Italian names just roll off the tongue, don’t they? Elisabetta, Giuseppe, Giana, Luciano. You can’t help but say each with an accent, waving your hand about as though it makes it sound more authentic - whether you’re Italian or not.
Many Italian names for both girls and boys are, quite frankly, beautiful sounding. But they also have beautiful meanings behind them that make them all the more appealing to choose for an upcoming bambino. (See what I did there?)
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect name for your little one, or just curious about the origins of the names of babies you already know, here are some really interesting ones.
Say this name and you feel as though you’re transported to Italy, sipping on fine wine and chowing down on homemade pasta al forno as you stare at the gorgeous scenery. Interestingly, thinking of a restaurant might be fitting, as Sergio literally means “attendant” in Italian, or servant or attendant in Latin.
That could be interpreted in a number of ways, of course. But if you want your little one to proudly tell others that he’s there to attend to their needs once he’s older, this might be an interesting name choice. One famous person who has the name: film director Sergio Leone.
This name will likely become more popular, given its proximity to a badass character in Game of Thrones, Arya. (In 2018, 2,545 parents gave their baby that name.) In Italian, Aria means “air” or “melody,” so it’s a lovely name to give a bouncing baby girl who you feel will be the apple of your eye.
In Hebrew, it also means “lioness,” which implies a strong and fierce girl as well. In music specifically, the word refers to a song in opera designed for a single voice. In other words, this girl will beat to her own drum, and be a strong, independent woman.
A super-popular Italian name (tell me you don’t know at least one Massimo?) it’s no wonder given that the word means “greatest” in Italian. Often given nicknames like Maks or Mack for simplicity, there are plenty of famous Massimos, including restaurateurs Massimo Bottura and Massimo Capra.
A variation of the name, which is technically of Latin origin, can also be Maximus, which is of ancient Roman origin. The name reached peak popularity around the mid ‘00s, and has remained relatively consistent since. And it seemed to be least popular around the ‘80s.
Of course many a mom and dad would want to literally call their child priceless, which is what Antonia means in Italian. In Latin, it also means praiseworthy, which implies the same royal status.
As the female form of Anthony (or Antonio), this name is sometimes shortened to names like Tonya or Nella or used in variations like Antoniette or Antonella. An African-American parent might use a variation like Latonya, while someone from France might consider a similar name like Antoinette.
Similar to Massimo, Matteo implies a child who is the greatest: the name literally means gift of God. For religious families, it’s a no-brainer to give a baby boy you view to be a beautiful gift this name.
Like the English variant Matthew, this name is sometimes shortened (once the child gets older) to Matt. Andrea Bocelli, the super-famous opera singer, gave his son this name. While some believe the name is actually of Spanish origin, it is technically Hebrew. The name has risen in popularity over the years, ranking 137th in 2019, according to BabyCenter data, up 13 spots from 2018.
A baby girl with this name might feel a great weight on her shoulders since it means “defender of mankind.” That’s a pretty heavy load to bear! As the feminine form of Alexander, people who are gifted this beautiful name at birth often go on to shorten it to something like Sasha, Lexi, or Alexi.
Internationally, it can also be interpreted as Sandra, Lexi, or even Alexa. The name’s origins come from Greece – alexein means to defend or help and andros means man. While some parents might choose the variation Alexandra, Alessandra is a much softer option, with the “Ss” rolling nicely off the tongue. Perhaps the most famous Alessandra is Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio.
Naturally, it comes as no surprise that this name means “angel” in Italian, so it makes total sense that any expectant parents from Italy would welcome giving their baby this name. A classic Italian name, it more specifically means “messenger from God.”
In Greek, it can also mean simply “messenger.” Not surprisingly, then, it’s a name often chosen by those who follow deep faith and spirituality. The name has been rising in popularity, up 9 spots in 2019 when compared to 2018 to number 333, according to BabyCenter user data.
For any parent worried about the future for his or her daughter, giving them a name like Caterina can provide some relief. It means “pure” in Italian and Portuguese, suggesting, at least for now, that this tiny baby girl is the purest form of human possible. Later, girls with this name often adopt nicknames like Kitty, Kat, Kate, or Katie.
The name is the Italian form of Katherine. Sadly, the name hasn’t been popular of late, dropping 3,750 spots from 2018 to become only the 6,227th most popular girls name, according to BabyCenter user data.
Hear this name, and you immediately think rough and tough, thanks to several celebrities who go by this moniker and are known for their physical strength, like boxers Rocco “Rocky” Marciano and Thomas Rocco “Rocky Graziano” Barbella.
So what does the name actually mean? Well, quite literally, rock. Nonetheless, this name, which exudes strong connotations, has become popular in Hollywood, with celebrities like Madonna and Donald Faison giving it to their children. Apparently, Roccos can cook too, if chef Rocco DiSpirito has anything to say about it.
Becoming more popular nowadays thanks to pop singer Alessia Cara, this Italian name, like Alessandra, has a lot of responsibilities attached to it, as it means protector of mankind or defending warrior.
The super-pretty name just screams beautiful girl, inside and out. As an Italian variation of Alexis, chances are we’ll see more and more kids being born with this name as the Canadian singer grows in popularity, and Millennial fans have children. In 2018, it was ranked the 580th most popular girls baby name, according to Nameberry.com. But thanks to Cara, in 2016, Alessia was one of the year’s fastest-rising girls’ names.