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100 Cool Italian Surnames

Updated
Connect the strands of history with unique and popular Italian last names that promise a good story.

There are more than 350,000 Italian last names in existence, which is the largest population of surnames globally. They branch off into several areas, from ancient Roman family names to names connected with a particular town or village.

Our fun guide to Italian last names can help show you the way. You’ll find all there is to know, from how their meanings change over time to how to pronounce them. Make yourself a strong Espresso and get set for the most interesting Italian last names below.


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100 Popular Italian Last Names

Take a tour through these awesome Italian last names and explore the romance of the Italian peninsula in style.

Agosta

Agosta is a name for anyone from the Italian town of Agosta. It may also refer to Augusta in the Syracuse province of Sicily. Agosta originated in Emilia-Romagna and occasionally appears with a few different accents, such as Agòstà.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: From Agosta (place name)
  • Pronunciation: Ah-GOWS-Tah
  • Variations: Agosti, Agosto
  • Namesakes: Matteo Agosta, an Italian politician in the Chamber of Deputies from 1958 to 1964.
  • Popularity: Agosta is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy, ranking 1,953rd in 2014.
Ancestral, Geographical

Aldi

Aldi is based on the first name Aldo. It originated in Tuscany and means “wise and experienced” since it came from a father’s first name. Aldi is also an Indonesian name meaning “gift of God.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Of the old one, elder
  • Pronunciation: AHL-dee
  • Namesakes: Francesco Aldi, an Italian tennis player with a 111 ranking in 2005.
  • Popularity: Aldi is rare worldwide and mainly used in Indonesia.
Ancestral, Uncommon

Alessandro

Alessandro may be a combination of Alexander and the Greek version, Alexandros. It’s mostly found in the Americas, representing 47 percent of the world’s Alessandros.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Defender of mankind
  • Pronunciation: Aa-leh-SSAEN-Drow
  • Variations: Alessandra
  • Namesakes: Victor Nicholas Alessandro, an American conductor of the Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra. Danilo Alessandro, an Italian footballer for Cynthialbalonga.
  • Popularity: Alessandro is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Strong, Traditional

Allegro

Allegro was also a first name in the Middle Ages, meaning “quick” and “lively.” As a musical term, it means “at a quick tempo,” so it’s got places to go in a hurry.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Cheerful
  • Pronunciation: Ah-LEHG-Row
  • Variations: Alegro
  • Namesakes: John Allegro, an English archaeologist and Dead Sea Scrolls scholar.
  • Popularity: Allegro is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Cool, Uncommon

Amici

Amici is a plural form of the first name Amico. Amico was a medieval nickname for the Latin Amicus, meaning “’friend.” In addition to Italy, Amici is also found in southern France.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Friend
  • Pronunciation: Ah-MEE-Chee
  • Variations: Ameche
  • Namesakes: Francesco Amici, a Sammarinese sport shooter who competed at the 2004 Olympic Games. Denis Amici, the Sammarinese Captain Regent from April to October 2013.
  • Popularity: Amici is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy, where it ranked 1,490th in 2014.
Ancestral, Unique

Angelini

Angelini was often shortened to Angeli for Italian immigrants who came to America. It’s a name given to anyone who is considered “angel-like.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Angelic
  • Pronunciation: Eyn-gih-LEEN-iy
  • Variations: Angeli
  • Namesakes: Claudio Angelini, an Italian-American political correspondent and later the President of RAI Corporation.
  • Popularity: Angelini is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 173rd in 2014.
Nickname, Spiritual

Anselmo

Anselmo also has Germanic origins as Anselm, meaning “divine” and “helmet.” It’s connected to St. Anselm, yet was very popular in Lombardy in the Middle Ages for saintly families.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: With divine protection
  • Pronunciation: Aen-SEHL-mow
  • Variations: Anselm
  • Namesakes: Philip Anselmo, the American lead singer for Pantera. Anthony Anselmo, an American voice actor and the voice of Donald Duck since 1985.
  • Popularity: Anselmo is rare worldwide and primarily used in Mozambique, where it ranked 403rd in 2014.
Roman, Spiritual

Antonini

Antonini is the plural form of the first name Antonino. It originated as Antonius. Antonini means “strength” and is a family name from ancient Rome, found in Corsica and southern France today.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Highly praiseworthy
  • Pronunciation: Aen-tow-NIYN-nee
  • Variations: Antoni, De Antoni
  • Namesakes: Michael Antonini, an American baseball player for the New York Mets. Stefania Antonini, an Italian footballer for the women’s national football team.
  • Popularity: Antonini is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy, ranking 273rd in 2014.
Ancestral, Roman

Argento

Argentó with an accent on the “o” also has Catalan origins. It’s based on the Latin “argentum,” meaning “silver.” Argento was first based in Rome but goes wherever the shiniest silver is found.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Silver
  • Pronunciation: Ahr-GHHEN-Tow
  • Namesakes: Dario Argento, an Italian film director of horror movies known as giallo. Valentino Argento, an Italian fencer who competed at the 1924 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Argento is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy.
Unique, Uncommon

Bacci

Bacci is an example of hereditary Italian surnames first used in the 10th- and 11th-centuries. It’s based on the first name Baccio and comes from “baci,” meaning “to kiss.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Kiss
  • Pronunciation: BAA-chee-Oh
  • Variations: Baccio
  • Namesakes: Giovanni Bacci, an Italian politician and one of the leaders of the Italian Socialist Party. Antonio Bacci, an Italian Roman Catholic cardinal and the Secretary of Briefs to Princes from 1931 to 1960.
  • Popularity: Bacci is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranking 488th in 2014.
Fun, Noble
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Baldassare

Baldassare is based on the biblical Belshazzar, meaning “God protect the King” in Hebrew. It’s the Italian form of Baltazar and also has a rich, long history as a first name for boys.

  • Origin: Italian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: God protect the king
  • Pronunciation: Baal-dah-SAA-Rey
  • Variations: Baldassarre
  • Namesakes: Pietro Baldassare, an Italian Baroque composer and maestro di cappella in Brescia from 1714 to 1768.
  • Popularity: Baldassare is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Uncommon, Strong

Balducci

Balducci is a nickname for Baldó. Balducci may also be connected to the French “baud,” meaning “joyful,” as one of the happier Italian last names.

  • Origin: Italian, German
  • Meaning: Bold, cocky
  • Pronunciation: Bahl-DOOCH-ee
  • Namesakes: Ed Balducci, an American magician who created the “Balducci levitation,” used by magician David Blaine. Francesca Balducci, an Italian racing cyclist for UCI Women’s Continental Team.
  • Popularity: Balducci is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, where it ranked 505th in 2014.
Strong, Nickname

Barberi

Barberi was first used in Sicily and Emilia-Romagna. It derives from the Italian “barbiere,” meaning “barber,” which is how it’s most famous.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Barber
  • Pronunciation: BAAR-beh-Ree
  • Variations: Barbieri
  • Namesakes: Andrea Barberi, an Italian sprinter who competed at the 2007 European Athletics Indoor Championships. Katie Barberi, a Mexican actress, known for the series Every Witch Way.
  • Popularity: Barberi is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Fun, Uncommon

Basilio

Basilio comes from the Greek “basileios,” meaning “royal.” It was first a personal name given to children of royal or noble birth. Basilio is the Italian form of Basil and has many variations, like Vasiliy or Bazelle.

