 years and was the second most popular in 2000 and 2001. It has never been in the top 1,000 girl names in the U.S., but the variants Claire and Clara are in the top 100 in recent years.

Fun Fact: In Italian, Chiara is pronounced KYA-ra.

Claudia

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Derived from Latin "claudus," meaning lame or crippled, but also an ancient Roman name for women in the patrician family
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gladys, Claude
  • Famous Namesakes: First Lady Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson, Italian-Tunisian actress Claudia Cardinale, model Claudia Schiffer
  • Peak Popularity: Claudia reached number 181 in the 1980s in the U.S. In Italy, it was number 26 in 1999.

Fun Fact: Women of the noble Roman family Claudius would bear the name Claudia, including two mentioned in the New Testament. One was the wife of Pontius Pilate and the other was St. Claudia, an early convert to Christianity.

Drusilla

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Fruitful or dewy-eyed
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Dru, Druscilla, Cilla, Drusa
  • Famous Namesakes: Drusilla (daughter of Herod Agrippa), writer Drusilla Modjeska
  • Peak Popularity: Drusilla has always been a rare name in the U.S., reaching a high of 612 in 1886, and it is not in the top 1,000 today.

Fun Fact: Drusilla was used as a given name by members of the Claudia family in ancient Rome.

Elena

  • Origin: Greek, Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Torch or light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ellen, Lena, Helen
  • Famous Namesakes: Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, tennis player Elena Vesnina
  • Peak Popularity: Elena was in the top 20 girl names in Italy from 2000 to 2011, and ranked at 27 in 2018. It is increasingly popular in the U.S., with a new high at 66 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Elena is the Italian version of Helen, who was the beautiful mythological daughter of Zeus and Leda. Helen of Troy was "the face that launched a thousand ships" and the cause of the Trojan War.

Eleonora

  • Origin: Greek, Italian
  • Meaning: Shining light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Elinor, Eleanor, Eleanora, Ella, Nell, Lenora, Nora
  • Famous Namesakes: Holy Roman empress and queen of Bohemia Eleonora Gonzaga, Italian actress Eleonora Duse
  • Peak Popularity: Eleonora reached number 18 for girl names in Italy in 2002. It has not been in the top 1,000 in the U.S. for over a century. However, the English variant Eleanor is making a huge surge with a new high at 32 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Eleanor and its variants became popular throughout Europe in the 12th century as Eleanor of Aquitaine was first the queen of France by marriage to Louis VII and then queen of England by marriage to Henry II. She was the mother of King Richard the Lionheart and King John and ruled as regent when Richard went on the Third Crusade.

Elisa

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: My God is a vow
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eliza, Elsa, Lisa
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Elisa Donovan, artist and designer Elisa Jimenez
  • Peak Popularity: Elisa is very popular in Italy, ranking ninth in 2004. In the U.S., it usually ranks about 500.

Fun Fact: Elisa is a form of Elisabeth and Elizabeth, used by the Italians as well as the Spanish, Portuguese, Germans, and English. In French, Elisa is Élise.

Emilia

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Rival or excel
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Emily
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Emilia Clarke
  • Peak Popularity: Emilia is consistently popular in Italy, ranking in the top 200. In the U.S., it has skyrocketed in popularity in the past 10 years and had a new high at 58 in 2018. The variant Emily is at number 12.

Fun Fact: Emilia is a derivative of Aemilia, which comes from the Latin nomen Aemilius. Shakespeare liked the name Emilia so much that it is a character name in "Othello," "The Comedy of Errors," and "The Winter's Tale."

Emma

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Whole or universal
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ema, Irma, Emily
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Emma Stone, St. Emma (Hemma) of Gurk (feast day is April 19 in her honor)
  • Peak Popularity: Emma was the top girl name in the U.S. from 2014 to 2018 and in the top 10 in Italy since 2010, peaking at sixth place in 2018.

Fun Fact: Emma is hugely popular as a name in countries throughout Europe, North America, and South America.

Flavia

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Blonde, golden, yellow-haired
  • Famous Namesakes: Princess Flavia of Ruritania in "The Prisoner of Zenda," St. Flavia
  • Peak Popularity: Flavia ranked at number 56 in Italy in 2011, but it hasn't been in the top 1,000 in the U.S. since 1884.

Fun Fact: Flavius was an ancient Roman family name, carried by several Roman emperors including Constantine, the first Roman emperor who converted to Christianity.

Francesca

  • Origin: Latin, Italy
  • Meaning: Frenchman
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Frances, Franca, Francine, Fran, Franny
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian tennis player Francesca Schiavone, photographer Francesca Woodman, author Francesca Simon
  • Peak Popularity: Francesca is one of the most popular names in Italy, ranking in the top 30. In the U.S. it ranked 467 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Francesca appears as a character in Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" and in Dante's "Inferno."

Gabriella

  • Origin: Hebrew (from Gabriel)
  • Meaning: Strength of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gabriela, Gabriele, Gabriel, Gabi, Gabby
  • Famous Namesakes: Tennis player Gabriela Sabatini, politician Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords, actress and model Gabriella Wilde
  • Peak Popularity: Gabriella has surged in popularity in the U.S. since the 1990s, with a high at number 33 in 2009 and 2010.

Fun Fact: Gabriella is the feminine version of Gabriel, an angel who appears in the Old Testament, New Testament, and Quran.

Gaia

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Earth
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gaea
  • Famous Namesakes: Gaia in Greek mythology
  • Peak Popularity: Gaia is popular in Italy, ranking in the top 15 over the past two decades. It doesn't make the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Gaia is the personification of the planet Earth in Greek mythology, the wife and mother of the sky god Uranus, and mother of the Titans and the Giants as well as the sea god Pontus.

