Italian names: From La Dolce Vita and beyond

Last week we perused the character names in classic French New Wave films and today, as promised, we do the same for the Italian cinema produced (mostly) in Rome’s Cinecittà, from the gritty neorealist works of Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini to the fantasies of Fellini, the surreal films of Antonioni, et alia.

Italian names, almost universally, end in vowels, so here’s an opportunity to explore a fresh source of feminissima girls’ names ending in ‘a,’ ranging from the simple Lia to the elaborate Elisabetta, and boys’ names with the popular ‘o’ ending—some of which will be more familiar than others.

This time—as prompted by one of you berries– I’m including the  names of the films the characters appear in.  The movie titles are in Italian or English (sometimes both), depending on how they are best known in the US.

  • Adelinade Sica, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • Adreina —Antonioni, The Cry/Il grido
  • AmaliaRossellini, Dov’é la libertà?
  • Annarella – de Sica, Bread, Love and Dreams
  • BrunaBertolucci, La commare secca; Pasolini, La Mamma Roma
  • Cabiria—Fellini, Nights of Cabiria
  • CleliaBertolucci, Before the Revolution; Antonioni, The Girlfriends/Le amiche; Rossellini, Vanina Vanini
  • Clementinade Sica, The Voyage/ Il Viaggio
  • DoroteaFellini, And the Ship Sails On
  • ElisabettaFellini, Juliet of the Spirits
  • ElviaAntonioni, The Cry/ Il grido
  • FilumenaDe Sica, Marriage, Italian Style
  • GiudittaZeffirelli, Sparrow
  • GiulianaAntonioni, Red Desert
  • LaurettaRossellini, Open City
  • LiaRossellini, Desire
  • LidiaAntonioni, La notte
  • Lietta – Visconti, Conversation Piece
  • Maddalena  —Fellini, La Dolce Vita; Pasolini, Accattone!;Visconti, Bellissima
  • MariellaBertolucci, La commare secca; Antonioni, The Girlfriends/Le amiche
  • Marilena – Fellini, The White Sheik
  • MimosaRossellini, Anima Nera
  • Paolinade Sica, The Children Are Watching Us
  • PatriziaFellini, The Swindle/Il bidone; Antonioni, l’avventura
  • RosettaAntonioni, The Girlfriends/ Le amiche
  • RosinaAntonioni, The Cry/Il grido
  • Rossella – Fellini, 8 ½
  • SerenellaBertolucci, La Commare Secca
  • Simonetta –Antonioni, The Lady Without Camelias
  • Tecia—Zeffirelli, Sparrow
  • ValeriaRossellini, General della Rovere
  • Vavina—Rossellini, Vanina Vanini
  • VittoriaAntonioni, L’Eclipse


  • AgostinoBertolucci, Before the Revolution; Rossellini, Open City
  • Alfio – Visconti, La Terra Trema
  • Amedeode Sica, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • AugustoFellini, The Swindle/Il bidone; Pasolini, La Mamma Roma
  • AurelioFellini, Amarcord
  • CiroPasolini –The Hawks and the Sparrows; Visconti, Rocco and His Brothers
  • CorradoAntonioni, The Red Desert, l’avventura
  • Ettore – Pasolini, La Mamma Roma
  • FabrizioBertolucci, Before the Revolution
  • Federicode Sica, The Gold of Naples
  • Filippode Sica, Two Women; Visconti, L’innocente
  • Gaetanode Sica, Miracle in Milan
  • Ivo —  Fellini, La voce della luna/ Visconti, Rocco and His Brothers
  • LinoPasolini, La Mamma Roma
  • Livio – Rossellini –Vanina Vanini
  • LorenzoAntonioni, The Girlfriends, Le amiche
  • MassimoRossellini, Paisan
  • Nandino —  de Sica, The Voyage/Il Viaggio
  • NinoZeffirelli, Sparrow
  • Olmo – Bertolucci, 1900
  • OtelloRossellini, Dov’é la libertà?
  •  OttavioBertolucci, 1900
  • PieroAntonioni, Eclipse; Pasolini, La Mamma Roma
  • Raffaelede Sica, Shoe-shine/Sciuscià
  • RaimondoAntonioni, l’avventura
  • Remo – Fellini, Variety Lights
  • RenatoPasolini, Accattone!; Rossellini, Escape By Night
  • RomoloRossellini, Dov’é la libertà?
  • SandroAntonioni, l’avventura
  • TeoFellini, Amarcord
  • TeodoroBertolucci, La commare secca
  • Torquato – Rossellini, Dov’é la libertà?
  • TullioVisconti, L’innocenti
  • UgoAntonioni, The Red Desert
  • Umbertode Sica, Umberto D.

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4 Responses to “Italian names: From La Dolce Vita and beyond”

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Hana Says:

September 7th, 2010 at 7:37 am

I love Italian names! These are really great. I love the variety; they aren’t super stereotypical Italian names, but they clearly are Italian. Favourite girl names would be Dorotea and Rosetta. Have to say I like the boy names better though. I really like Augusto, Corrado, Ivo, Massimo, Remo, Teo and Umberto. There’s just something about male Italian names that makes them so swoon worthy! 🙂

ToniVit Says:

September 7th, 2010 at 7:57 am

We have a VERY Italian last name and so do some friends. Our son is Roman; their sons are Hugo and Rocco. Our son, if a girl, would have been Ava or Christina. I also liked the Greek name Athina for a girl.

Christina Fonseca Says:

September 7th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

I love Clelia. I met one about 15 years ago and would love to run into a little one someday.

astorastilbe Says:

September 16th, 2010 at 2:22 am

I have always loved the flowery poetic feel of Italian names.

<3 Rosalia, Francesca, Veronica, Maddalena

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