  • Origin: Italian, Greek
  • Meaning: Royal
  • Pronunciation: Baa-SIY-Lyow
  • Variations: Basil
  • Namesakes: Carmen Basilio, an American boxer named Basilio Fighter of the Year by Ring Magazine in 1957. Paloma San Basilio, a Spanish singer, awarded the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Popularity: Basilio is rare worldwide, primarily used in Brazil, and ranked 320th in the Philippines in 2014.
Noble, Ancient

Bellini

Bellini is a Medieval plural of the Italian Bellino. It’s based on the Latin “bellus,” meaning “beautiful.” The Bellini is a famous prosecco and peach cocktail originating in Venice, named after Giovanni Bellini, who painted St. Francis.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Beautiful
  • Pronunciation: Beh-LIY-niy
  • Variations: Bellin, Belli, Bellani
  • Namesakes: David Bellini, an Italian screenwriter for the TV series Un medico in famiglia. Hilderaldo Bellini, a Brazilian-Italian footballer and one of the most famous defenders.
  • Popularity: Bellini is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 96th in 2014.
Ancestral, Fun

Benedetto

Benedetto refers to a “descendent of Benedetto” in Italian. It’s based on the Latin “benedictus,” meaning “blessed.” Benedetto is less exotic than Benedict, but is powerful and spiritual among Italian last names for boys.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Blessed
  • Pronunciation: Bey-ney-DEHT-ow
  • Variations: DiBenedetto, D’Benedetto
  • Namesakes: Robert Benedetto, an American jazz guitar craftsman with work in the National Museum of American History. Anthony Benedetto (known as Tony Bennett), an Italian-American singer and founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in NYC.
  • Popularity: Benedetto is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranking 804th in 2014.
Spiritual, Ancestral

Bertozzi

Bertozzi is a plural form of the Italian Bertozzo. Bertozzo is a plural of the first name Berto, itself a nickname for either Roberto or Alberto.

  • Origin: Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Son of Albert
  • Pronunciation: Behr-TOW-zee
  • Variations: Berto
  • Namesakes: Andrea Bertozzi, an American mathematician specializing in applied mathematics. Carolyn Bertozzi, an American chemist, and winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
  • Popularity: Bertozzi is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy, ranking 819th in 2014.
Ancestral, Unique

Bianchi

Bianchi is the Italian word for a “pale” or “white-haired” man. It’s the plural of “bianco,” meaning “white.” Bianchi may connect to the German “blanch,” also meaning “white” and “shining.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: White
  • Pronunciation: Biy-AAHN-chiy
  • Variations: Biancchi, Biancchie, Bianci
  • Namesakes: Edoardo Bianchi, an Italian inventor who founded the bicycle company Bianchi in 1885. Michael A. Bianchi, an American sports columnist at the Orlando Sentinel.
  • Popularity: Bianchi is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 6th in 2014.
Uncommon, Traditional

Binetti

Binetti is a plural form and nickname for Bino. It’s also used for anyone who hails from Binetto in the Italian Bari province. Binetti comes from the Latin “vinetum,” meaning “vineyard” or “of the Sabine tribe.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Of Binetti
  • Pronunciation: Bih-NEHT-iy
  • Namesakes: Damiano Binetti, an Italian conductor for the Theater of Silesia in the Czech Republic. Paola Binetti, an Italian politician, re-elected to the Italian Parliament as a Senator in 2018.
  • Popularity: Binetti is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Ancestral, Geographical

Bonacci

Bonacci derives from the first name Bonus/Bona, based on the Latin “bona,” meaning “good.” It’s composed of the Italian “buona” and Latin “cci,” meaning “good man,” a beautiful trait among Italian last names for boys.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Good man
  • Pronunciation: Bow-NAAH-chiy
  • Variations: Bona, Bonucci
  • Namesakes: Fibonacci (born Leonardo Bonacci), an Italian mathematician called “the most talented Western mathematician of the Middle Ages.” Cristina Bonacci, an Australian musician in the British heavy metal band Girlschool.
  • Popularity: Bonacci is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy.
Spiritual, Uncommon
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Botticelli

Botticelli was a name given to a cooper who made wine barrels and a nickname for a heavy drinker or heavy-set person. The famous artist Botticelli took the name after his brother’s nickname, Boticello.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Little barrel
  • Pronunciation: Boh-dih-CHELL-ey
  • Variations: Bocelli
  • Namesakes: Alessandro Filipepi (known as Sandro Botticelli), an Italian Renaissance painter known for The Birth of Venus. Michael C. Botticelli, an American figure skater and bronze medalist at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1977.
  • Popularity: Botticelli is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy.
Uncommon, Fun

Brizzi

Brizzi is a short form of the first name Albrizzo, a nickname for Alberico or Fabrizio. It may also refer to someone from the Arezzo origin of Italy, usually with connections to Florentine nobility.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Descendent of Alberico
  • Pronunciation: BRIH-zee
  • Variations: Brizi
  • Namesakes: Enrico Brizzi, an Italian writer, known for his debut novel Jack Frusciante Has Left the Band. Umberto Brizzi, an Italian weightlifter who competed at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Brizzi is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranking 1,596th in 2014.
Noble, Ancestral

Bruno

Bruno is the literal Italian word for “brown.” It was used as a nickname for someone with brown hair, complexion, or appearance. Bruno was also used for anyone hailing from Bruno in the Italian Asti province.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Brown
  • Pronunciation: BRUW-Now
  • Variations: di Bruno, Brunello
  • Namesakes: Angelo Bruno (born Angelo Annaloro), a Sicilian-American mobster of the Philadelphia mafia known as “the Gentle Don.” Joseph Bruno, a New York State Senate member from 1977 to 2008.
  • Popularity: Bruno ranked 1,907th worldwide and is mostly used in Italy, ranking 11th in 2014.
Geographical, Nickname

Campagna

Campagna also means “dweller in/near a field or meadow.” It’s a name for anyone from Campagna, of which there are many in Italy. Campagna is a fancy occupational name for anyone who worked on “church bells.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Countryside
  • Pronunciation: Kam-PAHN-Yeh
  • Variations: Campana, Campanio
  • Namesakes: Sam Campagna, an English footballer for Malvern Town since 2002. Richard Campagna, the American vice-presidential running mate of Michael Badnarik in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.
  • Popularity: Campagna is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 532nd in 2014.
Geographical, Traditional