Giada

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Jade or precious stone
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jade, Jada, Jayda, Jayde
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian-American chef, writer, and television personality Giada de Laurentiis, Italian author Giada Trebeschi
  • Peak Popularity: Giada is very popular in Italy, ranking 10th in 2006. In the U.S., the name entered the top 1,000 in 2007 and ranks in the 700s to 900s until 2013.

Fun Fact: Giada is a departure from the Italian tradition of using saint names.

Ginevra

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Fair one, white wave, blessed
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Guinevere, Ginny, Jennifer, Jenny
  • Famous Namesakes: Fictional character Ginevra "Ginny" Weasley in the Harry Potter series
  • Peak Popularity: Ginevra was the ninth most popular girl name in Italy in 2016. It has never been in the top 1,000 in the U.S., where the English version Jennifer is far more common.

Fun Fact: Ginevra is the Italian spelling for Geneva, and is also the Italian variation of Guinevere, the wife of the legendary King Arthur.

Gioia

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Joy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Joy
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian-American singer Gioia Bruno, philanthropist Gioia Marconi Braga
  • Peak Popularity: Gioia is increasingly popular in Italy, reaching number 33 in 2017 and 2018.

Fun Fact: Gioia is also the name of a weekly women's fashion magazine published in Milan, Italy.

Giorgia

  • Origin: Latin, from Greek
  • Meaning: Farmer, agriculturist
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Georgiana, Giorgina, Gina, Georgia
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian singer Giorgia Todrani, artist Georgia O'Keefe
  • Peak Popularity: Giorgia has been in the top 10 girl names in Italy for the past 20 years, reaching number seven in 2017. It has never been in the top 1,000 in the U.S., though the alternative spelling, Georgia, appears more frequently, ranking 223 in 2018.

Fun Fact: The name day for Giorgia is April 23, in memory of San Giorgio (George) di Lydda, martyred for failing to refuse his Christian faith.

Giovanna/Gianna/Gia

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gia, Gianna, Giannina, Giovannetta, Nina, Vanna
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian actress Gianna Maria Canale, Italian pediatrician and patron saint Gianna Beretta Molla
  • Peak Popularity: Gianna is the most popular variant in the U.S., ranking at a high of 80 in 2018, and Gia ranked 386 that year. In Italy, the popularity of Giovanna has slowly declined in the last 20 years.

Fun Fact: Giovanna was a popular name during the Italian Renaissance, ranking at 347 in 1427.

Giulia

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: The gens Julia (Julius) was an ancient Roman patrician name, also means youthful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Julia, Julie, Guiliana
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian-television entertainment reporter Giuliana Rancic, Olympic gymnast Giulia Steingruber
  • Peak Popularity: Giulia has often been the top girl name in Italy, and has been in the top five since 1999. It has never been in the top 1,000 in the U.S., but Julia has been perennially popular and has ranked in the top 100 for over a century.

Fun Fact: The feast day for Giulia is May 21, in memory of St. Julia the Virgin, martyred in Corsica for refusing to participate in a pagan ritual and put to death by crucifixion sometime around the year 303 (though the date is uncertain).

Ilaria

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Cheerful, merry
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Hilaria, Hilary, Hillary
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian fencer Ilaria Salvatori, Italian journalist Ilaria Alpi, Italian virologist and former politician Ilaria Capua
  • Peak Popularity: Ilaria was the 17th most popular girl name in Italy in 2000. It has never been in the top 1,000 in the U.S., where Hilary and Hillary are more common.

Fun Fact: St. Hilary (Hilarius) of Poitiers was a theologian in the fourth century.

Isabella

  • Origin: Hebrew, Spanish, Italian; Latin form of Isabel
  • Meaning: Pledged or devoted to God; derived from Hebrew "God is my oath"
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Isabel, Isabela, Isabelle, Izabella, Bella
  • Famous Namesakes: American-Italian actress Isabella Rossellini, Queen Isabel I of Castile
  • Peak Popularity: Isabel is perennially popular in Italy. In the U.S., Isabella has surged in popularity and ranked fourth in 2018.

Fun Fact: Bella and Isabella became popular names in the U.S. with the success of the Twilight young adult novels.

Lara

  • Origin: Latin, Greek, Russian
  • Meaning: Bright, talkative, citadel
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Larunda
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Lara Flynn Boyle, journalist Lara Logan, fictional character Lara Croft
  • Peak Popularity: Lara is a popular name in Italy, ranking in the top 100 in for the last 20 years. While it stays in the top 1,000 in the U.S., it was most popular at 222 in 1969.

Fun Fact: Lara (Larunda) comes from the name of a Roman mythological water nymph who was overly talkative. She revealed Jupiter's affair to his wife Juno and he had her tongue removed. She had two children by the god Mercury.

Laura

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Laurel
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lora, Lauretta, Loretta, Lorita
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Laura Ingalls Wilder, actress Laura Linney, former First Lady Laura Bush
  • Peak Popularity: Laura is a popular name in Italy, ranking in the top 50 in 2014. In the U.S., it was most popular in the 1970s, ranking as high as number 20, but it has since dropped to 340 in 2018.

Fun Fact: The Italian poet Petrarch penned sonnets of platonic love to Laura de Noves, the daughter of a knight.

Lelia

  • Origin: Latin, Greek, Italian
  • Meaning: Well spoken
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Laelia
  • Famous Namesakes: St. Lelia of Limerick, first female attorney in Massachusetts Lelia J. Robinson
  • Peak Popularity: Lelia was most popular in the U.S. the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Fun Fact: Laelius was an ancient Roman family name.

