Parents looking for new baby names might choose Italian names due to their heritage, but many parents also select Italian baby names because of their beauty and romantic tone. Italian is a popular language for choral and opera music because of the rhythm of the language, and use of so many vocal-friendly vowels. In fact, you can see in this list of popular names that every name ends in a vowel (including that sometime vowel “y”.) Different baby names are popular in Italy, other parts of Europe, and the US, so I’ve included a variety of favorite Italian baby names for you to choose from.
Italian Baby Names for Boys
Baby Boys Names A-B
Aldo — Origin: Germanic. Meaning: Old, elder. Fame: US ecologist, forester, and environmentalist Aldo Leopold; founder of worldwide chain of shoe stores, Aldo Bensadoun.
Alessandro — Origin: Italian. Meaning: Protector of mankind. Fame: Italian physicist, Alessandro Volta; footballer Alessandro Nesta.
Angelo — Origin: Greek, Italian. Meaning: Messenger, angel. Fame: Angelo of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Italian astronomer Angelo Secchi.
Anthony — Origin: Latin, English. Form of Antonius. Meaning: Priceless, flourishing, flower. Fame: St. Anthony the Great and St. Anthony of Padua; Anthony Kiedis of rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, actor Anthony Michael Hall. Ranked 9th out of all boys’ US baby names in 2006¹.
Antonio — Origin: Italian, Spanish. Meaning: Priceless. Fame: Italian painters Antonio Cavallucci and Antonio Canaletto, actors Antonio Banderas and Antonio Sabàto, Jr.
Bruno — Origin: Germanic. Meaning: Armor, brown, shining. Fame: Actor Bruno Kirby, dancer and choreographer Bruno Tonioli of Dancing with the Stars.
Baby Boys Names C-F
Carlo — Origin: German, Italian. Meaning: Free man. Fame: Writer and scientist Carlo Amoretti, actor Carlo Rota.
Carmine — Origin: Hebrew, Italian. Meaning: Garden, orchard. Fame: American composer, Carmine Coppola and coincidentally, Carmine Coppola, footballer.
Dante — Origin: Latin. Meaning: Enduring, obstinate. Fame: Renowned poet Dante and noted cinematographer Dante Spinotti.
Domenico — Origin: Latin, Italian. Meaning: Lord. Fame: Composer Domenico Scarlatti and Italian Renaissance painter Domenico di Pace Beccafumi.
Francesco — Origin: Latin, Italian. Form of Francis. Meaning: Free man, from France. Fame: St. Francesco of Assisi, patron saint of Italy and Francesco Totti, Italian footballer. Sixth most popular baby boys name in Italy as of 2006².
Franco — Origin: Latin, French. May be form of Francesco or Francis. Meaning: From France, spear. Fame: Fashion and shoe designer Franco Sarto, American football player Franco Harris.
Baby Boys Names G-L
Giorgio — Origin: Greek, Italian. Meaning: Farmer, to work the earth. Fame: Actor Giorgio Cantarini and famed designer Giorgio Armani.
Giovanni — Origin: Hebrew, Greek. Form of Ioannes. Meaning: God is gracious. Fame: Painter Giovanni Boldini and actor Giovanni Ribisi. Ranked in the top 200 baby boys names in US¹, 2nd most popular name in Italy².
Giuseppe — Origin: Hebrew, Italian. Form of Joseph. Meaning: The Lord increases, He will add. Fame: Famed Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi and footballer Giuseppe Greco. Ranked most popular baby boys name in Italy.
Luciano — Origin: Latin, Italian. Meaning: Light. Fame: Renowned operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti and footballer Luciano de Souza.
Luigi — Origin: Germanic, Italian. Form of Louis. Meaning: Glorious in battle. Fame: Painter and composer Luigi Russolo and actor Luigi Pistilli.
Baby Boys Names M-P
Marco — Origin: Latin. Form of Marcus. Meaning: From the God Mars, war-like. Fame: Explorer Marco Polo and journalist Marco Travaglio.
Mario — Origin: Latin. Form of Marius. Meaning: See “Marco”. Fame: Photographer Mario Sorrenti and actor Mario Lopez. Consistently well within the top 200 most popular US baby boys names for the last 40 years¹.