Capone

Capone is a name given to someone “with a large head” or someone “dull-witted.” It’s based on the Italian “capo,” meaning “head.” Though famous as a mobster’s name, Capone also comes from “cappone,” for someone who kept poultry.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Stubborn
  • Pronunciation: Caa-POWNE
  • Variations: Capo, Caponi
  • Namesakes: Al Capone, an American gangster famous during the Prohibition era in Chicago. Carlo Capone, an Italian rally racing driver and the European Rally Championship winner in 1984.
  • Popularity: Capone is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranking 467th in 2014.
Fun, Strong

Capri

Capri comes from the Italian word “capra,” meaning “goat.” It also refers to a “dweller at a sign of the goat.” Capri is a notoriously pretty island in the Bay of Naples and one of the more cute Italian girl last names.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: From Capri (place)
  • Pronunciation: CAAP-ree
  • Variations: Capra, Caprari
  • Namesakes: Olga Capri, an Italian actress appearing in Alessandro Blasetti’s film Mother Earth (1931). Kim Capri, a Canadian city councilor member of the Non-Partisan Association.
  • Popularity: Capri is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy.
Geographical, Uncommon

Caruso

Caruso is a nickname meaning “close-cropped,” from the Latin “cariosus,” meaning “smooth bald.” It’s also the Sicilian word for “boy” since young mine workers were called “the Carusi” in 19th-century Sicily.

  • Origin: Italian, Sicilian
  • Meaning: Bald
  • Pronunciation: Cah-RUW-so
  • Variations: Carruso
  • Namesakes: David Caruso, an American actor best known for the CBS series CSI: Miami (2002 to 2012). Alex Caruso, an American basketball player for the Chicago Bulls.
  • Popularity: Caruso is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 25th in 2014.
Unique, Nickname

Castellucci

Castellucci is one of the local Italian surnames that integrated the “di” prefix, used for families who moved from one place to another. The Castellucci family is based on the word for “castle,” so they may have been wealthy since they lived at or near one.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Lived near a castle
  • Pronunciation: Cass-teh-LUW-Chee
  • Variations: Castelluci
  • Namesakes: Giovanni Castellucci, an Italian businessman and former CEO of Atlantia SpA. Lars Castellucci, a member of the German Bundestag since 2013.
  • Popularity: Castellucci is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Geographical, Unique

Ceci

Ceci was a famous surname originating in the Papal States. Christian Italian families often named their children after saints, which is where Ceci fits in. It’s based on “Cecco,” a form of “Francesco” or “Francis.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Chickpeas
  • Pronunciation: SEH-Siy
  • Variations: Cecchi
  • Namesakes: Jesse Ceci, an American violinist for the National Ballet of Canada. Cody Ceci, a Canadian ice hockey player for the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Popularity: Ceci is rare worldwide, mostly used in Italy, and ranked 348th in Malta in 2014.
Noble, Ancestral

Cesare

Cesare means “descendant of Cesario” or “the hairy one.” It also means “dweller at a fruit grove or flower garden.” Cesare is the Italian form of Caesar and is quite popular as a first name for boys.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Thick head of hair
  • Pronunciation: Cheh-SAA-rey
  • Variations: Cesar, De Cesare, Di Cesare
  • Namesakes: Oscar Cesare, a Swedish-American cartoonist for the Sunday magazine of the New York Times. Giovanni Cesare, an Italian composer, known for Musicali Melodie (1621).
  • Popularity: Cesare is rare worldwide, mainly used in Italy, and ranked 371st in Malta in 2014.
Fun, Ancestral
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Chiarella

Chiarella is a nickname for the cute female name Chiara. It’s based on the Latin “clarus,” meaning “light,” but also means “famous.”

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Bright
  • Pronunciation: Chee-ah-RELL-aa
  • Variations: Chiarello, Chiarelli
  • Namesakes: Tom Chiarella, an American fiction editor at Esquire Magazine. Walter Chiarella, an Italian footballer for Lanciano.
  • Popularity: Chiarella is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Uncommon, Ancient

Chino

Chino was originally an Italian nickname for Franceschino. It was based on Francesco and Francis, originally meaning “Frenchman” or “free man.” In Spanish, Chino is an ethnic nickname for someone of Chinese descent.

  • Origin: Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Free man
  • Pronunciation: CHEE-now
  • Popularity: Chino is rare worldwide, mostly used in Japan, and ranked 298th in Bolivia in 2014.
Nickname, Unusual

Colombo

Colombo comes from the Latin “colombus,” meaning “dove.” It was a favorite first name among early Christians, even given to orphans in Italy.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Dove
  • Pronunciation: Kuh-LUHM-boh
  • Variations: Colombro, Columbo
  • Namesakes: Camila Colombo, a Uruguayan chess player and the FIDE Woman International Master in 2012. Marcelo Colombo, an Argentine Roman Catholic bishop of La Rioja since 2013.
  • Popularity: Colombo is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in Italy, where it ranked 5th in 2014.
Spiritual, Traditional

Consiglio

Consiglio comes from the Latin “consilium,” meaning “counsel.” It was a nickname for a “wise” or “thoughtful” man or someone who was a council member.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Advice
  • Pronunciation: Kohn-SEE-glee-Oh
  • Namesakes: Cyprian Consiglio, an American composer known for musical work that focuses on meditation. Douglas Consiglio, a Canadian runner who competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Consiglio is rare worldwide, primarily used in Italy, and ranked 434th in Malta in 2014.
Unique, Nickname

Conti

Conti is the Italian word for a “count” or “nobleman.” It’s also been given to anyone “in the service of a count.” Conti derives from the Latin “comitis,” meaning “companion,” and is the highest title on our name list.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Count
  • Pronunciation: KAHN-tee
  • Variations: Conte
  • Namesakes: Petra Conti, the principal Italian dancer with the Los Angeles Ballet. Fabio Conti, an Italian coach for the Italy women’s national water polo team who won the silver medal at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Conti is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy, where it ranked 14th in 2014.
Noble, Fun

Coppola

A coppola is a variety of cap typically worn in southern Italy. It originated in the Neapolitan dialect as a name given to a coppolas maker or hatter and also appears in Malta as Còppola.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Little round hat
  • Pronunciation: KOH-poh-Laa
  • Variations: Coppoli
  • Namesakes: Francis Ford Coppola, an American filmmaker, and winner of five Academy Awards. Mario Coppola, an Italian footballer for Vis Pesaro.
  • Popularity: Coppola is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 42nd in 2014.
Fun, Ancestral

Cordano

Cordano is a diminutive for the first name Cordo, itself a nickname for Accordo or Accordino. Accordo means “in accord” or “in agreement.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Agreement
  • Pronunciation: Kaor-DAAH-now
  • Variations: Cardano
  • Namesakes: Father Virgil Cordano, an American pastor of the Santa Barbara Mission. Rubén Cordano, a Bolivian footballer for the Bolivia national team.
  • Popularity: Cordano is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Nickname, Uncommon

Corsi

Corsi is the plural form of another Italian surname, Corso. It was used for any “happy” person who wanted everyone to have a wonderful day. Corso is based on the Medieval Latin surname Bonoaccorso and appeared as Accirsus.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Cheerful
  • Pronunciation: COHR-see
  • Variations: Corso
  • Namesakes: Simone Corsi, an Italian Grand Prix motorcycle road racer who competed in Moto2 in 2010. Ermanno Corsi, an Italian journalist, and winner of the Amantea prize for historiography in 1994.
  • Popularity: Corsi is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy, ranking 331st in 2014.
Fun, Nickname

Costa

Costa is also a Spanish name for anyone from Costa, several places in Spain. It comes from the Latin “constare,” meaning “to exist,” or “costa,” meaning “cost.” Costa also means “rib side flank” for anyone living on a slope or river bank.

