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Italian Last Names

By Emma Davies


Updated on

Do you love the sing-song sound of the Italian language? Italian words and names dance off the tongue, have a whimsical sound to them, and often have interesting spellings too. Italian surnames are of course common in the home of pasta, pizza, and the beautiful cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice – but some are becoming a popular baby name choices for parents outside of Italy too.

If you are looking to take inspiration from your love of Italy when it comes to naming your baby, we have a list of 30 ideas here for you. You can get creative with these surnames from Italy and give your baby a unique first name.

Popular Italian Last Names

Italian Last Names

Even the most common Italian last names can be transformed to something rare and interesting when used as a first name. Surnames in Italy were originally derived from a person’s occupation, the name of the head of the family, nicknames or personality traits.

If you are looking for a popular Italian last name, here are 10 that work well as first names too:

1. Rossi

Rossi is one of the most common Italian last names and is the plural of the word Rosso. In Italian, Rosso means red and was a common name given to people with red hair or rosy complexion. This is a sweet sounding surname and would make a cute name for a baby.

2. Ferrari

Before Ferrari was the name of the famous sports car, it was a popular Italian surname. The origins of the name Ferrari do not in fact have anything to do with cars. This is an occupational surname and comes from Ferraro, the Italian word for Blacksmith. Whether you love fast cars, are a blacksmith, or just love the sound of this name, there is no denying that Ferrari is a cool name for an awesome baby.

3. Colombo

Colombo may be a popular Italian last name, but its roots come from ancient Latin. Colombo is a version of the Latin word Columbe which means ‘dove’. This surname is believed to be occupational and was traditionally given to people whose job it was to look after doves. During the Middle Ages Colombo grew in popularity as a first name.

4. Bruno

Bruno, like Rossi, is an Italian surname derived from a color. Bruno means ‘brown’ and this was a last name bestowed upon people in Italy with brown hair, eyes, or dark clothes. Bruno is one of the most popular surnames in Italy that is also frequently used as a first name. Famous people named Bruno include the pop singer Bruno Mars and Bruno Senna, the Brazilian racing driver.

5. Marino

Do you live by the coast or have a passion for the sea? If so, Marino is an Italian surname that may be the one for your baby. Marino comes from the word marinus, meaning ‘the sea’. This Italian surname would suit a little beach baby or future surfer in the making.

6. Bianco

This Italian surname means ‘white’ and was traditionally developed as a nickname type of last name. People with white hair or pale skin were given the last name Bianco. Famous people with the surname Bianco include American celebrity chef Chris Bianco and British actress and model. Eugene Bianco.

7. Villa

This Italian surname means either ‘village’ or ‘estate/house’. Villa could work well as a first name for a baby girl or boy and there are other versions you may like, including Villas and DeVilla.

8. Ricci

If you ever visit Italy, you will have a hard time not bumping into someone with the surname Ricci. This is one of the most popular surnames in Italy and it comes from the word ‘ricco’, meaning curly. If your baby has been born with a head full of gorgeous locks, Ricci will make a suitable name choice.

9. Romano

Romano is a name that is unmistakably Italian and it means ‘from Rome’. If you have Italian roots or just love the history of the Roman Empire. Romano is one of those Italian last names that doesn’t sound out of place as a first name.

10. Longo

Do you have tall genes in your family? If so, Longo may be a name that suits your child’s impressive height as it means ‘long’ or ‘tall’. Longo was originally a nickname given to people who were tall and thin but has become a popular surname in Italy over the years.

Italian Mafia Last Names

Think your little one is going to grow up into someone with a mischievous and rebellious side? We don’t expect that you are planning for your baby to pursue a life of organized crime when they are older, but there is no denying that these mafia last names sound kind of awesome.

1. Genovese

Vito Genovese was the Italian born head of the infamous, American crime family. This is a habitational surname and means ‘from Genoa’.

2. Maranzano

This surname is linked to the Italian and later New York Mafia. Marazano means ‘belonging to Mars’ and while it has strong roots in organized crime, its history may not be well known enough for it to stop you from using it as a first name.

3. Bonanno

Bonanno is the surname of another notorious Italian crime family. Joseph Bonanno became the youngest ever crime family boss at the age of 26 and led the family’s organized criminal activities for decades. Despite its crime links, this name has a more positive meaning. Bonanno derives from the words ‘buon’ and ‘anno’ and means ‘good year’.

4. Capone

Al Capone is one the most famous gangsters of all time. We are not suggesting you call your baby Scarface, but Capone is often thought to mean ‘headstrong’ and may suit your strong willed baby.

5. Gambino

Gambino is another Italian last name that is associated with the mafia. Carlo Gambino took over the mafia in the 1950s and is often portrayed in crime movies. Gambino comes from the word ‘gambo’ meaning ‘leg’. This surname started as a nickname for people with short legs.

6. Gallo

Gallo means ‘rooster’ but is also the famous family name of the gangster, Crazy Joe. Gallo sounds kind of sweet but you may not want your baby sporting the name of a notorious mobster.

Italian Last Names Based on Nature

There are many nature based surnames that are popular at the moment. Lily, Rose, and Ivy for girls and Forest, River, and Bear for boys. If you want something a little more original, these last names that are Italian make cute nature themed first names.

1. Fiore

This is a sweet name for a baby girl. Fiore means ‘flower’ and was originally given as a surname to people who lived near flowers.

2. Monti

Monti means ‘mountains’ and is another habitational Italian surname. Are you an outdoorsy family and enjoy hiking in the mountains? If so, Monti may be a great choice for your new little adventurer.

3. Costa

Costa means ‘slope’ or ‘coast’. This Italian surname instantly evokes images of sunshine, the sea, and golden sand – a lovely name for a little beach baby.

4. Acquavia

This Italian last name means ‘spring’ or ‘living water’. This is a pretty baby name and was originally used as a last name in areas of Southern Italy, known for their fresh water springs.

10 More Italians Last Names and Meanings

Exotic last names can work well as baby names and there are many great Italian options. If none of the names we have mentioned so far have inspired you, here are 10 more Italian last names and their meanings:

  1. Esposito – ‘The place outside’.
  1. Alfonsi – ‘Son of Alfonso’.
  1. Bernardi – ‘Strong and hardy’.
  1. Leone – ‘Lifelike’.
  1. Vinci – ‘Conqueror’.
  1. Bellagamba – ‘Beautiful leg’.
  1. Conti – ‘Companion’.
  1. Coppola – ‘Little round hat’.
  1. Giordano – ‘One who descends’.
  1. Leone – ‘Lion’.

Surnames From Italy

Rossi is the most popular surname in Italy, but there are hundreds and thousands of Italian last names for you to choose from. We have listed 30 ideas for you here, all of which will make interesting and unique first names for your baby.