Italian Last Names with Meanings

Italian Last Names with Meanings

The most common Italian surnames include descriptive names such as Rossi, which indicates a red-headed ancestor; habitational names such as Romano, for someone from Rome; occupational names such as Barbieri, for barber, and patronymics that begin with De or Di followed by a father's name.

Here are some of the most common last names in Italy and most popular Italian last names in the US.

Common Italian Last Names 1-10

1. Rossi -- From "rosso," meaning red, which might have originally denoted someone with red hair or a ruddy complexion.

2. Russo -- Means Russian, so may be considered a habitational surname.

3. Ferrari -- Derived from "ferro," meaning iron, possibly indicating a blacksmith or someone with a strong and resilient personality.

4. Esposito -- Derived from the Latin "expositus," meaning exposed or abandoned, which may indicate an orphan.

5. Bianchi -- Bianchi means white, and may have originated as a surname for a person with fair hair or complexion.

6. Romano -- Person from Rome

7. Colombo -- Means dove, symbolizing peace or gentleness.

8. Ricci -- Riccio means curly, so this may have originated as a surname for someone with curly hair.

9. Marino -- Means sailor, so probably originated as a name for someone who lived, worked, or traveled on the sea.

10. Greco -- Means Greek, so may have originated as a name for someone of Greek descent.

Top Italian Last Names 11-20

11. Bruno -- Means brown, so probably started as a name for someone with brown hair or complexion.

12. Gallo -- Gallo means rooster, and may have originated as a name for a poultry farmer.

13. Conti -- Means count, so may denote nobility or someone who worked with money.

14, Costa -- Habitational surname for someone who lived near the coast.

15. Giordano -- Relates to the River Jordan and by association the bible.

16. Mancini -- Mancino means left-handed, so this surname described the bearer.

17. Barbieri -- Occupational surname for a barber

18. Ferraro -- Ferro means iron, so this probably originated as an occupational surname for a blacksmith though it may also denote strength.

19. Santoro -- Means saint, so either an occupational surname for a person who worked with the church or who had a religious calling.

20. Caruso -- Caruso means boy, so this surname probably originated to denote a youthful appearance.

Popular Italian Surnames 21-30

21. Lombardi -- Habitational surname denoting origins in the Lombardy region.

22. Martinelli -- Martin names are all derived from Mars, the Roman god of war, so this name may have originated for a soldier or a fighting personality.

23. Moretti -- From Moorish, denoting someone with dark skin or hair.

24. Pagano -- Means pagan, denoting someone of non-Christian or ancient beliefs.

25. De Luca -- Habitational surname from the town of Luca or may be a patronymic for the son of someone named Luca.

26. Gatti -- Gatto means cat, so this surname means someone who resembles or loves cats.

27. Serra -- Occupational surname for a carpenter or woodsman, as serra means saw.

28. Barone -- Means baron and so denotes an aristocrat.

29. Longo -- A descriptive surname denoting someone tall or long-limbed.

30. Marchetti -- Derived from Marzo, the Italian word for the month of March, indicating a birthday in that month.

Popular Italian Last Names 31-40

31. Martini -- Another Mars-connected name indicating a warrior.

32. Vitale -- Means life, indicating someone with a lively personality.

33. Rizzo -- May mean burnt, which could indicate a dark complexion.

34. Amato -- Means beloved.

35. Carbone -- The meaning of coal indicated a coal worker or someone with black hair or a dark complexion.

36. Fiore -- Means flower, so could have originated as the occupational surname of a gardener.

37. De Santis -- Habitational surname denoting someone from the town of Santis.

38. Parisi -- Denotes someone from Paris.

39. Galli -- Another name meaning rooster, probably an occupational surname for a poultry farmer.

40. Silvestri -- The meaning of wild or untamed indicates a person with an adventurous nature.

Top Italian Last Names 41-50

41. Coppola -- The literal meaning is cap.

42. De Angelis -- From the angels.

43. Ferri -- Another occupational name for a blacksmith or someone with an iron will.

44. Gentile -- Gentile literally means gentle.

45. Sala -- The meaning of hall or large room indicates a person who worked in a house.

46. Testa -- Means head and probably indicates a person with a large or noteworthy head.

47. De Rosa -- May be an occupational surname for a gardener or a descriptive last name for a redhead or a pink complexion.

48. Guerriero -- Means warrior.

49. Pellegrini -- The meaning of pilgrim indicates an original bearer who went on a religious journey.

50. Battaglia -- Means battle and so many have been an occupational surname for a soldier or at least someone with a combative nature.

Common Italian Surnames 51-60

51. Leone -- Leonine name connoting a lion's bravery and strength.

52. Santini -- Saint-like meaning indicates a pious person.

53. Fabbri -- Occupational name for a factory worker.

54. Rinaldi -- Related to the name Reginald, meaning advice or counsel.

55. Mazza -- Means mace or club, so may relate to a forceful personality.

56. Lombardo -- Native of Lombardy.

57. Piazza -- Means town square.

58. Rossetti -- Literal meaning is small and red.

59. Villa -- Means country house, so may be a habitational name.

60. Marini -- Another sea-related name denoting a sailor or someone who lives near the sea.

Common Italian Surnames 61-70

61. Ferrara -- May relate to iron or to the city of Ferrara.

62. Riva -- Means shore or bank, so probably indicates someone who lived on a riverbank.

63. Grasso -- Grasso means fat or thick so probably originated as a descriptive surname for a large person.

64 . Ruggiero - Literally means to roar or shout, so may indicate a person with a loud voice.

65. Carli -- A patronymic from the name Carlo or Charles.

66. Santoro -- Another Italian surname meaning saint.

67. Mariani -- A name related to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

68. Costanzo -- Means constant so indicates a reliable person.

69. Orlando -- Orlando means "famous throughout the land".

70. Colombo -- Means dove, symbolizing peace or gentleness.

Common Italian Surnames 71-86

71. Pellegrino-- Another name derived from pilgrim.

72. Palumbo -- A habitational surname taken from the palm tree.

73. Caputo -- Capo means head, so this surname may denote someone with a noteworthy head or a leader.

74. Basile -- Means noble or royal.

75. Conte -- Means count, usually denoting a noble lineage.

76. Bernardi -- Means brave as a bear, denoting courage.

77. De Filippo -- Patronymic related to the Italian Philip.

78. D'Angelo -- Another surname taken from the angels.

79. Ferretti -- An ironworker or a strong person.

80. Bianco -- Meaning of white denotes a fair person.

81. Neri -- Means black, usually denoting someone dark haired or complexioned.

82. Valenti -- Means valiant and denotes a brave ancestor.

83. Farina -- Farina means flour, so this may be an occupational name for a baker.

84. Cattaneo -- Literally means bad or wicked, so may have originated as a descriptive surname.

85. Monti -- Habitational surname indicating someone who lived on a mountain.

86. Bellini -- From bello, means beautiful.


The Most Common American Surnames

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.