100 Most Common Italian Last Names With Meanings

most common Italian last names

This article will focus on Italy’s 100 most common Italian last names, delving into surnames’ powerful role in unlocking ancestral pasts.

These labels mark one’s lineage and offer a window into family histories, geographical migration patterns, and the broader sweep of cultural and historical events.

Join us as we unravel the rich tapestry of the most common Italian surnames, highlighting their deep-rooted significance in Italian culture and history.

Most Common Italian Last Names: Exploring Italian Heritage

Exploring Italian heritage through last names.

To craft a thorough and engaging exploration, we delved into an array of sources for the last names featured herein, drawing insights into their meanings and origins. Our research is grounded in:

  • Wikipedia‘s extensive entries on Italian surnames.
  • Italian last names statistical data from Statista.com
  • Detailed data and archives at ItalianNames.

Visit the resources listed above for detailed insights into the number of people and families in Italy that share the surnames listed below.

Our commitment to accuracy is unwavering, and we have meticulously checked the following list. Nevertheless, the possibility of oversights or statistical data changes exists. We warmly invite your feedback and corrections if you encounter any discrepancies.

1. Rossi

Rossi is a surname that originates from the Italian word for the color red, “rosso.” It is believed to be related to individuals with red hair or a reddish complexion. The Rossi surname remains common in Italy and other parts of the world.

2. Russo

Russo, a particularly prevalent surname in Southern Italy and Sicily, possibly a variant of Rossi, signifies a reddish complexion or someone of Russian origin.

3. Ferrari

Ferrari is a surname that originated in Italy. It is the plural form of Ferraro, which means blacksmith in Italian. The name is occupational and comes from the word ferro, which means iron in Italian.

4. Esposito

Esposito is an Italian last name that historically referred to foundlings, children who were abandoned at birth or at a young age by their biological parents.

The name literally means “exposed” and is part of a group of Italian surnames assigned to such children.

5. Bianchi

Bianchi is the plural form of the Italian word bianco, which means “white.” The word bianco comes from the Germanic name “blank,” which means “shining” or “bright.”

6. Colombo

Originating from the Late Latin name “Columba,” the name “Colombo” not only evokes the serene beauty and grace of the dove but also symbolizes hope and renewal across Italian culture.

7. Romano

The surname Romano has its roots in the Latin name Romanus, which was used to identify individuals from Rome or Roman citizens from the city of Rome.

Several Christian martyrs and saints also bore the name. Romano is a common surname in Italy and other parts of the world today.

8. Bruno

The surname Bruno is of Italian origin, and it is derived from the word “bruno,” which means brown. Often, it served as an Italian nickname for those with brown-toned hair, skin, or even attire, and it might also indicate residence near a location known as Bruno.

9. Ricci

The surname “Ricci” dances with the lively spirit of individuality, painting a vivid picture of ancestors with distinctively curly hair.

As the plural form of “riccio,” meaning “curly,” this surname offers a glimpse into the past, celebrating the natural beauty and unique characteristics that defined a person or family. 

10. Marino

The name Marino has both a personal and a habitational origin. It is derived from the Latin name Marinus, which is thought to have originated from the male name Marius or the female name Maria.

Additionally, Marino is a habitational name that is associated with various places around the world.

11. Costa

Costa is a Latin surname meaning “rib,” “side,” “flank,” or “coast.” It typically refers to someone who lived on a slope, river bank, or coast. 

12. Gallo

The surname Gallo is derived from the Latin word “gallus,” meaning “rooster.” It was originally given to individuals who displayed qualities associated with a rooster, such as a powerful voice or sexual prowess.

13. Conti

Conti is a name that originated from the Italian title of rank known as “conte,” which means “count.” The title comes from the Latin word “comes,” which translates to “companion.”

It is believed that Conti started as a medieval personal name for a “traveling companion” or someone in the service of a count.

14. Greco

Greco is an Italian last name that originated from the Latin word “Graecus,” meaning Greek. It is an ethnic name for a person of Greek descent. In some cases, it may have been used as a nickname for a cunning person, as Greeks were traditionally known for their cleverness.

15. Giordano

Steeped in a rich historical resonance, the surname “Giordano” flows from the personal name bearing the same vibrance and depth as the river Jordan itself.

It carries with it the essence of flowing waters, symbolizing a journey through time and history.

16. Rizzo

Rizzo is an Italian surname derived from “Riccio,” meaning “curly,” traditionally given as a nickname to those with curly hair, reflecting the practice of naming based on physical characteristics in Italian culture.

