Italian Place Names: Straight From The Map

Italian Place Names: Straight From The Map

Mix two cool current trends — Italian names and place names for babies — and you get some of the most stylish and cultured names around.

Italian place names for babies are inspired by cities (Rome), regions (Emilia), islands (Capri) and even rivers (Reno). They include established classics, such as Florence, and recent entries to the baby name charts, like Ravenna.

Parents who use these names may want to honor Italian family heritage, mark a special connection with a place, or just express their love of the country. And it’s easy to see why: with its associations of high culture, rich history, and sunkissed Mediterranean lifestyle, Italy is close to many people’s hearts.

The name Italy itself has more than doubled in popularity in the last decade. It was given to 112 baby girls in the US in 2022, and has inspired spinoffs like Itali and Italeigh. The local name, Italia, was given to 75 girls. It helps that they sound similar to trending girl names like Adalee and Natalia.

Here are more names from the map of Italy that parents are using now. Whatever your Italian connections, there is something here to suit every style.

Popular Italian Place Names


Most parents who choose this name — which ranks in the US Top 50 — probably aren’t thinking of Italian geography. But for those in the know, the connection to the Emilia-Romagna region is a fun bonus. The region, named after the Via Aemilia Roman road, is famed for its food and wine, and is home to the world’s oldest university in Bologna.


Truly a name of multiple identities: Milan is both a city (and fashion capital) in northern Italy, and a Slavic name meaning “dear”. It’s also unisex, and has bounced several times between more male and more female. Right now it’s in the Top 1000 for both: Number 324 for boys, and 660 for girls.


Another unisex name — though more male, ranking at Number 503 in the US — belonging to an arts-filled city in Tuscany. It has risen on the heels of Luca and Luka: they sound the same, but have different origins.


Sienna Miller’s spelling is more popular, but the authentic Italian city name is a familiar alternative. It ranks at Number 720 for girls in the States.


Florence Nightingale was named after the city in Italy where she was born. She sparked a wave of girls named Florence in the late 19th century, and now it’s vintage. It’s been back in fashion for years in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Quebec, but the rest of North America is still catching up. It the US, Florence broke into the Top 1000 in 2017, is now Number 612… and destined to rise higher, we think.


Italy’s capital is a bold, punchy R name — so very on trend right now. In the last decade, it has more than tripled in use for boys, and now sits at Number 656. (There were also 38 girls named Rome in 2022.) The city’s local name, Roma, is also on a low-key rise: 89 girls were given the name in 2022.


This island name was under the radar until Vanessa and Kobe Bryant gave it to their youngest daughter in 2019. The next year, Kobe’s untimely death caused all the family members’ names to rise in popularity, and Capri now sits at Number 653. With its playful sound and picturesque image, it could be one that sticks around.

Rare Place Names from Italy


A dramatic name from a former capital of the Roman Empire. 34 baby girls were named Ravenna in 2022, a dozen more than the year before.


The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily echoes vintage gems Cicely and Cecily. It got a boost in the early 2000s from actress and chef Sicily Sewell-Johnson, and was given to 45 girls in 2022. The Italian version, Sicilia, has been in steady but rare use for the last 20 years. 14 baby girls got the name in 2022.


The romantic canal city has a lot of potential as a name — and is a fun alternative to Denis. America’s Next Top Model winner Lisa D’Amato used it for her son in 2016, but it still leans more female: 35 baby girls and 10 boys were named Venice in 2022.


It’s not just the Nevada city; Reno is a major river in Italy, from an ancient root meaning “to run”. (And it’s also the Italian name for the river Rhine.) Boy names ending in O have never been cooler, and this one is straightforward but rare: it was given to 29 boys in 2022.


This northeastern Italian city is both historic and literary. Shakespeare set three plays — Romeo and Juliet, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew — in fair Verona. It’s been used in low but steady numbers over the years, but is currently in a dip at just 19 girls in 2022. Presumably parents were wary of the “Rona” sound, but we hope it will recover.


Genoa hasn’t been on the baby name charts for a few years, but the Italian name for this city — the country’s biggest port — was given to 11 baby girls in 2022. Combining the sounds of popular Genevieve and Nova, this is a very on-trend geographic name.


This name is both sunny and laid-back (as in Bronte beach, Sydney), and literary (the Bronte sisters), but it started out as a town near Mount Etna in Sicily. Its meaning, “thunder” probably refers to the volcano on the doorstep. It is regularly  used in Australia and England — it made the Aussie Top 100 in the 1990s — but has never been popular in America. Only 7 baby girls were named Bronte in 2022.


Bari is a southern Italian port, and the capital of the Puglia region. It could also be a modern way to honor a Barry, for either gender. Recently it has been given mainly to girls, but in 2022 it only made the male baby name charts — and only just, with five boys named Bari.


The town of Loreto is a Christian pilgrimage site, believed to contain a house where Mary lived, and is occasionally bestowed as a given name for that reason, for both sexes. It was given to less than 5 baby boys or girls in 2022. It could be a spiritual and stylish alternative to the popular Lorenzo.


Let’s finish with a unique wildcard. This name comes from the Lago di Vico, a large lake in central Italy. Legend claims that it was created by Hercules himself. It has never made the US charts, but is just as snappy and cool as Enzo and Nico.

This article was originally written by Abby Sandel in 2016, and has been revised and updated.

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare Green

Clare Green has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at