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Learning Italian isn't only about memorizing and using the language. It is also finding out about its culture, customs, traditions, seeing and experiencing their lifestyle or hearing their general opinions about different things.
It is about getting to know a whole new world.
One of the central things that concern Italian culture is Italian names and their meanings.
No matter if you have Italian roots or simply like Italy and everything about it, Italian names are, objectively speaking, very beautiful.
The explanation perhaps may be in the Italian pronunciation or simply that people who have those names make you have that positive feeling about them.
So, in today's post, we've listed the 20 most commonly used and popular Italian names and their meanings both male and female.
Among so many beautiful girl names it was quite difficult to choose several ones.
The following 10 names are listed as the most common Italian names for girls.
Meaning: Most holy
Famous women: Journalist and author Arianna Huffington, singer Ariana Grande
Arianna has long been popular in Italy, ranking in the top 25 over the past couple of decades.
Meaning: She who makes happy
Famous women: Author Beatrix Potter, actress Beatrice Straight, Princess Beatrice of York
For quite a long time, Beatrice was one of the most popular names in Italy and ranked 9 in 2018.
The Italian poet Dante Alighieri portrayed Beatrice Portinari as his guide all the way through paradise in his worldwide-known book, ‘Divine Comedy.’
Meaning: Freeman (from Charles)
Famous women: Journalist Carlotta Gall, actress Carlotta Monti, Empress Carlota of Mexico
Interestingly, Carlotta is an Italian version of the name ‘Charlotte.’
Famous women: Italian tennis player Francesca Schiavone, author Francesca Simon
Francesca is one of the most popular names in Italy and also one more name you can find in Dante’s work ‘Inferno.’
Famous women: Gaia in Greek mythology
Even though this name originates from Greek, it is one of the most popular names in Italy. In Greek mythology, this name is the personification of the Earth.
Meaning: Jade/ Precious stone
Famous women: Italian author Giada Trebeschi, Italian-American chef, writer, and television personality Giada de Laurentiis.
This Italian name in recent years became one of the favorites female names in the USA and other English-speaking countries, too.
Famous women: Gioia Marconi Braga, famous philanthropist, Italian-American singer Gioia Bruno
Over the years, this name became more and more popular not only in Italy, where it reached 33rd place of the most popular names but also all over the planet.
Meaning: God is gracious
Famous women: patron saint Gianna Beretta Molla, Italian actress Gianna Maria Canale
Giovanna, Gianna, or Gia, all of these names are the same. In Italy, unfortunately, this name slowly gets ranked a little lower but in the USA, it holds 12th place of the favorite female names.
During the Italian Renaissance, it was the most popular name.
Meaning: Famous battle (comes from the male name Ludwig)
Famous women: actress Luisa Bradshaw-White, Anglo-Italian journalist Luisa Baldini
Famous composer Giuseppe Verdi composed a famous opera ‘Luisa Miller.’
Famous women: grand Duchess of Tuscany Vittoria della Rovere, Italian poet Vittoria Colonna
The equivalent of the Greek goddess Nike, Vittoria was the Roman goddess of victory.
In the rest of the world, especially English-speaking countries, the equivalent name, Victorica, is quite common and among the popular ones.
Many Italian male names have roots in Latin and they are gladly used in the Roman Empire.
Here are the 10 favorite Italian names and their meanings for boys.
Meaning: Defender of humankind
Famous men: Italian Renaissance painter Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, worldwide known as Sandro Botticelli, Italian basketball player Alessandro ‘Sandro’ Gamba
For more than twenty years, this name was one of the ten most favorites in Italy.
Meaning: Force, bravery, courage
Famous men: Italian singer and songwriter Andrea Bocelli, Italian painter Andrea del Verrocchio
Originating from Greek, this name very soon became one of the favorites. No wonder since it represents courage and bravery making it in the top five names for boys in Italy.
In the USA, however, this name is usually used for girls.
Famous men: Prime Minister of Italy Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Italian-American mobster Carlo Gambino
This is an Italian version of the name Charles but it originates from the Latin Carl.
Famous men: Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, soccer player Emiliano Sala
Originating from the Roman ‘Aemilianus,’ this name is equally popular in Spanish-speaking countries as well. In Italy, it is in the top 200 most popular names for boys.
Meaning: the supplanter
Famous men: adventurer and author Giacomo Casanova, Italian composer Giacomo Puccini
The Italian version of the name ‘Jacobs’ and ‘Jacob,’ originates from the Latin Jacobus. In Italy, it is quite popular, but outside the country not that much.
Meaning: farmer, earth-worker
Famous men: Italian composer Giorgio Moroder, Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani, former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano
According to the legend st. George was a Roman soldier from the 14 century who slew a dragon.
Meaning: God is gracious
Famous men: Italian painter Giovanni Bellini, Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace
One of the 20 top names in Italy, and an Italian variation of English ‘John,’ Giovanni’s variations can also be Gian, Gianni, Gianino.
Meaning: brave lion
Famous men: Italian mathematician Leonardo Bonacci, renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci
November 6 is the day when people celebrate the St.Leonard of Noblac from the sixth century.
Meaning: Roman God of war, Mars
Famous men: actor and television host Mario Lopez, Italian-American retired racing driver Mario Andretti
Originates from Latin, the name Mario comes from Marius and it is also in the top 50 favorite male names in Italy.
Meaning: to win, to conquer
Famous men: Italian opera composer Vincenzo Bellini, Italian cyclist Vincenzo Nibal
The name Vincenzo comes from Latin, from the Vincentius Roman family. There is also st. Vincenzo’s day, January 22, when it is celebrated st. Vincent of Saragossa.
Here you are! The 20 most popular Italian names and meanings to show you the other side of Italian history and see how much you really know about Italian culture as well.
These names can help you see for yourself if your Italian tutor’s name is among the most popular ones.
They can also be useful for practicing Italian on your own and improving your Italian reading and writing skills.
Arianna - Meaning: Most holy, Beatrice - Meaning: She who makes happy, Carlotta - Meaning: Freeman (from Charles), Francesca - Meaning: Frenchman, Gaia - Meaning: Earth, Giada - Meaning: Jade/ Precious stone
Alessandro - Meaning: Defender of humankind, Andrea - Meaning: Force, bravery, courage, Carlo - Freeman, Emiliano - Meaning: rival, Giacomo - Meaning: the supplanter
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