17. Mancini

Mancini, deriving from “Mancino,” denotes left-handedness, celebrating this unique trait in a singularly Italian tradition. This surname beautifully captures the essence of how specific physical or behavioral traits were observed and celebrated.

18. Villa

The name “Villa” originated from the Latin word “villa,” which initially meant a country house estate. Later, it referred to a cluster of houses forming a settlement, indicating that the person lived in a village rather than a remote farmhouse or a town.

19. Lombardi

Lombardi is derived from Lombardo and is generally associated with individuals who come from Lombardy, a region in northern Italy.

However, it can also refer to people from other parts of northern Italy as opposed to the southern regions historically under Byzantine rule.

20. De Luca

The De Luca surname has Italian roots, being a patronymic name that comes from the personal name Luca, the Italian equivalent of Lucas.

21. Fontana

Fontana likely originated from someone who lived near a spring. It could also serve as a name for individuals from locations named with the element “fontana.”

22. Barbieri

Barbieri is a surname that may have originated from an occupational term, likely derived from the Late Latin term “barbarius,” which means “beard.” The term “barbiere” refers to a barber.

23. Moretti

Moretti is Moretto’s plural form, a medieval personal name and nickname for Moro. Birra Moretti, a celebrated Italian beer, is a renowned brewing company in Italy, established in 1859 by Luigi Moretti in Udine.

24. Mariani

The Mariani surname can stem from various origins, including being a patronymic or plural variation of the name Mariano, or it might arise from the tradition of surnames that are pluralized forms derived from geographic locations.

25. Galli

Galli is a surname of Italian origin, which means “roosters” in the plural form of the word “Gallo”. The name has a strong association with the symbol of the rooster, which is often used in Italian culture as a symbol of courage and vigilance. 

Suggested Read: 21 Famous Italian Symbols & Meanings: Icons of Italy

26. Ferrara

The Italian surname Ferrara is a common name in southern Italy. The name comes from the Latin word ferraria, which means “iron.”

Alternatively, Ferrara could be a habitational name for someone originating from the city of Ferrara, located in the Emilia-Romagna region near Bologna.

27. Caruso

Caruso, an Italian surname, originally denoted men with short hair in the Middle Ages or young apprentices, enriched by the musical legacy of the renowned tenor Enrico Caruso.

28. Leone

Leone, an Italian surname, originates from a nickname-turned-personal name, awarded to individuals famed for their battlefield bravery and courage.

This surname connects to “leone,” the Italian term for lion, integrating Italian animal names into its roots. Its origin dates back to the Latin “leo,” embodying the same meaning.

29. Santoro

The surname Santoro has its roots in medieval times and was originally given to individuals born on All Saints’ Day. The name is derived from the Late Latin “sanctorum (omnium dies festus),” meaning “(feast day of all) the saints.” It is a common southern surname.

30. Longo

The surname Longo comes from a nickname which means ‘tall’. This is derived from the term ‘longo’. It represents a regional variation of “lungo,” derived from the Latin “longus,” which means “long.”

31. Rinaldi

Rinaldi, echoing the valor and chivalry of medieval tales, stems from the personal name Rinaldo, a variant of Renaldo, evoking images of legendary heroes and noble deeds.

32. Sala

The Italian surname Sala is believed to have originated from the Italian word “sala,” which means “hall.” It is likely that the name was used as a topographic name, indicating that the individual lived near a hall or manor house. 

33. Martini

Martini, with its roots in the personal name Martino, carries the elegance and timelessness of its namesake, suggesting a lineage of individuals named in the plural form of this dignified and venerable name.

34. Dalla

The surname Dalla, with its pre-Christian Roman roots, signifies a connection to the most distinguished residence in a locale.

It also carries the legacy of the late great Italian singer Lucio Dalla, adding a note of cultural and artistic significance to its historical depth.

35. D’Angelo

D’Angelo is a patronymic name from Angelo, translating to “angel” in Italian. It has a significant presence in Naples and southern Italy.

36. Bianco

The surname Bianco is of Italian origin and is derived from the Italian word for the color “bianco,” which means “white.”

The name likely originated as a nickname for an individual with white or fair hair, a pale complexion, or someone who habitually wore white, particularly in jousting or other competitions. 

37. Martinelli

Martinelli is an Italian surname that is either derived from a pet form of the personal name Martino or a plural form of the same name. It is a patronymic name that means “son of Martino” and has its origins in the Italian form of the name Martin.

38. Gatti

The surname Gatti comes from “gatto,” the Italian word for “cat,” and represents the word’s plural form. The name originated in Italy and is mostly found in the country’s northern parts.