  • Origin: Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Dweller on a hillside
  • Pronunciation: KOS-tah
  • Variations: Costas, Dacosta
  • Namesakes: Carles Costa, a Spanish tennis player and runner-up at the 1992 Italian Open. Jay Costa, a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate since 1996.
  • Popularity: Costa ranked 288th worldwide, is mainly used in Italy, and ranked 5th in Portugal in 2014.
Geographical, Popular

D’Agostino

D’Agostino is based on the personal name Agostino. It derives from the Latin “augustus,” meaning “favored with good omens.” D’Agostino comes from a line of Sicilian nobles from the 13th-century.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Descendant of Agostino
  • Pronunciation: Daa-gow-STIY-Noh
  • Variations: Agostino
  • Namesakes: John D’Agostino, an American poker player who came 5th in the second season of the World Poker Tour Caribbean Poker Adventure. Nicholas D’Agostino, the Italian-American founder of D’Agostino Supermarkets in New York City.
  • Popularity: D’Agostino is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 110th in 2014.
Ancestral, Noble
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Dante

Dante is a shorter form of the Italian surname Durante. It’s also based on the Latin “duras,” meaning “everlasting” and “steadfast.” Dante was first famous because of the Italian poet Dante Alighieri, whose real name was Durante.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Enduring
  • Pronunciation: DAAN-Tey
  • Variations: Danti
  • Namesakes: Joe Dante, an American film director best known for Gremlins (1984). Peter Francis Dante, an American character actor who usually appears in films by Adam Sandler.
  • Popularity: Dante is rare worldwide, primarily used in the Philippines, and ranked 267th in Mali in 2014.
Fun, Traditional

De Carlo

De Carlo is a family name for the “descendent of Carlo.” It originated in Milan, Lombardy. De Carlo is likely a name with nobility attached since only those with rank, or an official title were recorded in ancient times in Italy.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Son of Carlo
  • Pronunciation: Deh-KAAR-low
  • Variations: Carlo, Di Carlo
  • Namesakes: Antonio De Carlo, a Mexican actor and Emmy award winner from 2005 to 2006. Luca De Carlo, an Italian politician in the Italian Senate since 2020.
  • Popularity: De Carlo is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy, ranking 1,223rd in 2014.
Ancestral, Noble

De Laurentiis

De Laurentiis originally meant “from Laurentum.” It’s also associated with “laurels.” De Laurentiis is a Latin form of Laurenzo, referring to a member of the Laurenti family in Roman times.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Bright one
  • Pronunciation: De-lao-REHN-Tiyhs
  • Variations: Laurentis
  • Namesakes: Giada De Laurentiis, an American TV personality and host of Food Network’s Giada at Home. Dino De Laurentiis, an Italian-American film producer of over 500 films, with 38 nominated for Academy Awards.
  • Popularity: De Laurentiis is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy.
Roman, Ancient

De Luca

De Luca was a family name for the “son of Luca.” Luca also means “shining one” and “from Lucania,” a place name in southern Italy.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: Deh-LUW-kaa
  • Variations: Deluca, Luca
  • Namesakes: Vincenzo De Luca, the President of the Campania region of Italy since 2015. Giuseppe De Luca, an Italian opera singer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
  • Popularity: De Luca is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranking 17th in 2014.
Ancestral, Geographical

De Napoli

De Napoli was a name given to anyone from the southern Italian city of Naples. The Latin “napio” was also a term for a “fierce-looking man” who you didn’t forget meeting.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: From Naples
  • Pronunciation: Deh-NAA-poh-Lee
  • Variations: Di Napoli
  • Namesakes: Fernando De Napoli, an Italian footballer who played with the Italian national team at the FIFA World Cup between 1986 and 1990. Patrick de Napoli, a Swiss-Italian footballer for the Switzerland national football team.
  • Popularity: De Napoli is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy.
Geographical, Uncommon

Del Negro

Del Negro is also a Spanish name that means “belonging to the black one.” It’s based on the Italian “negri,” meaning “black.” Del Negro may have been a nickname given to someone with a darker complexion that stuck around.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Of the black one
  • Pronunciation: Del-NEH-grow
  • Namesakes: Vincent Del Negro, an American basketball head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers from 2010 to 2013.
  • Popularity: Del Negro is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy.
Uncommon, Unique

Di Clemente

Di Clements comes from the personal name Clemente, also known as Clement. It means “mercy” or “mild” and was the name of 14 Catholic church popes.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Merciful
  • Pronunciation: Dee-kleh-MEHN-Tey
  • Variations: Clemente, De Clemente
  • Namesakes: Aldo Di Clemente, an Italian astronomer and technician at the Astronomical Observatory of Rome since 1982.
  • Popularity: De Clements is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Uncommon, Spiritual

Di Giuseppe

Di Giuseppe is an Italian family name for “descendants of Giuseppe.” Giuseppe is the Italian version of Joseph. It means “God will add” and is one of the less common Italian last names for boys with Hebrew origins.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Son of Giuseppe
  • Pronunciation: Dee-guw-SEH-Pee
  • Variations: Giuseppe
  • Namesakes: Phillip Di Giuseppe, a Canadian ice hockey player for the Vancouver Canucks. Enrico Di Giuseppe, an American opera singer with the New York City Opera.
  • Popularity: Di Giuseppe is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy, ranking 1,046th in 2014.
Ancestral, Traditional

D’Innocenzo

D’Innocenzo is based on the Italian personal name Innocenzo. It comes from the Late Latin Innocentius, for anyone perceived as “innocent.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Innocence, Unselfish
  • Pronunciation: D-IYN-ow-SEYN-Tsow
  • Variations: Innocenzo
  • Namesakes: Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo (called the D’Innocenzo brothers), Italian filmmakers whose first film, Boys Cry, won the Nastro d’Argento Award for Best New Director at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival in 2018.
  • Popularity: D’Innocenzo is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Ancestral, Uncommon