Livia

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Envious, blue
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Liv
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Livia Bitton-Jackson, Livia (wife of Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus), Actress Liv Tyler
  • Peak Popularity: Livia was rare in the U.S. before 2004, and ranked 676 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Livius was a family name in ancient Rome, and women of the family would often be called Livia. It has a different origin than the name Olivia, although it sounds like a diminutive of it.

Luciana

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lucinda, Lucy, Lucia, Luce
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian actress Luciana Paluzzi, Shakespearean character Luciana in "The Comedy of Errors"
  • Peak Popularity: Luciana was an uncommon name in the U.S., only showing up in the top 1,000 in the 1970s. It has resurged in recent years and was at 349 in 2018.

Fun Fact: This feminine name comes from Lucius, which was the most common Roman given name until the second century.

Ludovica

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Derived from Ludwig, which means famous warrior
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian Roman Catholic noblewoman Blessed Ludovica Albertoni, artist Ludovica Thornam
  • Peak Popularity: Ludovica was the 21st most popular girl name in Italy in 2016. It has never been in the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Blessed Ludovica was known for her religious ecstasies and her service to the poor. Bernini created a memorable sculpture of her.

Luisa

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Derived from Ludwig, which means famous battle
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Luisella, Louisa
  • Famous Namesakes: Anglo-Italian journalist Luisa Baldini, actress Luisa Bradshaw-White
  • Peak Popularity: Luisa is popular in Italy, with a high rank of 101 in 1999. In the U.S. it just barely breaks into the top 1,000.

Fun Fact: "Luisa Miller" is an opera by Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi.

Margherita

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Daisy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Margarita, Margaret, Greta, Rita
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Greta Garbo, Italian astrophysicist and writer Margherita Hack
  • Peak Popularity: Margherita is among the top 50 names in Italy, and the variant Greta was the eighth most popular name in 2018. In the U.S., Margherita doesn't make the top 1,000 and Greta ranks around 600.

Fun Fact: St. Margaret (Margherita) the Barefooted lived in 14th century Italy and walked barefooted to fit in with the poor and sick people she ministered to.

Martina

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Dedicated to the Roman god Mars
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Martine, Marta, Tina
  • Famous Namesakes: Tennis player Martina Navratilova, singer-songwriter Martina McBride
  • Peak Popularity: Martina was the top girl name in Italy in 1999 and 2002 and is usually in the top five. It is much rarer in the U.S. where it dropped out of the top 1,000 in 2001.

Fun Fact: St. Martina is a patron saint of Rome. She was martyred in 228.

Mia

  • Origin: Latin, Hebrew, Scandinavian, Italian
  • Meaning: My, mine, dear, darling, loved one
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Amalia, Amelia, or Maya. Mia is also from the same root as Mary and Maria.
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Mia Farrow, soccer player Mia Hamm, choreographer Mia Michaels
  • Peak Popularity: Mia has skyrocketed in popularity both in Italy and the U.S. since 2010. It ranked as the seventh most popular girl name in the U.S. in 2018.

Fun Fact: While Mia is regarded as a variation of Maria, the name also means "mine" in Italian.

Paola

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Small, humble
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Paula
  • Famous Namesakes: Queen Paola of Belgium, tennis player Paola Suárez
  • Peak Popularity: Paola is relatively popular in Italy, ranking 132 in 2018. In the U.S., it was most popular at number 302 in 2006.

Fun Fact: Paola is the Italian and Spanish feminine version of Paolo, or in English, Paul.

Priscilla

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Ancient, classic, primordial
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Prisca
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Priscilla Presley, singer Priscilla Lane, philanthropist Priscilla Chan
  • Peak Popularity: Priscilla was most popular in the U.S. in the 1940s.

Fun Fact: Priscus was an ancient Roman family name, and women in the family would often be called Priscilla.

Sara

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lady, princess, noblewoman
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sarah, Sarai, Sariah
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, actress Sara Gilbert, author Sara Paretsky
  • Peak Popularity: Sara was the number one most popular girl name in Italy in 2001. It peaked in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s, dropping out of the top 100 in 2009. The variant Sarah was always more popular in the U.S. and was in the top 10 from 1978 to 2002.

Fun Fact: In the book of Genesis in the Old Testament, Sarah was the wife of Abraham and, as the mother of Isaac, was childless until she was 90 years old.

Serena

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Clear, tranquil, serene
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sarina, Serina, Sabrina
  • Famous Namesakes: Tennis player Serena Williams, journalist Serena Altschul
  • Peak Popularity: Serena ranked in the top 50 girl names in Italy until 2016. In the U.S., it reached a high of 209 in 2000.

Fun Fact: During the late Western Roman Empire, Serena was a Christian noblewoman and niece of the Emperor Theodosius. She was wrongly accused for conspiring with the Visigoths and executed in 409.

Sofia

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Wisdom, skill
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sophia, Sophie, Sofiya
  • Famous Namesakes: Filmmaker Sofia Coppola, Italian actress Sophia Loren (birth name Sofia), model Sofia Richie
  • Peak Popularity: Sofia was in the top 10 girl names in Italy from 2002 to 2017. It has been in the top 20 in the U.S. since 2011, but Sophia is even more popular, ranking first from 2011 to 2013.

Fun Fact: Sophia Loren was one of the most popular actresses in the world in the 1960s. She is notable for winning the Academy Award for Best Actress in a non-English-speaking performance in "Two Women."