Suggested Read: 500 Italian Cat Names: Pawsome Ideas & Their Meanings

39. Serra

Serra is an Italian surname with two possible origins. It could have originated from the Italian word “serra,” which means “ridge or chain of hills; mountain range.” 

40. Vitale

The Italian surname Vitale is derived from the Latin personal name Vitalis, which means ‘life’. This name was popularized by numerous early saints, including two saints, San Vitale, one from Bologna and the other from Ravenna.

The surname is also found among Jewish families from Italy. It is particularly common in the Emilia-Romagna region.

41. Coppola

The surname Coppola originates from southern Italy and refers to a type of hat that is characteristic of the region. It is possible that the name was given to someone who habitually wore this type of hat, or it could be an occupational name indicating a person who was involved in making berets.

42. Gentile

The Italian surname Gentile originates from the personal name Gentile, which has its roots in late Latin Gentilis, derived from the Latin gens, meaning ‘tribe,’ ‘family,’ or ‘stock.’ 

Suggested Read: 10 Famous Latin Quotes and Meanings: Ancient Wisdom Unveiled.

43. Cattaneo

The Italian surname “Cattaneo” has two possible origins. In the region of Liguria, Cattaneo is a variant of the surname Capitano (captain). It might also denote someone hailing from the Sicilian city of Catania as a place of origin.

44. Ferri

The surname Ferri, originating from the Italian word “Ferro” meaning “iron,” suggests a historical connection to the metal and its industries. As a plural form of Ferro, it reflects a lineage or association with ironwork, common across Italy.

45. Messina

Messina is an Italian surname that originates from the city of Messina in southern Italy. It is a habitational name, which means it refers to the city of Messina in Sicily. The surname is most common in Sicily, particularly in the regions of Palermo and Catania.

46. Monti

It’s thought that the Italian surname Monti comes from locations named Monte or refers to areas characterized by hills or mountains. Monti is a variation of Monte, reflecting the plural form.

47. Marchetti

Marchetti is an Italian surname that can be either a patronymic or a plural form of Marchetto. Marchetto is a pet form of the personal name Marco, which is the Italian form of Mark.

48. Marini

Marini, deriving from the name Marino or the Latin Marinus, suggests ties to maritime heritage or Italian coastal towns, evoking the spirit of those with a seafaring legacy.

49. Fabbri

Fabbri is a surname of Italian origin that derives from the personal name Fabbro. It is a patronymic or plural form of the name, which means “ironworker” or “smith.”

50. Ferraro

The surname Ferraro in Italy comes from the historical Italian word for a blacksmith or metalworker, “ferraro” (fabbro), rooted in the Latin term “ferrum” for iron.

Diving Deeper: Exploring Names 51 to 100 in Italy’s Rich Tapestry of Surnames

map of Italy

Having explored the origins and stories behind Italy’s top 50 last names, we now continue our journey into the heritage and meanings of the next 50, each with its own unique story that further enriches the vibrant mosaic of Italian identity. 

51. Palma

Named after the palm tree, symbolizing peace or victory. The surname is also common in Spanish-speaking countries, reflecting the Mediterranean and Iberian Peninsula’s historical connection to palm trees.

52. Lombardo

Originates from the region of Lombardy, denoting someone from that region or with Lombard heritage, showcasing the movement and settlement patterns within Italy.

53. Bernardi

Patronymic form of Bernardo, meaning “strong, brave bear.” This name’s popularity is partly due to saints named Bernard, contributing to its widespread use and recognition​.

54. Pellegrini

Refers to a pilgrim or traveler, often used for someone who went on a pilgrimage.

55. Benedetti

The name “Benedetti,” translating to “blessed,” has been embraced by individuals or families considered fortunate or divinely favored.

56. Morelli

Stemming from “morello,” which signifies dark features, this surname captures the diversity in appearances among Italians, celebrating physical characteristics that stood out in historical communities.

57. Grassi

Meaning “fat,” this surname might have humorously or affectionately referred to someone’s physical prosperity or well-being, highlighting the importance of abundance in past societies.

58. Testa

With its translation to “head,” this surname could have referred to someone with notable intellect or leadership qualities, or simply a large head.

59. Marchi

Originating from “Marco,” this surname signifies lineage or ancestral connections to the name Marco.

60. Parisi

Denoting someone with connections to Paris, France, this surname reflects the historical mobility and cultural interactions between Italy and other European regions.

61. Santis

A variant of “De Sanctis,” meaning “of the saints,” indicating a holy or devout lineage.