Esposito

Esposito also means “descendant of Esposito.” It comes from the Latin “exponere,” meaning “to place outside.” Esposito is common in Naples and was once used for foundlings or discovered babies who needed caring.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: To place outside
  • Pronunciation: Es-puh-ZEE-Toh
  • Variations: D’Esposito
  • Namesakes: Felissa Esposito, an American horror movie actress known as a scream queen. Mary Ann Esposito, an Italian-American TV host of Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito, the longest-running TV cooking program in America.
  • Popularity: Esposito is uncommon worldwide and mostly used in Italy, ranking 4th in 2014.
Ancestral, Traditional
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Fabrizio

Fabrizio comes from the Latin Fabricius, from “faber,” meaning “manufacturer.” Outside Italy, Fabrizio is found in 51 countries, including the U.S., where 39% of Esposito’s reside.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Smith
  • Pronunciation: Faa-BRIYT-ziy-Ow
  • Variations: Fabrizi
  • Namesakes: Fabrizio Barbazza, an Italian Formula One driver and the 1987 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. Fabrizio Moretti, a Brazilian-American musician and drummer for the rock band The Strokes.
  • Popularity: Fabrizio is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy.
Ancient, Uncommon

Ferrari

Ferrari comes from the Italian “ferraro,” referring to a “metalworker” or “blacksmith.” It’s the 3rd most common Italian surname and is most famous as the super fast sports car.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Metalworker
  • Pronunciation: Feh-RAAR-iy
  • Variations: Ferraro
  • Namesakes: Enzo Ferrari, the Italian founder of the Ferrari automobile company. Nicolo Ferrari, a British radio host of the breakfast show on the London-based LBC radio station.
  • Popularity: Ferrari ranked 1,771st worldwide and is primarily used in Italy, where it ranked 3rd in 2014.
Cool, Common

Florentino

Florentino is based on the Latin Florentinus, a derivative of Florus. “Florus” means “flowering” in Latin. It was a name given to someone who hailed from Florence in Tuscany.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Blooming
  • Pronunciation: Floh-ren-TIY-Now
  • Variations: Fiorentino
  • Namesakes: Leona Florentino, a Filipina poet, called the “mother of Philippine women’s literature.” Pedro Florentino, a Dominican military officer during the Battle of Jacuba in the war for independence from Haiti.
  • Popularity: Florentino is rare worldwide, mainly used in Brazil, and ranked 380th in the Dominican Republic in 2014.
Geographical, Unique

Francesco

Francesco is also an Italian first name based on the Latin Franciscus, a version of Francis. It originally referred to a “Frenchman” but came to mean “free man,” too.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Free man
  • Pronunciation: Fraen-CHESS-kow
  • Variations: De Francesco
  • Popularity: Francesco is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy.
Ancestral, Uncommon

Gaeta

Gaeta was used for anyone from the city of Gaeta in the Latina province of Italy. It’s also found in Spain and is more common in Mexico as Gaetano. In Roman mythology, Gaeta originated as the Latin Caieta, the name of Aeneas’ nurse.

  • Origin: Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning: From Gaeta (place)
  • Pronunciation: Guy-EHT-ah
  • Variations: Di Gaeta
  • Namesakes: Antonio Gaeta, an Italian footballer for Carrarese. John Gaeta, an American visual effects designer, known for the Matrix film trilogy.
  • Popularity: Gaeta is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranking 1,100th in 2014.
Unique, Geographical

Gallo

Gallo is based on the Latin “gallus,” meaning “rooster.” It’s also found in Galicia, Spain. Gallo refers to any “male fowl” or a man with rooster-like qualities.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Rooster
  • Pronunciation: GAE-Low
  • Variations: Galli
  • Namesakes: Ernest Gallo, the American co-founder of the E & J Gallo Winery in Modesto, California. Vincent Gallo, an American actor/director best known for the 1998 film Buffalo ’66.
  • Popularity: Gallo is uncommon worldwide and mostly used in Italy, where it ranked 9th in 2014.
Fun, Ancient

Giacomo

Giacomo is the Italian version of the English James. It’s also based on the Latin Jacobus, or Jacob. It still means “supplanter,” but in Italian style.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Supplanter
  • Pronunciation: Jhiy-aa-KOW-Mow
  • Variations: DiGiacomo
  • Namesakes: Laura San Giacomo, an American actress and winner of the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress for Sex, Lies, and Videotape in 1989.
  • Popularity: Giacomo is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Rare, Unique

Giordano

Giordano once referred to any “descendant of Giordano.” It also means “flowing down” for someone baptized in the River Jordan in Israel.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: One who descends
  • Pronunciation: Jher-DAAN-ow
  • Variations: Giardano, Giordan
  • Namesakes: Paolo Giordano, an Italian writer who won the Premio Strega award for The Solitude of Prime Numbers novel. Riccardo Giordano, an Italian windsurfer who competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Giordano is uncommon worldwide and mostly used in Italy, ranking 15th in 2014.
Ancestral, Spiritual

Giovanni

Giovanni is the Italian equivalent of John. While rare in Italy, Giovanni became the most accepted Italian-American version of Di Giovanni and De Giovanni.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Pronunciation: Jhow-VAEN-niy
  • Variations: Geovanni, Giovonnie, Giovannie
  • Namesakes: Joy Giovanni, an American WWE Diva and the first and only winner of the Rookie Diva of the Year award. Nikki Giovanni, an African-American poet and winner of the Langston Hughes Medal and the NAACP Image Award.
  • Popularity: Giovanni is rare worldwide and mainly used in Ethiopia.
Traditional, Rare

Greco

Greco derives from the Latin “graecus,” meaning “Greek.” It was used as a nickname for anyone from Greece and is the 10th most popular surname in Italy. The Greco family was one of the most famous mafia clans found in 19th-century Sicily and Calabria.

  • Origin: Italian, Greek
  • Meaning: Greek
  • Pronunciation: GREH-koh
  • Variations: Del Greco, Lo Greco, Grecco
  • Namesakes: Michele Greco, the head of the Sicilian Mafia Commission, whose nickname was Il Papa (“The Pope”). Jim Greco, an American skateboarder who founded Bakerboys Distribution in 2007.
  • Popularity: Greco is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranking 12th in 2014.
Common, Fun
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Iannucci

Iannucci is a nickname for the Italian first name Ianni. It’s an alternative version of Giovanni or the English John, meaning “God is gracious.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Pronunciation: IY-ah-NOO-Chee
  • Variations: Iannacco
  • Namesakes: Armando Iannucci, an Italian-Scottish writer and creator of the HBO series Veep. Jonathan Iannucci, an American lacrosse player for the Colorado Mammoth.
  • Popularity: Iannucci is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy.
Nickname, Unique

La Paglia

La Paglia is a version of the Italian “paglia,” meaning “straw.” It was used for someone who worked with straw or hay or even someone with straw-colored hair.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Straw
  • Pronunciation: PAHL-iy-Ah
  • Variations: Paglia
  • Namesakes: Anthony LaPaglia, an Australian actor known for the TV series Without a Trace (2002 to 2009). Jonathan La Paglia, an Australian actor and host of Australian Survivor since 2016.
  • Popularity: La Paglia is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Unique, Rare