Valentina

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Strong, healthy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tina, Val
  • Famous Namesakes: Engineer and former cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, mixed martial artist Valentina Shevchenko
  • Peak Popularity: Valentina was as high as 11 in Italy in 1999. It is skyrocketing in popularity in the U.S. and had a new high at 81 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Valentinus is an ancient Roman cognomen, a third name which distinguished different branches of families.

Veronica

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: She who brings victory; true image
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Veronika, Ronnie, Roni
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Veronica Lake, singer Veronica Ballestrini
  • Peak Popularity: Veronica is in the top 100 names in Italy, and it had its peak in the top 100 in the U.S. in the 1970s and 80s.

Fun Fact: Although not depicted in the Bible, St. Veronica was said to have wiped the face of Jesus as he carried his cross to Golgotha. The image of his face was miraculously transferred to her veil. This is commemorated in the sixth station of the cross in the Catholic tradition, and identified with a marker in Jerusalem.

Viola

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Purple
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Violetta, Violeta, Violette, Violet
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Viola Davis
  • Peak Popularity: Viola is very popular in Italy, reaching number 13 in 2012. In the U.S., it was most popular over a century ago, and fell out of the top 1,000 in 1973.

Fun Fact: Viola was a character in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night."

Vittoria

  • Origin: Latin, Italian
  • Meaning: Victory, triumphant
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Victoria, Tori, Vicki, Vikki, Vicky
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian poet Vittoria Colonna, Grand Duchess of Tuscany Vittoria della Rovere
  • Peak Popularity: Vittoria has ranked in the top 20 girl names in Italy from 2012 to 2017. It has never ranked in the top 1,000 in the U.S. where the English form of Victoria is much more common.

Fun Fact: Victoria was the Roman goddess of victory, similar to the Greek goddess, Nike.

Popular Italian Baby Names for Boys

These names for boys are popular in Italy. Many have ancient Roman roots, while others are Italian versions of names from other languages.

Alessandro

  • Origin: Italian form of Latin Alexander and Greek Alexandros
  • Meaning: Defender of humankind
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alex, Sandro, Alejandro
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian physicist Alessandro Volta, Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi), Italian basketball player Alessandro "Sandro" Gamba
  • Peak Popularity: Alessandro has been in the top five boy names in Italy for more than 20 years. It is rarer in the U.S. and was at number 600 in 2018.

Fun Fact: The name day (onomastico) for Alessandro is August 26 in honor of the martyr St. Alexander, patron saint of Bergamo.

Alessio

  • Origin: Italian form of Latin Alexius and Greek Alexios
  • Meaning: Defender
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alexis, Alexius, Alexei
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian soccer player Alessio Cerci
  • Peak Popularity: Alessio is a popular name in Italy, ranking as high as 14 in 1999. It has never been in the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: St. Alessio Falconieri came from a wealthy family in Florence and was one of the seven founders of the Servite Order, in which monks lived lives of poverty and penance.

Andrea

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Force, courage, bravery
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Andre, Andreas, Andrew, Andrei
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian painter Andrea del Verrocchio, Italian singer-songwriter Andrea Bocelli, physician Andrea Vesalius
  • Peak Popularity: Andrea is a top name for boys in Italy, ranking first in 2000 and sixth in 2018. In the U.S., it is only rarely used as a boy's name and instead ranks in the top 100 for girls.

Fun Fact: The feast day for Andrea is November 30 in honor of St. Andrew (Andreas) the Apostle.

Angelo

  • Origin: Latin, from Angelus
  • Meaning: Angel or messenger from God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Angel, Anjel, Angiolo
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian soccer player Angelo Peruzzi, Italian astronomer Angelo Secci
  • Peak Popularity: Angelo ranked in the top 50 names for boys in Italy until 2017. In the U.S., it ranks around 300 with the more popular variant, Angelo, ranking around 70.

Fun Fact: The name day for Angelo is May 5 in honor of St. Angelus of Jerusalem.

Antonio

  • Origin: Etruscan, derived from Latin Antonius
  • Meaning: Ancient Roman family name
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Anthony, Tony, Anton, Antoni
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, actor Antonio Banderas, General Antonio López de Santa Anna
  • Peak Popularity: Antonio is in the top 20 boy names in Italy and was in the top 100 in the U.S. from 1972 to 2007.

Fun Fact: The most famous member of the Roman family of Antonius is Mark Antony who was a lover of Cleopatra. He ruled the Roman Empire in the triumvirate with Caesar Augustus and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus.

Carlo

  • Origin: Italian, Spanish, German
  • Meaning: Man or free man (from Karl)
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Carl, Carlos, Charles
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian particle physicist Carlo Rubbia, Italian politician and 49th Prime Minister of Italy Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Italian-American mobster Carlo Gambino
  • Peak Popularity: Carlo ranks around the top 60 for boy names in Italy. In the U.S., it is less common, falling out of the top 1,000 in 2012, with the variant Carl being somewhat more popular.

Fun Fact: Carlo is the Italian version of Charles.

Carmine

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Poem, song, or garden
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Carmelo, Carmen, Carmelino
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Carmine Giovinazzo, composer Carmine Coppola, comic book artist Carmine Infantino
  • Peak Popularity: Carmine is in the top 100 boy names in Italy. In the U.S., Carmine was most popular in the first half of the 20th century. It fell out of the top 1,000 in 2008.

Fun Fact: The pigment carmine is extracted from scale insects that grow on cacti. It is used as a natural food coloring and in lipstick.