62. Rocca

Refers to a fortress or stronghold, possibly denoting someone who lived near one. Often found in regions with historical fortifications, indicating a lineage tied to guardians or keepers of these strongholds.

63. Valentini

Patronymic of Valentino, meaning “strong, healthy.”

64. Riva

Means “bank” or “shore,” likely describing someone who lived near water. Frequent near Italian lakes and rivers, symbolizing a deep connection to water-influenced locales.

65. Agostino

It is derived from Augustine, which indicates a familial connection to someone named Augustine, meaning “venerable” or “esteemed.”

66. Angelis

Derived from “Angelo,” suggesting lineage to someone named Angelo or “angelic” qualities.

67. Palumbo

Refers to a “pigeon” or “dove,” symbolizing peace or a messenger. This surname is especially prevalent in southern Italy.

68. Giorgi

Italian form of George, meaning “farmer” or “earth-worker.” A common name reflecting Italy’s agrarian roots and the importance of farming in its history.

69. Farina

The word “farina” means “flour.” As a last name, it’s often associated with families in regions known for wheat cultivation and bread production.

70. Silvestri

Comes from “Silvestro,” relating to forests or someone who lived near woods.

71. Sanna

Could be a variant of the Sardinian word for “muzzle,” indicating a nickname.

72. Cattaneo

Derived from “captain,” possibly denoting leadership or authority. It indicates historical military or leadership roles within medieval Italian city-states.

73. Poli

Short form of “Politi,” meaning “polite” or “urban,” possibly referring to city dwellers.

74. Mazza

Translates to “club” or “mace,” possibly a nickname for a strong person or warrior.

75. Paola

Feminine form of Paolo, meaning “small” or “humble.” Paola is a popular girl name in Italy.

76. Pellegrino

Another form of “pilgrim,” indicating a traveler or religious pilgrim, it suggests ancestral participation in religious pilgrimages, a common medieval practice.

77. Piazza

Means “square” or “marketplace,” likely referring to someone who lived near or worked in a town square.

78. Leo

Derives from “lion,” symbolizing familial ties to strength and leadership, common in areas with historical significance.

79. Orlando

Italian form of Roland, meaning “famous land” or “renowned in the land.”

80. Carbone

Means “coal,” possibly referring to coal miners or those associated with the coal industry.

61. Moro

Means “Moor,” often referring to someone with dark skin or hair.

82. Neri

Translates to “black,” likely a nickname for someone with dark features.

83. Giuliani

Related to Julian, possibly denoting lineage from someone named Giuliano.

84. Guerra

Means “war,” possibly a nickname for a warrior or soldier. It can also indicate ancestors who were involved in historical conflicts or served as soldiers.

85. D’Amico

Means “of the friend,” suggesting a friendly person or someone’s companion.

86. Pace

Translates to “peace,” perhaps denoting a peaceful person or peacemaker.

87. Ferro

Means “iron,” indicating a connection to ironwork or strength.

88. Barone

Signifies “baron,” a title of nobility. This common Italian last name reflects noble or landowning status in medieval Italy, often tied to specific regions.

89. Monaco

Means “monk,” likely referring to someone with a monastic connection or lifestyle.

90. Castelli

This translates to “castles,” possibly indicating someone who lived near or worked at a castle.

91. Torre

Likely associated with medieval tower houses, the term “torre” means “tower.” It likely indicates a family of significant status or guardianship or someone who lived near a tower.

92. Rossetti

Refers to “little red one,” often a nickname for someone with red hair or a ruddy complexion.

93. Fumagalli

Literally “smoke roosters,” possibly a nickname with a humorous or local origin.

94. Milani

From Milan, indicating someone from Milan or with Milanese ancestry.

95. Costantini

The Costantini surname, drawing from Constantine, symbolizes a heritage rich in loyalty and steadfastness—key Italian symbols deeply revered throughout Italy’s history.

96. Ferretti

A diminutive form of Ferro, it suggests a connection to iron or perhaps “little iron” as a term of endearment.

97. Battaglia

Means “battle,” possibly a nickname for a soldier or warrior.

98. Perrone

It could be a variant of “Piero,” which means “rock” or denoting someone solid and reliable.

99. Fusco

Common in southern Italy, it means “dark” (from the Latin “fuscus”), likely referring to someone with dark hair or skin.

100. Sartori

This last name originates from the word “sarto, ” meaning “tailor,” indicating a lineage or profession related to tailoring.

Before You Go…

Dive into the melody and heritage of Italian culture with our Top 400 Italian First Names with Meanings guide—a perfect companion for your journey through Italy’s most beautiful names

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