Michele — Origin: Hebrew, Italian. Form of Michael. Meaning: Who is like God. Fame: Footballer Michelle Canini; historian and politician Michele Amari. Ranked in the top 20 most popular baby boys names in Italy².
Orlando — Origin: Germanic, Italian. Meaning: Famous throughout the land. Fame: Character Orlando in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, actor Orlando Bloom.
Paolo — Origin: Latin, Italian. Form of Paul. Meaning: Small, humble. Fame: Italian Renaissance painter Paolo Veronese (Cagliari), footballer Paolo Maldini.
Pietro — Origin: Greek, Italian. Form of Peter. Meaning: Stone. Fame: Artist Pietro Psaier; actor, screenwriter, director Pietro Germi.
Baby Boys Names R-V
Roberto — Origin: Germanic, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish. Meaning: Bright fame, glory. Fame: Life is Beautiful actor and director Roberto Benigni; designer Roberto Cavalli.
Rocco — Origin: Germanic, Italian. Meaning: Wide range of possible meanings: Battle cry, rest, rock. Fame: Celebrity chef and author Rocco DeSpirito; singer and musician Rocco DeLuca.
Romeo — Origin: Italian. Meaning: Pilgrim to Rome, citizen of Rome. Fame: Shakespearean character in Romeo and Juliet; acclaimed theater director Romeo Castellucci.
Salvatore — Origin: Italian. Meaning: Saviour, rescuer. Fame: Designer Salvatore Ferragamo and artist Salvatore Fiume. Ranked in the top 20 most popular baby boys names in Italy².
Santino — Origin: Italian. Meaning: Sacred. Fame: Head of World Health Organization Santino Severoni; fashion designer and Project Runway contestant Santino Rice.
Sergio — Origin: Latin, Italian. Meaning: Attendant, helper. Fame: “Spaghetti Western” director Sergio Leone, designer Sergio Valente. Ranked in the top 200 popular US baby boys names¹, and top 20 popular baby boys names in Italy².
Vincenzo — Origin: Latin, Italian. Meaning: Conqueror. Fame: Musician, composer and music theorist Vincenzo Galilei; actor Vincenzo Amato.
Italian Baby Names for Girls
Baby Girls Names A-A
Angela — Origin: Greek, Latin. Meaning: Messenger. Fame: Actresses Angela Lansbury and Angela Bassett; model and songwriter Angela Nicoletti.
Angelina — Origin: Greek, Latin. Meaning: Messenger. Fame: Director, writer, and lyricist Angelina Maccarone; actress Angelina Jolie.
Anna — Origin: Latin, Hebrew. Meaning: Grace, favor. Fame: Santa Ana, known by tradition as the mother of The Virgin Mary, and grandmother of Jesus. Queen Anne, and also the sister of Dido in Roman mythology. Ranked 23rd out of all US girls’ baby names in 2006¹.
Anna Maria — Origin: Latin, Hebrew, English. Meaning: See “Anna” and “Maria”. Fame: Actress Anna Maria Alberghettie, and Anna Maria Mozart, mother of the famous composer.
Antonietta — Origin: Latin, Italian. (Possibly French, Italian form of Antoinette.) Meaning: Priceless. Fame: Competitive Italian high jumper Antonietta DiMartino; notable Italian soprano Antonietta Stella.
Ariana — Origin: Greek. Form of Ariadne. Meaning: Very holy one. Fame: Model Ariana LaNova and actress Ariana Richards.
Baby Girls Names B-C
Belinda — Origin: Latin, German, Spanish. Meaning: Beautiful, beautiful serpent. Fame: Singer Belinda Carlisle and artist Belinda DelPesco.
Belladonna — Origin: Italian. Meaning: Beautiful woman. Fame: Italian rock band Belladonna and character Bella Donna Boudreaux from X-men comics.
Carla —Origin: Latin, Portuguese, English, German. Meaning: strong, farmer. Fame: Songwriter, singer, and model Carla Bruni and actress Carla Gugino. Ranked in the top 20 most popular baby girls names in Italy².
Carmela — Origin: Hebrew. Meaning: Garden, orchard, vineyard. Fame: Fashion designer Carmela Sutera; character Carmela on TVs The Sopranos. Ranked in the top ten most popular baby girls names in Italy².
Caterina — Origin: Greek, Italian. Meaning: Pure. Fame: Actress Caterina Murino; businesswoman and co-founder of Flickr, Caterina Fake.