Christian

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Follower of Christ
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cristian, Cristiano
  • Famous Namesakes: Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, actor Christian Bale, fashion designer Christian Dior
  • Peak Popularity: Christian ranks in the top 20 boy names in Italy, and peaked at 21 in the U.S. in 2006.

Fun Fact: Ten Danish kings have been named Christian.

Claudio

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: From the patrician Roman family name "Claudius," meaning lame or crippled
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Claudius, Claude, Claudi
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi, Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, soccer player Claudio Reyna
  • Peak Popularity: Claudio is in the top 100 names for boys in Italy. It is rarely seen in the U.S., only breaking the top 1,000 in the late 1960s into the early 80s.

Fun Fact: Shakespeare included characters named Claudio in "Measure for Measure" and "Much Ado About Nothing."

Cosimo

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Order, decency
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cosmo, Cosma, Cosmas, Kosmas
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian merchant and prince Cosimo de Medici of Florence
  • Peak Popularity: Cosimo usually ranks near the top 100 in Italy. It is uncommon in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Saints Cosmas and Damian were brothers thought to be twins who were martyred in the fourth century. They are the patron saints of physicians.

Daniele

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is my judge
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Danilo, Daniel, Dan, Dannie, Danny
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian artist Daniele da Volterra, Italian soccer player Daniele De Rossi
  • Peak Popularity: Daniele is the most popular form of Daniel in Italy, ranking in the top 20 in the early 2000s. It is uncommon in the U.S. where Daniel was in the top 15 from 2000 to 2018.

Fun Fact: In the Bible, Daniel is best known for being thrown into the lion's den and surviving due to angelic intervention. The feast day for St. Daniel is July 21.

Davide

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: David, Dave, Davey, Davie, Davy
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian race car driver Davide Valsecchi
  • Peak Popularity: Davide has consistently ranked in the top 15 boy names in Italy from 2000 to 2018. It is uncommon in the U.S., where David is in the top 25 names instead.

Fun Fact: The feast day for Davide is December 29 in honor of King David, who wrote the Psalms and is considered an ancestor of Jesus.

Diego

  • Origin: Spanish, Greek, Latin
  • Meaning: Doctrine or teaching (Greek/Latin) or a form of Santiago (Spanish)
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Santiago, Sandiego
  • Famous Namesakes: Soccer player Diego Maradona, artist Diego Rivera, conquistador Diego Velazquez de Cuéllar
  • Peak Popularity: Diego was the 16th most popular boy name in Italy in 2018. In the U.S., it was uncommon until the 1960s when it started to climb. It was at a high of number 56 in 2006.

Fun Fact: The name day for Diego is that of St. Didacus Alcalá on November 13.

Domenico

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Of the Lord
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Dom Domenic, Domenick, Dominik, Domingo
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian painter Domenico Ghirlandaio, Italian mathematician and astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, Italian-American businessman Domenico Canale
  • Peak Popularity: Domenico is in the top 50 names for boys in Italy. It is rare in the U.S. where Dominic is preferred and ranks in the top 100.

Fun Fact: The name Domenico was traditionally given to children born on Sunday.

Edoardo

  • Origin: Italian, from Old English Edward
  • Meaning: Rich guard
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Edward, Eduardo, Ed
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian director Edoardo Ponti (son of actress Sophia Loren), fencer Edoardo Mangiarotti
  • Peak Popularity: Edoardo was the 10th most popular boy name in Italy in 2018. It is uncommon in other countries. In the U.S., Edward is preferred, but it is becoming less popular, falling below the top 100 in 1998.

Fun Fact: The feast day for Blessed Bishop Edoardo Giuseppe Rosaz is May 3.

Elia

  • Origin: Hebrew, from Eliana and Elijah
  • Meaning: God has answered
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Elijah, Eliya, Elias, Ilias, Eli
  • Famous Namesakes: Director Elia Kazan, Italian cyclist Elia Viviani
  • Peak Popularity: Elia ranked 42 in Italy in 2018, but this form is rare in the U.S. where Elijah was the seventh most popular name in 2018.

Fun Fact: Elijah was one of the main prophets of the Old Testament. Rather than dying, he was carried to heaven on a chariot of fire.

Emanuele

  • Origin: Hebrew, from Emmanuel
  • Meaning: God is with us
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Manuel, Manuele, Emmanuel
  • Famous Namesakes: Former Italian Prime Minister Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, Italian racing driver Emanuele Pirro
  • Peak Popularity: Emanuele is consistently popular, ranking 32 in 2018 in Italy. It is rare in the U.S., where Emmanuel is more popular, ranking 159 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, Prince of Venice and the heir to the last king of Italy Umberto II, was a contestant in the Italian version of "Dancing With the Stars."

Emiliano

  • Origin: Italian and Spanish, from Latin Aemilianus
  • Meaning: Rival
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Emil, Emilio
  • Famous Namesakes: Soccer player Emiliano Sala, Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata
  • Peak Popularity: Emiliano ranks in the top 200 in Italy. It is newly popular in the U.S. since 1997, and ranked at a new high of 190 in 2018. The variant, Emilio, ranked at 248 that same year.

Fun Fact: Emiliano comes from the ancient Roman cognomen Aemilianus.

Federico

  • Origin: From German, Friedrich
  • Meaning: Peaceful ruler
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Federigo, Fredo, Frederick, Fredric, Fred
  • Famous Namesakes: Poet Federico García Lorca, Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini
  • Peak Popularity: Federico consistently ranks in the top 15 boy names in Italy. It is uncommon in the U.S., where Frederick usually ranks around 500.

Fun Fact: Frederick was a common name for rulers of the Holy Roman Empire.

