When I think of Alma, I think of Alma Vanderbilt, an extravagant, cultured woman of the 19/20th century. I very much like Alma, but if he doesn't like it, what about Ida, Alba, and, if not Amelia, what about Emmeline? Also, Ava, Eva, Eve, Evangeline, Oona, Ada, and Aria are all pretty that are *somewhat* similar to Alma.
I like Alma! I love its meaning for sure!
I do prefer Alba myself; I had a roommate named Alba a few years ago, and at first I thought it was so weird, but I soon grew to love it.
Celeste (I LOVE this in Italian! But it works in English and French, too)
I'm not sure how well they all go over in Italy (I only know one female Italian, actually a former roommate as well, and her name is Dalila), and some can definitely be shortened, but all of them are international, to me. Perla is still distinctively Italian & Spanish, and Beata is more "International within Europe" rather than transferable to North America, but I think it's beautiful.
thanks a lot for all the suggestions. Really like some of them!
Hopefully I'll get over not getting to name her Alma ;)