Liuzzo

Liuzzo is based on the first names Lia or Leo. It’s quite rare but originated in Bologna, Italy’s capital of the Emilia-Romagna region.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Relaxed, gentle
  • Pronunciation: Liy-UW-Zoh
  • Variations: Luzzo
  • Namesakes: Viola Liuzzo, an American civil rights activist who took part in the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965.
  • Popularity: Liuzzi is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy.
Unique, Uncommon

Lombardo

Lombardo was given to anyone from the city of Lombardy or from northern Italy. It’s based on the Latin Langobardi, originally Germanic and meant “long beards.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: From Lombardy
  • Pronunciation: Lahm-BAAR-doh
  • Variations: Lombardio
  • Namesakes: Tony Lombardo, an American musician, and member of the punk rock band the Descendents. Guy Lombardo, a Canadian-American bandleader and founder of the Royal Canadians band in 1924.
  • Popularity: Lombardo is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 52nd in 2014.
Strong, Geographical

Maddalena

Maddalena comes from the biblical figure Mary Magdalene. It also means “woman from Magdala.” It’s associated with Magdalena and Madeleine and is the most feminine of Italian last names on the list.

  • Origin: Italian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Mary Magdalene
  • Pronunciation: Mae-dah-LEY-Naa
  • Namesakes: Marianne Maddalena, an American film producer, and Wes Craven’s producing partner. Julia Maddalena, an American actress who first appeared in the 1984 movie Children of the Corn.
  • Popularity: Maddalena is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranking 1,833rd in 2014.
Spiritual, Unique

Maffia

Maffia also appeared as Maffio in Medieval times and is based on the first name Matteo. Campania, Puglia, and Cosenza are Italy’s “mafia” regions. It’s based on “mafyá,” meaning “place of shade,” and influences the modern-day use of “mafia.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Place of refuge
  • Pronunciation: MAH-fiy-Ah
  • Variations: Maffio, Maffi
  • Popularity: Maffia is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy.
Cool, Uncommon

Mancini

Mancini comes from the Italian “mancino,” referring to someone “left-handed.” It originated in Florence and is the 16th most common surname in Italy.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Left-handed
  • Pronunciation: Maan-CEE-nee
  • Namesakes: George Mancini, an American filmmaker best known for the Child’s Play franchise. Roberto Mancini, an Italian football manager for Italy’s national team.
  • Popularity: Mancini is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 15th in 2014.
Unique, Traditional

Marino

Marino originated as the Latin “marinus,” for all things to do with the “ocean.” It’s also found in Galicia, Greece, and Armenia. Marino means “of the seashore” and was used for anyone whose work involved the sea, from sailors to mermaids.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Of the sea
  • Pronunciation: Maa-RIY-now
  • Variations: Marin, Marinolli
  • Namesakes: Ken Marino, an American comedian and cast member on MTV’s The State. Ignazio Marino, the Mayor of Rome from 2013 to 2015.
  • Popularity: Marino is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranking 13th in 2014.
Fun, Geographical

Mastromatteo

Mastromatteo was originally used as a title of respect. It’s composed of the Italian “mastro,” meaning “master craftsman,” and the first name Matteo.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Master craftsman (Matteo)
  • Pronunciation: MAAS-trow-Mah-TEY-Oh
  • Popularity: Mastromatteo is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy.
Uncommon, Unusual

Minetti

Minetti is a plural form of the Italian Minetto, a nickname for Minelli. Mino is the ultimate root of Minetti. It also means “fierce or strong man.” When not Italian or Spanish, Minetti is a Japanese name meaning “ocean.”

  • Origin: Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Diminutive of Mino
  • Pronunciation: Mih-NEH-Tee
  • Variations: Mannetti, Minetta
  • Namesakes: Annalisa Minetti, the first blind Italian beauty pageant contestant in the 1997 Miss Italia contest. Massimo Minetti, an Italian footballer for Serie C1.
  • Popularity: Minetti is rare worldwide, mainly used in Italy, and ranked 712th in Uruguay in 2014.
Ancestral, Nickname
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Moretti

Moretti is a plural version of Moretto. Moretti is composed of the Italian “moretto,” meaning “dark hair,” and the Yiddish “Mordeven Zich,” meaning “worker.” It arose in 15th-century Italy with the arrival of Jewish immigrants.

  • Origin: Italian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Dark-haired
  • Pronunciation: Moh-RET-tiy
  • Variations: Moriotti
  • Namesakes: Alessandra Moretti, an Italian member of the European Parliament since 2019. Filomena Moretti, an Italian classical guitarist and winner of the 1996 Premier Prix at the Competition de l’A.R.A.M.
  • Popularity: Moretti is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, where it ranked 23rd in 2014.
Unique, Nickname

Nanna

Nanna may have originated from the Sicilian Salentine “nanna,” meaning “’grandmother,” just like Nonna. “Nana” also means “dwarf” in Italian, but Italian last names meaning “granny” are much more lovable.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Grandmother
  • Pronunciation: NAA-Naa
  • Namesakes: Bob Nanna, an American musician and a member of the band Braid.
  • Popularity: Nanna is rare worldwide and mostly used in Nigeria.
Unusual, Uncommon

Novella

Novella comes from the Latin “novell,” meaning “young,” or “novella,” meaning “news.” It originated in Venice as a female form of Novello and is one of the more unique Italian girl last names.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: New young
  • Pronunciation: Noh-VEH-Laa
  • Variations: Novello
  • Namesakes: Steven Novella, an American neurologist and host of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast.
  • Popularity: Novella is rare worldwide, mainly found in the U.S., and ranked 856th in Italy in 2014.
Traditional, Unique

Orlando

Orlando is the Italian version of Rolando. It’s based on Roldán, from the Germanic “ruotland,” meaning “fame” and “land.” Orlando also means “he who proceeds from the glorious country” or “famous throughout the land.”

  • Origin: Italian, Germanic
  • Meaning: Land famous
  • Pronunciation: Aor-LAEN-doh
  • Variations: Orlandi
  • Namesakes: Alexandra Orlando, a Canadian rhythmic gymnast who competed at the 2008 Olympic Games. Tony Orlando, an American singer, known for the group Tony Orlando and Dawn.
  • Popularity: Orlando is rare worldwide and primarily found in Italy, ranking 86th in 2014.
Strong, Ancestral

Ossi

Ossi is the Italian plural form of Osso. It refers to someone from the Ossi area of Sardinia. Ossi is also a Norse nickname for skinny girls since “osso” means “bone.” In Italy, Ossi can be a nickname for Giuseppe.