Concetta — Origin: Italian. Meaning: Conception, purity. Fame: Actress Concetta Tomei; politician and Australian senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.
Baby Girls Names E-G
Elena — Origin: Greek. Meaning: Wicker, reed, torch, basket. Fame: Elena Cornaro Piscopia, Italian mathematician and philosopher; actress Elena Anaya; pianist Elena Kuschnerova.
Franca — Origin: Latin, Italian. Feminine form of Franco. Meaning: Free man. Fame: Franca Arena, Australian politician and activist; Franca Rame, Italian theater actress, playwright, and politician.
Francesca — Origin: Latin, Italian. Meaning: From France. Fame: Composer, singer, and poet Francesca Caccini; Francesca Gagnon, singer, actress and Cirque du Soleil performer.
Gianna — Origin: Hebrew, Greek, Italian. Meaning: God is gracious. Fame: Singer, songwriter Gianna Nannini; writer and artist Gianna Marino. Ranked in the top 100 most popular US baby girls names in 2006¹.
Giovanna — Origin: Hebrew, Greek, Italian. Meaning: God is gracious, God’s gracious gift. Fame: Legendary 9th century female pope, Pope Giovanna; actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno.
Giuseppina — Origin: Hebrew, Italian. Form of Giuseppe. Meaning: The Lord increases, He will add. Fame: Athlete Giuseppina Leone; soprano and star of many of Verdi’s early works, Giuseppina Strepponi. Third most popular baby girls name in Italy².
Baby Girls Names I-P
Isabella — Origin: Hebrew, Italian. Meaning: Pledged to God. Fame: Character name for Shakespeare, Austen, and Emily Brontë, actress Isabella Rossellini.
Lucia — Origin: Latin. Meaning: Light. Fame: Singer Lucia Cifarelli; operatic soprano Lucia Popp. Ranked 8th most popular baby girls name in Italy², and the top baby girls name in Spain in 2006¹.
Margherita — Origin: Greek. Meaning: Pearl. Fame: Margherita di Savoia, first Queen of unified Italy; Italian fencer Margherita Granbassi.
Maria — Origin: Hebrew, Latin, Greek. Meaning: bitterness, sea of bitterness, sorrow. Fame: Opera singer Maria Callas; physician and educator Maria Montessori. Most popular baby girls name in Italy².
Olivia — Origin: English, Latin. Form of Oliver. Meaning: Elf army or olive (peace). Fame: Invented by Shakespeare for his character in Twelfth Night, actress Olivia de Havilland. Ranked 7th most popular baby girls name in US 2006, ranked 3rd in the UK in 2007¹.
Paola — Origin: Latin, Italian, Spanish. Form of Paul. Meaning: Small, humble. Fame: Italian pop singer Paola Turci; biologist and researcher Paola Leone.
Baby Girls Names R-V
Rita — Origin: Greek, Latin, Sanskrit. Meaning: Pearl, true, righteous, brave. Fame: Nobel prize-winning neurologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, actress Rita Moreno, comedian Rita Rudner.
Rosa — Origin: Latin. Meaning: Rose. Fame: Civil rights activist Rosa Parks; renowned soprano Rosa Ponselle.
Sophia — Origin: Greek. Meaning: Wise. Fame: Actresses Sophia Loren and Sophia Myles. Ranked 4th most popular baby girls name in Italy².
Teresa — Origin: Greek. Meaning: Late summer, harvester. Fame: Spanish monastic reformer and mystic, St. Teresa of Ávila; contemporary dance choreographer and lecturer, Teresa Ranieri.
Valeria — Origin: Latin. Meaning: To be healthy, strong. Fame: Early Christian saint, Valeria, Shakespearean character, and model Valeria from VH1’s A Model Life. In the top 100 most popular US baby girls names for 2006¹.
Venetia — Origin: Latin. Meaning: Uncertain, but probably related to ancient peoples in a province in Rome, and the later city of Venice. Fame: Venetia Penna, visual effects technician for blockbuster films, actress and filmmaker Venetia Stevens.
You can find more about Italian baby names at BabyNamesCountry, ThinkBabyNames, Babynology, and BabyNamesOcean.
¹ BabyNamesWorld. This comprehensive site offers complex search options, baby name ratings, surveys, extensive name origins and more.
² About.com, Italian. Top Italian baby names.