Italian Names

italian names

Italian names are identifying elements that distinguish one person from another.  It is made up of the prename or first name and the surname or family name.

How have names changed in Italy?

They have been linked to fashion for at least a century. At the beginning of the 20th century, many girls were called Fedora, like the protagonist of Umberto Giordano's melodrama. Then, in the 1920s, it was the turn of Italy and Benito. In the second half of the century, names linked to ideologies gained strength (Libero, Selvaggia) and, in recent years, many have chosen to pay homage to idols or personalities like Chiara (Ferragni) or sportsmen like Diego Maradora, as well as series like Brenda.

How many Italian names are there?

More than seventeen thousand, but the really common ones are three hundred. In theory, parents can choose any name, excluding those of the child's father, mother, siblings and discriminatory names. In some cases, the court has had to intervene

 The most used baby names in Italy

Here is a ranking of the most used baby names with meaning:

 Leonardo: Strong as a lion

Francesco: Coming from France

Alessandro: protector of men

Lorenzo: one who is surrounded by laurels

Mattia: gift from God

Tommaso: twin

Gabriele: strong man from God

Andrea: strong, virile

Riccardo: brave leader

Edoardo: Guardian of Prosperity

 Italian names often used for girls.

 Sofia: wisdom, knowledge

Giulia: who descends from Jupiter or is devoted to Jupiter

Aurora: bright, shining

Ginevra: pure spirit

Alice: sea creature or noble-looking woman

Beatrice: one who blesses

Emma: gentle, but also strong


Giorgia: one who works the land, farmer, peasant

Vittoria: Victory

Matilde: powerful in battle


Rare Italian male names


Origin: Germanic.

Meaning: "old man".


Origin: medieval.

Meaning: "one who loves God".


Origin: Greek.

Meaning: "More intelligent than everyone else".


Origin: Germanic.

Meaning: "strong as an eagle".


Origin: Assyrian.

Meaning: "protected by the god Bel".


Origin: Germanic.

Meaning: "powerful friend".


Origin: Germanic.

Meaning: "powerful friend".


Origin: Byzantine.

Meaning: "swordsman".



Origin: Greek.

Meaning: "beautiful".


Origin: Latin.

Meaning: "firm and resolute".


Origin: Byzantine.

Meaning: "meek".

Rare Italian girls' names

Let's take a look at some rare but beautiful and meaningful Italian girls' names. These names are perfect for those who want to give their child a unique name full of history.

Alma: This is a beautiful rare Italian feminine name, derived from Latin, meaning "nourishing". The child's name day can be celebrated on November 1st in honor of the Virgin Mary, often called the "Alma Mater", or nurturing mother.

Luna: Another rare but pleasant Italian name; Luna means 'the moon' and has a sweet, ethereal vibe.

Celeste: An ethereal name reminiscent of the starry sky, Saint Celeste's name day is celebrated on October 14th.

Cloe: Derived from Greek and means "green grass", symbolizing freshness and vitality.

Berenice: A beautiful and unusual Italian name derived from Greek, meaning "she who brings victory".

Glenda: Scottish Gaelic name meaning "pure and good". Despite its foreign origins, Glenda is widely accepted in Italy.

Raissa: With Russian roots, Raissa means "easy to think" and is particularly loved by parents for its melodic sound.

Iris: It means "rainbow" in ancient Greek and is also the name of the ancient Greek goddess of the rainbow.

Lea: A short but powerful feminine name of Latin origin meaning "industriousness".

Teodora: "Dono di Dio" - Gift of God. It has Greek origins. It was the name of the Byzantine emperor.

 How do we find out what Italian names mean?

It's not difficult. On the Internet there are many sites dedicated to onomastics, a branch of linguistics that studies the meaning and origin of proper names. Just type in your name and wait for the result. Andrea, for example, comes from the Greek and symbolizes strength. Example: website


Changing your name

Those who decide to change the identity of their Italian name do so because they feel ridiculous or ashamed of having a certain name or surname, perhaps because it is identical to derogatory and undignified words or because it reveals the subject's natural origin

Anyone wishing to change their Italian name in Italy or add another name to theirs must submit an application to the Prefecture of their place of residence or birth.

The application must state the change they wish to make and the reasons why they are making the request.

The Mayor, after collecting information on the application, if he deems it worthy of acceptance, by his own decree authorizes the applicant to publish the summary on the online bulletin board of the municipality of birth and residence.

After 30 days, the applicant can obtain the authorization decree without opposition.

Art 89 D.P.R. 396/2000:

"chiunque vuole cambiare il nome o aggiungere al proprio un altro nome ovvero vuole cambiare il cognome, anche perché ridicolo o vergognoso o perché rivela l'origine naturale o aggiungere al proprio un altro cognome, must make a request to the prefect of the province of the place of residence or of the place where the civil status office is located, where the birth certificate to which the request refers is located. The applicant must state in the application the reasons for the application. (2) The application must indicate the change which the applicant wishes to make to the name or surname, or the name or surname which the applicant wishes to take on. (3) In no case may the attribution of names of historical importance or such as to mislead the applicant's family to illustrious or particularly noteworthy families in the place where the applicant's birth certificate is located or in the place of residence."

How to apply

The application must be submitted to the competent Prefecture (or, for citizens living abroad, to the competent Italian Consulate abroad).