  • Origin: Italian, Norse
  • Meaning: Bone
  • Pronunciation: AAS-iy
  • Variations: Osso
  • Popularity: Ossi is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Nigeria.
Geographical, Uncommon

Palermo

Palermo is the capital city of Sicily and was given to those from Palermo. Palermo originated as the Greek Panormos, made up of “pan,” meaning “all” and “hormos,” meaning “well-protected bay.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: From Palermo
  • Pronunciation: Pah-LEHR-moh
  • Variations: Palarmo, Palermoe
  • Namesakes: Girolamo “Jimmy” Palermo, an Italian-American mobster with the DeCavalcante crime family in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Martín Palermo, an Argentine footballer with Argentina’s national team.
  • Popularity: Palermo is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 244th in 2014.
Geographical, Traditional

Perrucci

Perrucci is a plural variation for Perruccio, a short form for the first name Perro. It’s rooted in Piero, a form of Peter that means “rock.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Stones, rocks
  • Pronunciation: Peh-RUW-chee
  • Variations: Perruci, Perucci
  • Popularity: Perruci is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Ancestral, Uncommon

Pizzano

Pizzano comes from the Italian “pizarra,” meaning “slate.” It may have been given to a person residing near or working at a quarry. Pizzano is also a name for someone from Pisa in Tuscany, where the leaning tower calls home.

  • Origin: Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Slate worker
  • Pronunciation: Pih-ZAAN-ah
  • Variations: Pizana
  • Popularity: Pizzano is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Uncommon, Geographical

Pompeii

Pompeii is the plural form of the first name Pompeo. It was a famous ancient city in Italy destroyed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Pompeii also means “the person in charge” in Greek.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: From Pompei
  • Pronunciation: POM-pay
  • Variations: Pompei
  • Popularity: Pompeii is extremely rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Geographical, Roman

Prospero

Prospero comes from the Latin Prosperus, meaning “prosperous.” It’s famously a character in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and also means “to succeed.”

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Fortunate
  • Pronunciation: Prows-PEH-row
  • Variations: Prosperino, Prospera
  • Popularity: Prospero is rare worldwide and primarily used in Brazil.
Ancient, Roman
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Quinto

Quinto originated as the Latin Quintus in ancient Rome. It was given as a first name to the fifth-born son but became a surname in Italy.

  • Origin: Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Fifth
  • Pronunciation: KWIHN-Tow
  • Variations: Quintino, Quintano
  • Namesakes: Felice Quinto, an Italian paparazzi photographer who inspired Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita. Angeline Quinto, the Filipino winner of Star Power: Sharon’s Search For The Next Female Pop Superstar in 2011.
  • Popularity: Quinto is rare worldwide and mostly used in Ecuador.
Roman, Ancient

Reggio

Reggio was an Italian name given to those who came from Reggio, Calabria’s biggest city, or Reggio Emilia in northern Italy. It’s associated with an Italian seaport for those who sailed the seas.

  • Origin: Italian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Of Reggio
  • Pronunciation: REGG-iy-Oh
  • Variations: Reggiani
  • Namesakes: Arturo Reggio, an Italian Chess Champion who won national tournaments between 1900 and 1916. Godfrey Reggio, an American documentary filmmaker whose film Visitors premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Popularity: Reggio is rare worldwide, mainly found in Italy, and ranked 1,366th in Uruguay in 2014.
Unique, Geographical

Ricci

Ricci is based on the Italian “riccio,” meaning “curly-haired.” It also means “descendant of Ricci” and is a nickname used for the first name Enrico, meaning “peaceful ruler.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Home ruler
  • Pronunciation: RIY-chee
  • Variations: Riccio
  • Namesakes: Christina Ricci, an American actress best known for The Addams Family (1991). Giampaolo Ricci, an Italian basketball player for the Italian national team.
  • Popularity: Ricci is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in Italy, where it ranked 8th in 2014.
Ancestral, Traditional

Rizzo

Rizzo is an Italian surname given to anyone with “wavy or curly hair.” It’s also a variation of the surnames Ricci and Risso.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Curly-haired
  • Pronunciation: RIH-zoh
  • Variations: Risso
  • Namesakes: Anthony Rizzo, an American baseball player for the New York Yankees. Helena Rizzo, a Brazilian chef voted Best Female Chef of the Year by Restaurant Magazine in 2014.
  • Popularity: Rizzo is uncommon worldwide and mostly used in Italy, ranking 16th in 2014.
Fun, Nickname

Romano

Romano is based on the Latin Romanus. It’s been given to any “citizen of Rome” since ancient times. Romano was also associated with multiple Christian saints and martyrs who left their mark on Italian history.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: From Rome
  • Pronunciation: Row-MAA-noh
  • Variations: Romani
  • Namesakes: Ray Romano, an American actor known for the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. Fabrizio Romano, an Italian football journalist for Sky Sport Italy.
  • Popularity: Romano ranked 1,866th worldwide and is mainly used in Italy, where it ranked 7th in 2014.
Geographical, Roman

Rossi

Rossi is the plural form of the Italian Rosso, meaning “red-haired.” It may refer to someone with a “ruddy complexion.” Rossi’s most common in northern Italy and is the top Italian surname ever.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Red
  • Pronunciation: RAO-Siy
  • Variations: De Rossi, Del Rossi, DeRossi
  • Namesakes: Louis Rossi, a French Grand Prix motorcycle racer who won the 2012 French Grand Prix. Anthony Rossi, the Italian-American founder of Tropicana Products.
  • Popularity: Rossi ranked 1,016th worldwide and is primarily used in Italy, where it remains the most common surname.
Popular, Traditional

Russo

Russo is the Southern Italian and Sicilian counterpart to Rossi. It was a nickname for anyone with “red hair” or a “red beard.” Russo comes from the Latin “russus,” meaning “red,” and is a Polish name for someone from Russia.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Red-haired
  • Pronunciation: RUW-Sow
  • Variations: Lo Russo
  • Namesakes: Christopher Russo, the American co-host of the Mike and Chris sports radio program. Marisabina Russo, an American children’s book author of The Line Up Book, which won the IRA Children’s Book Award.
  • Popularity: Russo ranked 1,540th worldwide and is mostly used in Italy, where it ranked 2nd in 2014.
Traditional, Popular

Saachi

Saachi is based on the Italian “sacco,” meaning “sack” or “bag.” It was once given to those who made sacks for an occupation. Its variation, Saatchi, is a Persian/Turkish surname meaning “watchmaker.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Sack maker
  • Pronunciation: SAA-Chee
  • Variations: Saatchi
  • Namesakes: Enzo Sacchi, an Italian cyclist and gold medalist at the 1952 Summer Olympics. Tommaso Sacchi, the Italian Deputy-Mayor for Culture, Fashion and Design of the City of Florence.
  • Popularity: Saachi is extremely rare worldwide and mainly used in India.
Uncommon, Nickname

Scaletta

Scaletta is an Italian surname given to those from Scala, Italy, or Scaletta Zanclea in Sicily. It’s a diminutive, meaning “descendants of little Scala.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: From Scaletta
  • Pronunciation: Skaa-LEHT-ah
  • Popularity: Scaletta is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Geographical, Ancestral

