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Italian Names for Boys

Italian names for boys are becoming increasingly popular among American parents of all ethnicities, in part because many of them feature the oh-so-trendy final letter “O.” This has contributed to rise of such names as Matteo and Emiliano. However, some Italian boys names, like Graziano or Terenciano, might sound a little over-dramatic or be difficult to pronounce for Americans.

Along with Matteo and Emiliano, other Italian boys’ names in the US Top 1000 include Aldo, Dante, Enzo, Luca, Maximo, Rocco, Romeo, and Santino.

Baby boy names popular in Italy include Francesco — currently ranking Number 1 — Alessandro, Leonardo, and Giuseppe.

See if any of the charming names in our list of Italian names for boys strike your fancy. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.

For more, check out our list of Italian names for girls or see the full complement of boy names.
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MateoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Mateo is a Latinate form of Matthew, which derived from the Hebrew name Mattiyahu, consisting of the elements mattan, meaning “gift” and yah, which references the Hebrew God. Mateo can also be spelled Matteo, which is the Italian variation. Matheo is an archaic Spanish spelling, although it is used in France as Mathéo.

LeonardoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish variation of Leonard, German
  • Meaning:

    "brave lion"
  • Description:

    For centuries this name was associated primarily with the towering figure of Italian Renaissance painter-scientist-inventor Leonardo da Vinci, and was scarcely used outside the Latin culture. But then along came Leonardo DiCaprio, who was supposedly given the name because his pregnant mother felt her first kick while looking at a da Vinci painting in the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence, and who would make the name young and handsome and multi-cultural.

    Leonardo is a popular choice among other attractive Italian and Spanish names for boys, and its cousin Leo is popular as well.

LucaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Luke and Lucas
  • Meaning:

    "man from Lucania"
  • Description:

    If there was once a bias against this charming and venerable Italian name for possibly sounding too feminine, consider it gone. Since Luca entered the boys’ names U.S. popularity list in 2000, it has shot up in popularity. It's a popular choice throughout Europe as well.

GiovanniHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of John
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    Giovanni is a venerable Italian classic that suddenly sounds fresh and cool. Ubiquitous in Italy, it has countless notable namesakes, from writer Boccaccio to designer Versace (nn Gianni).

LorenzoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Laurence
  • Meaning:

    "from Laurentium"
  • Description:

    Latinizing Lawrence gives it a whole new lease on life. Like Leonardo, Lorenzo has been integrated into the American stockpot of names, partly via actor Lorenzo Lamas. Other associations are with Lorenzo de' Medici, the Florentine Renaissance merchant prince and art patron, Renaissance artists Ghiberti and Lotto, and the upstanding young man who married Shylock's daughter Jessica in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.
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AntonioHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish and Italian variation of Anthony
  • Meaning:

    "priceless one"
  • Description:

    Antonio is a Shakespearean favorite -- the Bard used it in no less than five of his plays, and has long been a ubiquitous classic in Spanish-speaking countries, where the nickname Tonio is also prevalent. Antonio is also among an elite group of perennially popular names in the US, where it has always been among the boys' Top 1000 since baby name record-keeping started in 1880.

EmilianoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish variation of Emil
  • Meaning:

    "work"
  • Description:

    Emiliano and Emilio are the appealing Latinate version of Emil. Emiliano Zapata Salazar was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, who helped establish modern Mexico.

MatteoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    This attractively energetic Italian version of the classic Matthew is primed to move further and further into mainstream American nomenclature.

EnzoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Henry, also diminutive of Vincenzo and Lorenzo
  • Description:

    Enzo originated as the Italian variation of Heinz, a German name derived from Heinrich, related to Henry. It has historically been used as a short form for Italian names such as Vincenzo and Lorenzo. The most famous bearer of the name is Enzo Ferrari, founder of the luxury sports car brand.

EmilioHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish and Italian variation of Emil
  • Meaning:

    "rival"
  • Description:

    Dashing and popular Italian and Spanish favorite, as is Emiliano.
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DanteHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin diminutive of Durant
  • Meaning:

    "enduring"
  • Description:

    Though closely associated with the great medieval Florentine poet Dante Alighieri -- who's so famous most people skip the last name -- it's not as much of a one-man name as you might think. Heck, it's not even a one-poet name, thanks to British pre-Rapahaelite Dante Gabriel Rosetti. Though especially well used in the Italian-American community, it would make a striking name for any little boy.

AngeloHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "angel, messenger"
  • Description:

    Old-school Italian name that could find new fans thanks to singer Adele, who chose it for her son after months of baby name mystery. Angelo is in the same name category as Rocco, the name of Madonna's son, and may get a fresh coat of cool.

MarioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Marius
  • Meaning:

    "Mars"
  • Description:

    Familiar via such notable Marios as Lanza, Cuomo, Andretti, Puzo, and Van Peebles, this Italian name has been fully integrated into the US.

RomeoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "pilgrim to Rome, Roman"
  • Description:

    It wasn't so long ago that Romeo was considered as outre for an American baby as Casanova or Cupid. But that really changed when David and Victoria Beckham chose it for their second son in 2002, a path followed by Jon Bon Jovi.

SergioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish variation of Sergius
  • Description:

    Widely heard in both Italian and Spanish households, it is most identified with spaghetti western director Sergio Leone.
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MarcoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish form of Mark
  • Meaning:

    "warlike"
  • Description:

    Simple and universal, Marco is a Latin classic that would make a much livelier namesake for an Uncle Mark. It was used for her son by actress Jill Hennessy and goes well with surnames of any nationality.

ArmaniHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian
  • Meaning:

    "freeman"
  • Description:

    Although this is catching on along with other brand names, we think it's better to use a personal family name than to appropriate Giorgio's.

GianniHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, diminutive of Giovanni, variation of John
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    Gianni, the Italian equivalent of Johnny, sounds more substantial and certainly more exotic. TV star Jill Hennessey's son is named Gianni Mastropietro.

LucianoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Lucian
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    A vibrant, operatic Latin choice.

AlonzoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian diminutive of Alphonso
  • Meaning:

    "noble, ready"
  • Description:

    Alonzo is dashing and debonair, with a large measure of Latin flair.
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RobertoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese variation of Robert
  • Description:

    Standard Latin classic.

SantinoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "little saint"
  • Description:

    A name introduced here by The Godfather: James Caan played the anything-but-saintly Santino "Sonny" Corleone, and comedian Adam Carolla used it for his son.

RoccoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian from German
  • Meaning:

    "rest"
  • Description:

    Madonna did much to polish up the image of this old-neighborhood Italian choice when she picked it for her son with British director Guy Ritchie, and several years later it was also used by Rose Byrne and Bobby Canavale for their son. It now feels much more mainstream than many celebrity baby names, sharing the quirky appeal of some other so-far-out-they're-in baby names as Bruno and Hugo.

ArmandoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Italian and Portuguese form of Herman, German
  • Meaning:

    "soldier"
  • Description:

    Armando takes the flat-footed Herman and makes it romantic. This is another of the Latin names we expect to be seeing more of.

GerardoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Gerard
  • Description:

    Widely used in the Latino community, the name gained renown in the nineties for its association with rapper Gerardo Mejía of 'Rico Suave' fame.
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LuccaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Luca
  • Description:

    Lucca first entered the US Top 1000 in 2012 and has been trending upwards.

ArturoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Italian and Portuguese form of Arthur, Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    Italian, Portuguese and Spanish variation of Arthur that makes the original feel more romantic and dashing.

AlessandroHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Alexander
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    For anyone seeking a more exotic and unusual version of Alexander, this is a real winner.

LeandroHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian variation of Leander
  • Description:

    Leandro is the Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish variant of the English name Leander. A blend of two Latin words (Leo "lion" and Andro "man"), Leandro is a name that suggests its bearer has strength and power. Despite this very masculine meaning, Leandro also has a long romantic history, beginning with the myth of Hero and Leander (Ero et Leandro in Latin) to being an important figure in the history of the beautiful Spanish city of Seville.

AlfredoHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic "Wise counsellor"
  • Meaning:

    "Wise counsellor"
  • Description:

    Alfredo, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese variation of Alfred, is most familiar as the romantic lead in Verdi's evergreen opera La Traviata. On a less romantic note, Alfredo is also the name of a pasta sauce.
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OrlandoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Roland
  • Meaning:

    "famous throughout the land"
  • Description:

    Orlando, the ornate Italianate twist on the dated Roland, with a literary heritage stretching back to Shakespeare and before, has appealing book-ended o's, and is open to combination with almost any last name, a la British actor, Orlando Bloom.

MaximoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Maximus
  • Description:

    With the ubiquitous Max heard at every playground across the country, international versions have been gaining traction in an attempt to provide a fresh avenue to the highly sought nickname. This Spanish iteration has been in the US Top 1000 for most of the 21st century. This is one of many Spanish baby names with international power.

AldoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian from German
  • Meaning:

    "old and wise"
  • Description:

    A spirited German name very popular in Italy and occasionally used here, Aldo is one of the unique baby names with international flair. And names that mean wise have an enduring appeal.

EliseoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish variation of Elisha
  • Meaning:

    "God is my salvation"
  • Description:

    This Latinate name would have no problem fitting into an American classroom. It has made frequent appearances in the US Top 1000 over the last several decades. Borne by several Spanish saints, it boasts both a rhythmic sound and popular o-ending.

RockyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Rocco, Italian
  • Meaning:

    "rest"
  • Description:

    How many decades will it take for Rocky to triumph over its association with Sylvester Stallone's battered but not beaten boxer? The moment may have come, now that Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. have named their son Rocky. It helps, too, that Madonna's son Rocco helped make the name child-appropriate again.
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FrancoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Francis
  • Meaning:

    "Frenchman or free man"
  • Description:

    A classic Italian name still heard in the Italian-American community. Once tainted by the association with the Spanish dictator, it's now more likely to call up actor James Franco.

SalvatoreHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Salvator
  • Meaning:

    "savior"
  • Description:

    For every Tio Salvador in a Latino family, there's a Zio Salvatore in an Italian one. Having always ranked in the US Top 1000, it is in danger of falling off the charts very soon.

DarioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Darius
  • Meaning:

    "kingly or possess well"
  • Description:

    More creative and classier than Mario. It has regularly ranked near the bottom of the US Top 1000 over the last four decades. It does much better across the pond, and is especially popular in Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.

AlfonsoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish and Italian
  • Meaning:

    "noble, ready"
  • Description:

    Alfonso was a royal name in Spain as far back as the 7th century, but it is rarely heard outside the Hispanic community in the US.