Filippo

  • Origin: From Greek, Philippos
  • Meaning: Friend of horses
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Phillip, Filip, Phil, Felipe
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian painter Fra Filippo Lippi, St. Philip Neri
  • Peak Popularity: Filippo consistently ranks in the top 25 boy names in Italy, and was popular during the Italian Renaissance. It is rare in the U.S., where Philip is preferred, but even that name has taken a dive to 439 in 2018.

Fun Fact: St. Philip was one of the 12 apostles in the New Testament. The feast day is celebrated on May 3 in the West.

Francesco

  • Origin: From Latin, Francis
  • Meaning: Free one
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Franco, Francis, Frans, Frank
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian sculptor Francesco Laurana, Italian scholar and poet Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch), St. Francis of Assisi
  • Peak Popularity: Francesco has been the top name for boys in Italy since 2001. It rarely breaks into the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: The name day for Francesco is October 4 in memory of Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Italy.

Gabriele/Gabriel

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is my strength or God's warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gabriel, Gabe, Gabi, Gavril
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Gabriel Byrne, novelist Gabriel García Márquez
  • Peak Popularity: In Italy, Gabriele ranks in the top 10 boy names, while Gabriel is in the top 30. In the U.S., Gabriel peaked at 21 in 2010 and Gabriele is an uncommon name for boys.

Fun Fact: The feast day for Gabriele and Gabriel is September 29 in honor of St. Gabriel the Archangel.

Giacomo

  • Origin: From Latin, Jacobus
  • Meaning: The supplanter (Hebrew)
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: James, Jacob
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, Italian adventurer and author Giacomo Casanova
  • Peak Popularity: Giacomo ranks in the top 40 names in Italy, but it is rare elsewhere.

Fun Fact: Giacomo is an Italian name for James and Jacob. Two of the 12 apostles were named James.

Gioele

  • Origin: Latin, Greek, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Jehova is his God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Joel
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian cyclist Gioele Bertolini
  • Peak Popularity: Gioele reached a new high of popularity in Italy at number 31 in 2018. It is rarely seen in other countries, but Joel ranks in the top 200 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Joel is a prophet in the Christian Old Testament and Hebrew Bible.

Giorgio

  • Origin: Italian, from Greek
  • Meaning: Earth worker, farmer
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gino, George, Giorgino
  • Famous Namesakes: Former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani, Italian soccer player Giorgio Chiellini, Italian composer Giorgio Moroder
  • Peak Popularity: Giorgio consistently ranks in the top 50 in Italy, and was popular during the Italian Renaissance. It is rare in the U.S., where George ranks in the top 150.

Fun Fact: St. George was a Roman soldier who was martyred in the early fourth century. Legends grew about him slaying a dragon, and he is often depicted in that endeavor in medieval art.

Giovanni

  • Origin: Hebrew and Italian
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gian, Gianni, Giannino, Nino, Vanni, John
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Giovanni Ribisi, Italian painter Giovanni Bellini, Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace
  • Peak Popularity: Giovanni is consistently in the top 20 names in Italy. In the U.S., it has surged in popularity and ranked 144 in 2018. The variant Gianni had a new high at 416 that same year.

Fun Fact: Giovanni is the Italian version of John. The feast day for St. John the Baptist is celebrated on June 24.

Giulio

  • Origin: From Latin, Julius
  • Meaning: Roman family name meaning youth; origin unknown. It could come from the Roman god Jupiter, or it could be derived from the Greek "Joulus," meaning downy-bearded.
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Julius, Julio
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian politician Giulio Andreotti, Italian composer Giulio Romolo Caccini, Roman dictator Gaius Julius Caesar
  • Peak Popularity: Giulio usually ranks in the top 50 boy names in Italy. It is rare in the U.S.

Fun Fact: The Roman family Julius believed they were descendants from Aeneas, the son of Aphrodite and Anchises.

Giuseppe

  • Origin: Italian from Hebrew, Yosef (Joseph)
  • Meaning: God will add
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Joseph, Beppe, Peppe, Jose, Jo, Joe, Joey
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian military leader Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte
  • Peak Popularity: Giuseppe is consistently in the top 15 boy names in Italy. It is rare in the U.S., where Joseph is preferred and ranked 23 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Giuseppe is the Italian name for Joseph.

Jacopo

  • Origin: From Latin, Iacobus
  • Meaning: Follower of God; God has protected
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jacob, Iacopo, Giacobbe, Giacomo, Lapo
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian painter Jacopo Tintoretto (Comin), Italian composer Jacopo Corsi, Italian author and archbishop Blessed Jacopo De Fazio (Jacobus da Varagine)
  • Peak Popularity: Jacopo ranks in the top 40 names for boys in Italy. It is rare elsewhere.

Fun Fact: Jacopo comes from the same root as Giacomo.

Leonardo

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Brave lion
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Leonard, Leo
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian polymath and Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Italian mathematician Leonardo Bonacci (Fibonacci of Pisa)
  • Peak Popularity: Leonardo had a new high at the number one most popular name in Italy in 2018. It has been rising sharply in the U.S. and broke into the top 100 in 2016.

Fun Fact: The feast day for Leonardo is November 6 in memory of St. Leonard of Noblac who died in the sixth century.

Lorenzo

  • Origin: Italian and Spanish from Latin, Laurentius
  • Meaning: Ancient Roman surname meaning from the laurel
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Enzo, Renzo, Loris, Laurence, Lawrence
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian statesman Lorenzo de' Medici, Italian Renaissance artist Lorenzo Ghiberti, actor Lorenzo Lamas
  • Peak Popularity: Lorenzo is in the top five names in Italy. In the U.S., it rose into the top 200 in 2017.