Scipio

Scipio comes from the Latin first name Scipio, a nickname meaning “stick scepter” or “staff.” Scipio was most famously the ancient Roman invader of Carthage in Africa.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Walking stick
  • Pronunciation: SKIY-Piy-ow
  • Variations: Scippa, Scippo
  • Namesakes: Metellus Scipio, a Roman military commander who led troops against Julius Caesar in the 1st-century.
  • Popularity: Scipio is very rare worldwide, is mostly used in the U.S., and ranked 402nd in Guyana in 2014.
Roman, Ancient
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Siciliano

Siciliano was a nickname given to anyone from Sicily, originally the tribe of the Siculi. When Italian immigrants came to the U.S., they often changed their surnames, which may have influenced the use of Siciliano.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: From Sicily
  • Pronunciation: Sih-chil-YAAN-oh
  • Variations: Siciliato
  • Namesakes: Andrew Siciliano, an American TV announcer for the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams. Antonio Siciliano, an Italian film editor and winner of the 1992 David di Donatello Award for Best Editing.
  • Popularity: Siciliano is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 561st in 2014.
Geographical, Nickname

Soncino

Soncino may have origins in Germany but is best known as the Italian Ashkenazi Jewish Soncino family of printers. Soncino was also a place name for a town in the Cremona province in Lombardy, Italy.a comune of the Province of Cremona, Italy

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: From Soncino
  • Pronunciation: Sohn-CHEE-now
  • Namesakes: Scipione Soncino, a 16th-century Italian writer of a set of biographies on the Dukes of Milan.
  • Popularity: Soncino is extremely rare worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil.
Rare, Geographical

Stephani

Stephani is a plural form of the Italian first name Stefano. It’s based on Stephen, meaning “crown” and “laurel.” Stephani is also a Greek girl’s name associated with “victory.”

  • Origin: Italian, Greek
  • Meaning: Crown
  • Pronunciation: Steh-FAH-niy
  • Variations: Stefani
  • Namesakes: William Stephani (also Stephenson), the medieval Scottish Bishop of Dunblane. Franz Stephani, a German bryologist and author of Species Hepaticarum.
  • Popularity: Stephani is rare worldwide, mostly used in Germany, and ranked 391st in Cyprus in 2014.
Noble, Ancestral

Tito

Tito is the Italian variation of the Latin Titus. It originated from the Latin “titulus,” meaning “title of honor.” Tito is also a name given to anyone from the town of Tito in the Potenza province of Italy.

  • Origin: Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Giant
  • Pronunciation: TIY-Tow
  • Namesakes: Josip Broz (known as Tito), President of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1953 to 1980. Dennis Tito, an American entrepreneur and the first man to self-fund a trip to space in 2001.
  • Popularity: Tito is uncommon worldwide, is mainly used in Egypt, and ranked 223rd in Bolivia in 2014.
Geographical, Noble

Tucci

Tucci is the plural variation of the Italian Tuccio. It may derive from an occupation for someone who “attended meetings” or a “counselor.”

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Clerk
  • Pronunciation: TUU-chee
  • Variations: Tuccio
  • Namesakes: Stanley Tucci, an Italian-American actor/filmmaker known for Big Night. Gabriella Tucci, an Italian opera singer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
  • Popularity: Tucci is rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 1,633rd in Uruguay in 2014.
Unique, Nickname

Ursillo

Ursillo is based on the Latin “ursus,” meaning bear. It’s an alternate version of the Italian first name Orso that originated in the Italian Papal States region.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: UHR-sih-Low
  • Variations: Ursi
  • Namesakes: Jen Ursillo, an American midday news anchor on the New Jersey 101.5 radio station.
  • Popularity: Ursillo is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Fun, Ancient

Vecchio

Vecchio is the Italian word for “old” or “old-aged.” It was used as a nickname for the oldest son, a person with gray hair, or an older appearance.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Old man
  • Pronunciation: VEH-chiy-Oh
  • Variations: Del Vecchio, Lo Vecchio
  • Namesakes: Karen Vecchio, a Canadian member of Parliament since 2015. Emiliano Vecchio, an Argentine footballer for Racing Club de Avellaneda.
  • Popularity: Vecchio is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, where it ranked 450th in 2014.
Traditional, Nickname

Vitale

Vitale was used for a “descendant of Vitalis.” It derives from the Latin “vita” meaning “life,” and belonged to early Christian martyrs. Vitale is also a short form of Russian names like Vitalik or Vitalov.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Life
  • Pronunciation: Viy-TAA-liy
  • Namesakes: Falaniko “Niko” Vitale, an American mixed martial artist and SuperBrawl Middleweight Champion. Camilla Vitale, an Italian actress who appeared in The Seven Little Foys film (1956).
  • Popularity: Vitale is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranking 40th in 2014.
Ancestral, Spiritual

Volpe

Volpe derives from the Latin “vulpes,” meaning “fox,” given to a person with fox-like characteristics. Volpe also means “dweller at the sign of the fox” or “a cunning person” and is more offbeat among Italian last names.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Fox
  • Pronunciation: VUHL-pey
  • Variations: Volpes, Della Volpe
  • Namesakes: John Volpe, the 61st and 63rd Governor of Massachusetts from 1961 to 1963 and 1965 to 1969. Petra Volpe, a Swiss filmmaker, known for The Divine Order.
  • Popularity: Volpe is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy, where it ranked 153rd in 2014.
Nickname, Fun

Zucco

Zucco may have been given to someone living near cut-back trees or to a lumberjack. It was first found in Udine in Venetia, Italy. Though spelled differently, Zucco may be most recognized as the Danny Zuko character from Grease.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Base of a tree stump
  • Pronunciation: ZUH-koh
  • Variations: Zuco
  • Namesakes: Ross Zucco, an American speed skater who competed at the 1960 Winter Olympics. George Zucco, a British actor appearing in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939).
  • Popularity: Zucco is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy.
Uncommon, Unique
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Italian Surnames FAQs

Do Italians Have 2 Last Names?

Double surnames, or two last names, have occurred more among women in Italy throughout history. It was traditional for them to keep their surname when married and use both. When Italian immigrants came to America, they tended to drop their original surname and take their husbands.

What Is a Common Italian Last Name?

Rossi is the most common Italian last name, followed by Russo, Colombo, Esposito, and Bianchi. Rossi ranked 1,016th worldwide and means “red” in Italian. It’s also common in Argentina, Australia, Canada, and the U.S.

What Are Some Unique Italian Last Names?

There are some lesser-known Italian last names with interesting and offbeat meanings. Bellagamba means “beautiful leg,” Carozza means “mozzarella cheese,” Grasso means “someone who is overweight,” and Mezzasalma means “half-cadaver,” to name a few.

Is Gucci a Common Last Name in Italy?

Gucci is a very rare last name in Italy, only occurring once per about 5 million people. As of 2014, one in every 76,446 people in Italy has the last name Gucci. The fashion-forward Gucci family is far more famous worldwide than their surname.

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.
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