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Rare Italian Baby Names for Boys

These rare Italian baby boy names are heard more often in Rome, Italy than Rome, New York, but are eminently usable here as Italian baby names continue to grow in favor. Some of the top boy names in Italy are ripe for American discovery — Nicolo and Giulio, Alessio and Vincenzo.

Along with Nicolo and Alessio, other Italian names that are rare in the US but common in Italy include Pietro, Elia, Emanuele, Jacopo, Giorgio, Domenico, and Raffaele. Classic Italian choices that would easily translate on an American child include Federico, Adriano, Francesco, and Marcello.

If you love Italian names but want to go beyond Luca and Leonardo, explore this list of our favorite rare Italian boy names.
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ElioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish from Greek sun god, Helios
  • Description:

    Elio is a sunny and spirited Italian and Spanish name that makes a great crossover prospect, which could catch on as Enzo has. Elio is also currently popular in France, ranking in the Top 250.

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.

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.

LucianoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Lucian
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    A vibrant, operatic Latin choice.

ValentinoHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • Description:

    A dashing, dramatic and romantic Italian surname, associated with early movie heartthrob Rudolph, and later with Italian fashion designer Valentino (Garavani). Also the name of an early Roman saint, whose feast day marks the beginning of spring. Ricky Martin chose it for one of his twin boys.
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AurelioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Aurelius
  • Meaning:

    "the golden one"
  • Description:

    Aurelio is an exotic and energetic Italian name rarely heard here, with an attractive aura. As the female version Aurelia gains greater notice, we expect to hear more from Aurelio too.

AlessioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Alexis
  • Meaning:

    "defender"
  • Description:

    Alessio, simpler than the related Alessandro, would be a welcome settler here.

MassimoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Maximus
  • Meaning:

    "the greatest"
  • Description:

    Massimo is a Latin charmer, much more appealing than the old-fashioned Mario, and is a charismatic member of the Maximus/Magnus family.

RenzoHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Lorenzo
  • Description:

    Rakish nickname able to stand on its own.

MarcelloHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "young warrior"
  • Description:

    Based on the ancient name Marcellus, drawn from Mars the god of war, Marcello -- it's pronounced mar-chell-o -- is one of the most lush and attractive Latin names.
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PaoloHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, variation of Paul
  • Meaning:

    "small"
  • Description:

    Paolo is an irresistibly lush Italian name for boys, worlds more romantic than its spare English equivalent.

VincenzoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Vincent
  • Description:

    This is a classic Italian name for boys, but despite the success of Luca and Matteo, has yet to catch on in the US.

AmadeoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "lover of God"
  • Description:

    Amadeo and Amedeo are both valid Italian forms of the Roman Amadeus, most famous as the middle name of the composer Mozart as well as the title of a movie about him. Mozart's name was actually the Greek Theophilus, but he transformed it to the Latin version. Amadeo is also used in Spain, where it was the name of a 19th century king who was born in Italy.

AdrianoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "man from Adria"
  • Description:

    Adriano is a dashing Italian name which gets around the possible gender confusion of Adrian.

RemoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Remus, meaning unknown
  • Description:

    Virtually unknown in the U.S., yet with its jaunty o ending and similarity to the stylish (yet unrelated) Remy, Remo may find some new followers.
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CosimoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Cosmo
  • Meaning:

    "universe"
  • Description:

    Dramatic, worldly, and exotic, Cosimo was chosen by singer Beck and his wife, Marissa Ribisi, for their son. Now that Cosima has emerged as a starbaby favorite, twin brother Cosimo could join her.

CarloHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Charles
  • Description:

    Energetic Italian classic that would blend with a surname of any ethnicity.

NicoloHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian form of Nicholas
  • Meaning:

    "people of victory"
  • Description:

    Nicolo is a more lively and exotic variation of Nicholas and one of the most attractive Italian names for boys. A name with a long, distinguished Italian history of its own, it also boasts the charming nickname Nico.

GalileoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "from Galilee"
  • Description:

    The name of the great Renaissance astronomer and mathematician would make a distinctive hero-middle-name for the son of parents involved in those fields.

CiroHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Cyrus
  • Description:

    This name of an old Hollywood nightclub still retains a spark of glamour.
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GiorgioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of George
  • Meaning:

    "farmer"
  • Description:

    Giorgio as is rich in meaning and history as George, but with more Italian flair. It's a consistent Top 50 hit in Italy, and with Italian boy names like Gianni and Lorenzo rising through the charts, could be another one to add to the mix.

    The best-known modern bearer is fashion designer Giorgio Armani.

PieroHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, variation of Peter
  • Meaning:

    "rock"
  • Description:

    Piero is elegant, melodic, appealing. Just picture the muted frescoes of Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca.

OctavioHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Octavius
  • Meaning:

    "eighth"
  • Description:

    The most popular of the number names used by Hispanic parents, open to all. Octavia and Octavio are two Spanish baby names that are moving out into the wider world.

BrioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "vivacity, zest"
  • Description:

    Musical term with a lot of energy.
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SilvioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese form of Silvius
  • Meaning:

    "wood, forest"
  • Description:

    Shiny and sylvan choice.

FrancescoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Francis
  • Description:

    Thanks to the inspiration of Pope Francis, Francesco has galloped to the front of the line to become the Number One boys' name in Italy. As Francesca has become a familiar and popular form of the name for girls in the wider world, so does the handsome Francesco have that potential for boys.

VigoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian surname
  • Meaning:

    "settlement"
  • Description:

    Vigo is both an Italian and Spanish surname and a Scandinavian first name. As a place name, it's found in Spain, Italy, England – and Indiana.

FiorelloHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "little flower"
  • Description:

    Fiorello is one of the few floral names that works well for a boy. The colorful three-term World War II New York Mayor La Guardia made this one famous -- in fact he was nicknamed "the Little Flower". His life was the basis for the 1959 musical called, appropriately, "Fiorello!"

VittorioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Victor
  • Meaning:

    "conqueror"
  • Description:

    Was there ever a name that rolled more appealingly off the tongue? Vittorio calls to mind the glory days of Italian cinema, featuring names like Vittorio de Sica and Vittorio Gassman.
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FedericoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish variation of Frederick
  • Description:

    If Frederick feels too heavy, the Spanish and Italian has more energy. It's a long-term Top 20 name in Italy, and has neat nicknames like Fredo in Italian and Fede in Spanish. Famous bearers include the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca and the Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini. Further back in history, it was the name of a fifth-century Visigoth leader, the brother of Theodoric II.

MarinoHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "of the sea"
  • Description:

    Marino is an Italian first and surname with distinct crossover possibilities, having pleasant seaside undertones, and is far more unusual in the U.S. than sister Marina.

PrimoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "first"
  • Description:

    Primo is number one among the Latin birth-order names--Octavius et al--and the one most likely to be used in these days of smaller families. It has that jaunty 'o' ending and Italian flavor that many modern parents like so much. And what little boy wouldn't appreciate being prime?

UgoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Hugh
  • Meaning:

    "mind, intellect"
  • Description:

    Ugo is very common in Italy, but here it might call to mind that little Yugoslavian car.

EttoreHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Hector
  • Meaning:

    "holds fast"
  • Description:

    Has a lot more charm than the ancient Hector.
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EliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Elijah, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "Jehovah is God"
  • Description:

    A multicultural appellation, found in Hebrew, Italian, and Zuni, this likable name made famous by director Elia Kazan's only problem is the feminine a ending. But then again, that never hurt Joshua.

SandroHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Alessandro, Italian
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    Lengthy, romantic Alessandro gives us the friendly and casual nickname Sandro, which works just as well as an independent name. It’s a popular international name, having ranked in Italy, France, Portugal, and Switzerland in recent years.

DomenicoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Italian variation of Dominic, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "belonging to the Lord"
  • Description:

    Romantic and artistic Domenico is ripe for the picking as a relatively rare name that fits in with current favorites such as Leonardo and Emiliano.

BrandoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Brand
  • Meaning:

    "firebrand, sword"
  • Description:

    Screen legend Marlon's surname has loads more swagger than his first. But little Brando will forever have to endure jokes connected with the actor.

RenatoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "reborn"
  • Description:

    Elegant and exotic.
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ClementeHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Portuguese, Italian
  • Meaning:

    "mild, merciful"
  • Description:

    A more romantic form of old school Clement, which ranks in the Top 100 boy names in Chile. Clemente, like Clement, derives from the Late Latin name Clemens, the name of 14 popes and several saints.

CorradoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Conrad
  • Description:

    A Latinate name with a lot of dash and bravado.

GaetanoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "from the city of Gaeta"
  • Description:

    The progenitor of the English name Guy, Gaetano has a lot more gusto.

CiprianoHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "from Cyprus"
  • Description:

    A saint and surname often heard in Italy.

FieroHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian word name
  • Meaning:

    "proud"
  • Description:

    Fiery sound and uplifting meaning, but it's also among the Top 100 dog names. Spelled Fiyero, it's the hero of the book and musical "Wicked."
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FlavioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, Spanish variation of Flavius, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "yellow, blond"
  • Description:

    Flavio is derived from Flavius, a surname used in Ancient Rome. These family names, or cognomens, were given to distinguish branches of the clan and were chosen based on a characteristic of an important bearer. In this case, the Flavius family patriarch was likely blond-haired.

CassioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Cassius
  • Meaning:

    "hollow"
  • Description:

    Cassio is a notable Shakespearean name that's a member of the ever-more-popular Cassius family of names. Cassio was Othello's young, good-looking, and flirtatious lieutenant.

ValerioHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • Description:

    The final o adds a macho touch.

GiottoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Godfrey or Geoffrey
  • Meaning:

    "pledge of peace"
  • Description:

    This appealing Italian name is associated with the great Florentine painter and architect Giotto di Bondone, a major force in the Italian Renaissance.

CamiloHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "young ceremonial attendant"
  • Description:

    The increasing popularity of Camila may have pushed this underrated Spanish name into the Top 1000 — though it remains far less popular than its feminine counterpart. A perfect familiar-but-rare choice.
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