Fun Fact: St. Lawrence is the patron saint of cooks and comedians due to his quip while being roasted alive on a gridiron, "Turn me over, this side is done."

Luca

  • Origin: Italian from Greek, Loukas; possibly Latin, Lucus
  • Meaning: From Lucania in southern Italy; possibly "sacred wood"
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lucas, Luc, Luke
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian sculptor Luca della Robbia
  • Peak Popularity: Luca was most popular in Italy at number five in 1999 and 24 in 2018. It is gaining popularity sharply in the U.S. and was at 106 in 2018, while Lucas ranked eighth most popular.

Fun Fact: St. Luke (also known as St. Luke the Evangelist) was a physician who traveled with the apostle Paul. He was the author of the Gospel according to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.

Luigi

  • Origin: From German, Ludwig, and Latin, Ludovicus
  • Meaning: Famous warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lodovico, Ludovico, Gino, Luigino, Louis, Luis
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian novelist and dramatist Luigi Pirandello, Italian physician and physicist Luigi Galvani
  • Peak Popularity: Luigi is in the top 50 boy names in Italy. It has rarely been in the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Luigi is one of the Mario Brothers in the Nintendo video game franchise.

Marco

  • Origin: Latin and Estrucan, from Marcus
  • Meaning: To harvest, also associated with Mars, the Roman god of war
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Marcus, Mark, Marko, Markus
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian merchant and explorer Marco Polo, soccer player Marco Fabián, politician and U.S. senator Marco Rubio
  • Peak Popularity: Marco was in the top 10 names in Italy in the early 2000s and dropped to 23 in 2018. In the U.S., it ranks in the 300s and is decreasing in popularity.

Fun Fact: Mark is ascribed as the author of the second gospel and is the patron saint of Venice.

Mario

  • Origin: Latin, probably of Estrucan origin, from Marius
  • Meaning: Mars, the Roman god of war
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Marius
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian-American retired racing driver Mario Andretti, politician and former New York governor Mario Cuomo, actor and television host Mario Lopez
  • Peak Popularity: Mario was in the top 50 names in Italy until 2016. In the U.S., it was most popular in the 1970s and 1980s.

Fun Fact: Mario comes from the Roman family name Marius, held by the Roman general and consul Gaius Marius, among others.

Matteo

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mateo, Matthew, Mathew, Matt
  • Famous Namesakes: Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, Italian Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci
  • Peak Popularity: Matteo has been in the top 10 boy names in Italy since the year 2000. It is skyrocketing in popularity in the U.S., breaking into the top 200 in 2015. But the variant Mateo is even more popular, ranking with a new high of 37 in 2018.

Fun Fact: St. Matthew was a tax collector called to be one of the apostles and is ascribed the authorship of the first gospel in the New Testament.

Mattia

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Matthew, Mathew, Matt, Matthias, Matias, Mattheaus
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian soccer player Mattia De Sciglio
  • Peak Popularity: Mattia has been in the top 10 boy names in Italy since 2003, and was third most popular in 2015. It is rare in the U.S., but the Spanish version Matias ranked at 201 in 2018 and Mattias ranked at 407.

Fun Fact: Mattia comes from St. Matthias, the apostle called to replace Judas Iscariot.

Michele

  • Origin: Hebrew, Latin
  • Meaning: Who is like God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Michael, Micheal, Mikael, Michal, Mike, Mick, Mickey, Miguel, Mikhail
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian businessman Michele Ferrero, Italian racing driver Michele Alboreto, banned Italian sports physician Michele Ferrari
  • Peak Popularity: Michele is in the top 30 names for boys in Italy. In the U.S., it is rarely used, with Michael being preferred.

Fun Fact: Michele Ferrero invented Nutella and developed a chocolate empire. He was the richest person in Italy and 20th richest worldwide when he died in 2015.

Nicola/Nicolo

  • Origin: Latin, from Greek, Nikolaos
  • Meaning: Victory of the people
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Niccolo, Nicolao, Nicolas, Nicholas, Nico, Niko
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian violinist Niccolo Paganini, Italian merchant and explorer Niccolo de Conti, Italian sculptor Nicola Pisano
  • Peak Popularity: In Italy, Nicolo ranks in the top 20 while Nicola is in the top 50 for boys. These names are rare in the U.S., with Nicola used mostly as a female name during the 1970s. Nicholas is the more popular form and was in the top ten in the early 2000s. It ranked in the top 100 in 2018.

Fun Fact: St. Nicholas, also known as the Wonderworker, is the patron saint of children, sailors, and merchants, among others.

Paolo

  • Origin: From Latin, Paulus
  • Meaning: Small or humble
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Paulus, Paul, Pablo
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Paulo Coelho de Souza, Former Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Italian painter and mathematician Paolo Uccello
  • Peak Popularity: Paolo ranked in the top 50 in popularity for boys in Italy until 2015. It is an uncommon name in the U.S., where Paul is preferred.

Fun Fact: Paulus was an ancient Roman family name. St. Paul (originally Saul of Tarsus) was a Jewish Roman citizen who adopted the name upon his conversion to Christianity.

Pasquale

  • Origin: From Latin, Paschalis
  • Meaning: Relating to Easter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Pasqual, Pascal, Pasco, Pascale, Pasqualino, Lino
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian opera composer Pasquale Anfossi
  • Peak Popularity: Pasquale has ranked as high as 50 in Italy in 1999. It hasn't been in the top 1,000 in the U.S. since 1973.

Fun Fact: The root of Pasquale, paschalis, relates to the time around Easter and Passover. It might be given to a child born that time of year.

Pietro

  • Origin: From Greek, Petros
  • Meaning: Stone or rock
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Peter, Piero, Petrus, Pier, Pierre, Piotr
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian painter Pietro Perugino, Italian general and political leader Pietro Badoglio, Olympic sprinter Pietro Paolo Mennea
  • Peak Popularity: Pietro is in the top 25 names in Italy, but it is uncommon in the U.S., where Peter is preferred.

Fun Fact: Pietro is the Italian name for St. Peter, the apostle who is considered to be the first pope.

Riccardo

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Brave; powerful or great leader
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ricardo, Richard, Rich, Rick
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Ricardo Montalbán, American-Italian astrophysicist Riccardo Giacconi, Italian conductor Riccardo Muti
  • Peak Popularity: Riccardo was the eighth most popular name in Italy in 2018, but it is uncommon in the U.S. The variant Ricardo is more popular and had its high point in the 1990s.

Fun Fact: The name day for Riccardo is April 3 in honor of Richard of Chichester (died 1253).

Romeo

  • Origin: Italian, from Latin, Romaeus
  • Meaning: A pilgrim to Rome; from Rome; a Roman
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Roman, Roma, Romano
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Romeo Santos
  • Peak Popularity: Romeo has surged in popularity in both Italy and the U.S. in recent years. It ranked 151 in Italy in 2018 and 340 in the U.S. in 2018.

Fun Fact: Romeo is best known as one half of the young star-crossed lovers in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."

Salvatore

  • Origin: From Latin
  • Meaning: Savior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sal, Salvador, Salvator, Salvo, Tory
  • Famous Namesakes: Medal of Honor recipient Salvatore Giunta, singer, actor, and politician Salvatore "Sonny" Bono, Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo
  • Peak Popularity: Salvatore is in the top 40 boy names in Italy. It was most popular in the U.S. in the 1920s, breaking into the top 150.

Fun Fact: Several notable gangsters and mafiosos were named Salvatore, including the birth name of Italian mobster Charles "Lucky" Luciano.

Samuel/Samuele

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Name of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sam, Sammy, Sami, Ismaiel, Ismael, Ismail, Ishmael
  • Famous Namesakes: Politician and a leader of the Texas Revolution Sam Houston, actor Sam Shepard, novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett, singer Sam Cooke
  • Peak Popularity: Samuele and Samuel are both popular in Italy, but Samuele wins at number 21 for 2018 while Samuel was at number 38. Always in the top 50 in the U.S., Samuel reached a high of 21 from 2016 to 2018, which it has not seen since the late 1800s.

Fun Fact: The feast day for St. Samuel is August 20.

Simone

  • Origin: Hebrew; Greek
  • Meaning: God has heard or flat-nosed
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Simon, Simeon, Symeon, Shimon
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian painter Simone Martini, Italian tennis player Simone Bolelli
  • Peak Popularity: Simone was in the top 10 boy names in Italy from 1999 to 2006, and ranked at 25 in 2018. It is primarily a feminine name in the U.S.

Fun Fact: The name day for St. Simon the Zealot is October 28.

Stefano

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Crown or victorious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Stephano, Stephen, Steven, Stevan, Stefan, Steffan, Esteban, Steve, Stefen, Stefon, Stephon, Stevon
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian fashion designer and co-founder of Dolce & Gabbana Stefano Gabbana, Italian Olympic marathoner Stefano Baldini, singer Stefano Langone
  • Peak Popularity: Stefano is in the top 50 boy names in Italy. It is rare in the U.S. where its equivalent Stephen was most popular in the late 1940s through the 1960s when it ranked in the top 25. Since 2000, it has dropped out of the top 100.

Fun Fact: Shakespeare included characters named Stephano in both "The Merchant of Venice" and "The Tempest."

Tommaso/Thomas

  • Origin: From Aramaic, Taóma
  • Meaning: Twin; equal to himself
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tomas, Thom, Tommy, Toma, Tom
  • Famous Namesakes: Founding Father and third president of the United States Thomas Jefferson, Italian theologian St. Thomas Aquinas, Olympic swimmer Tommaso D'Orsogna
  • Peak Popularity: Tommaso is in the top 10 boy names for Italy, with Thomas in the top 40. In the U.S., Tommaso is rare, with Thomas being preferred and entering the top 50 in 2016.

Fun Fact: The name day for Tommaso and Thomas is January 28 in honor of the philosopher and friar St. Thomas Aquinas (died 1274).

Valentino

  • Origin: From Latin, Valentinus
  • Meaning: Strong, healthy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tino, Val, Valenti, Valent, Valente, Valentin
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian fashion designer Valentino Garavani, Italian actor Valentino Musetti, Italian motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi
  • Peak Popularity: Valentino ranks about 100 in Italy. It reached a new high in the U.S. at 645 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Valentinus was an ancient Roman family name. St. Valentine's feast day is February 14.

Vincenzo

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: To conquer or win
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Vincente, Enzo, Vincent
  • Famous Namesakes: Italian opera composer Vincenzo Bellini, Italian cyclist Vincenzo Nibali, philanthropist and television personality Vincenzo Guzzo, Italian entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari
  • Peak Popularity: Vincenzo is in the top 40 names in Italy. It ranked at 755 in the U.S. in 2018. The variant Enzo is popular at number 228 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Vincentius was an ancient Roman family name. The name day for Vincenzo is January 22, for St. Vincent of Saragossa, who was martyred in the year 304.

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Article Sources
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