The Name Game

63 Italian Last Names That Are *Chef's Kiss* Bellissimo!

For your little bambino or bambina.

by Laura Grainger
Originally Published: 
italian last names

Ahh, Italy… the land of rich history, great food, and surnames that roll off the tongue. Italian last names have infiltrated our globe, screens, and brains throughout their long existence. With Latin roots, each surname tells a story about a family’s geographical, occupational, or characteristic origin.

Whether it’s belonging to you, your neighbor, or your Hollywood favorite, you’ve heard a charming Italian last name and wondered about its meaning at some point. We’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of popular Italian last names and their unique meanings. If you’re here looking for some answers, you should know you’re in good company.

Italian names usually stem from four groups. They can be patronymics, which means they come from an ancestor’s first name. This is why there are names like d’Alberto or d’Angelo, which sound a little like first names but are typically surnames. Then there are last names that come from geographical areas or where a family is from like Di Genova or Napolitano. Other family names are usually descriptives or nicknames like Franco, or Betto or describe an occupation like Carpenteri, which means carpenter. Italian surnames can also be creative and originate from the names of insects or birds.

Like most of the architecture and towns in Italy, they can also tell a story. Some last names recognize certain histories or describe important events or narratives that mean a lot to the family. According to the latest search data available, Italian last names and their meanings are searched for nearly, 40,500 times per month.

For those who want to feel a little extra Italiano, we’ve also included their pronunciations. The italics represent the syllable where you should put the most stress. Viva l’Italia!

If you’re interested in the last names and meanings of other countries, check out our package on last names from around the world. See how many you recognize: French, Russian, Mexican, Brazilian, Portuguese, Japanese, Hawaiian, Jewish, British, and Korean last names, among others.

Common Italian Last Names

1. Pesci

Pronunciation: Pesh-ee

Meaning: Fisherman.

2. Morelli

Pronunciation: Mor-ell-lee

Meaning: A Moor or a person of dark complexion.

3. Giuliani

Pronunciation: Ju-lee-ah-nee

Meaning: Youthful.

4. D’Angelo/D’Angeli

Pronunciation: Dan-jell-o/Dan-jell-ee

Meaning: Messenger or angel.

5. Bruni

Pronunciation: Buh-roo-nee (rolled R)

Meaning: The color brown or a dark-haired person.

6. Piazza

Pronunciation: Pee-ahh-sa.

Meaning: Town square.

7. Caputo

Pronunciation: Cah-pooh-to

Meaning: Large-headed or strong-headed.

8. De Rossi

Pronunciation: Deh-ross-ee (rolled R)

Meaning: Red-haired.

9. Manzo

Pronunciation: Man-tso

Meaning: A person resembling an ox.

10. Florentino

Pronunciation: Flor-en-tee-no

Meaning: A Florentine or a person from the city of Florence.

11. Ricci

Pronunciation: Ree-chee (rolled R)

Meaning: Curly-haired.

12. Bonetti

Pronunciation: Bon-eh-tee

Meaning: Hatmaker.

13. Scavo

Pronunciation: Scah-vo

Meaning: Serf or slave.

14. Porzio

Pronunciation: Portsee-oh

Meaning: Hog.

15. Giudice

Pronunciation: Ju-dee-chay

Meaning: Judge or justice.

NBC/T. Kyle

16. Tarantino

Pronunciation: Tar-an-tee-no

Meaning: A person from Taranto, a town in Southern Italy.

17. Vitale

Pronunciation: Vi-tah-lay

Meaning: Life.

18. Armani

Pronunciation: Ar-mah-nee (rolled R)

Meaning: Man of force.

19. Greco

Pronunciation: Guh-reck-oh (rolled R)

Meaning: Greek or a person from Greece.

20. Ferraro/Ferrari

Pronunciation: Fer-ah-ro/Fer-ah-ri (both Rs are rolled)

Meaning: Blacksmith.

21. Pacino

Pronunciation: Pah-chee-no

Meaning: Peace.

22. Di Maggio

Pronunciation: Dee-maj-eoh

Meaning: The eldest son.

23. Capone

Pronunciation: Cah-poh-nay

Meaning: Large-headed or arrogant.

24. Saccone

Pronunciation: Sah-coh-nay

Meaning: A maker of sacks and bags.

25. Argento

Pronunciation: Ar-jen-toh

Meaning: Silver or grey-haired.

26. Romano/Romani

Pronunciation: Ro-mah-no/Ro-mah-nee

Meaning: Roman or a person from the city of Rome.

27. Bianco

Pronunciation: Bee-yan-co

Meaning: White.

28. Valentino

Pronunciation: Val-en-tee-no

Meaning: Healthy.

29. Leto

Pronunciation: Leh-to

Meaning: Joyful.

30. De Niro

Pronunciation: Deh-neer-oh

Meaning: Of black or dark hair.

31. Bianchi

Pronunciation: Bee-yan-ci

Meaning: A small town in Cosenza, Calabria.

32. Lastra

Pronunciation: Laa-stra

Meaning: Flat slab of rock.

33. Allegro

Pronunciation: Al--gro

Meaning: Brisk tempo.

34. Abruzzese

Pronunciation: A-bruz-zé-se

Meaning: Someone from the region of Abruzzi.

35. Agosti

Pronunciation: A--sto

Meaning: Favored with good omens.

36. Amato

Pronunciation: A--to

Meaning: Beloved.

37. Fiorentino

Pronunciation: Fio-ren-tì-no

Meaning: A person from Florence.

38. Milanesi

Pronunciation: Mi-la-né-se

Meaning: A person from Milan.

39. Russo

Pronunciation: Rùs-so

Meaning: Redhead.

40. Bruno

Pronunciation: Brù-no

Meaning: Brown.

41. Accetta

Pronunciation: Ac-cét-ta

Meaning: Welcome or well-liked.

42. Baio

Pronunciation: Bà-io

Meaning: Horse.

43. Barone

Pronunciation: Ba--ne

Meaning: Bravery or courage.

44. Esposito

Pronunciation: Es-poˈzi-to

Meaning: Exposed.

45. Mancini

Pronunciation: Man-chee-nee

Meaning: Left-handed.

46. Gallo

Pronunciation: Gal-low

Meaning: Rooster.

47. De Luca

Pronunciation: Deh-loo-kah

Meaning: Son of Luca.

48. Abate

Pronunciation: A--te

Meaning: Priest.

49. Abruzzese

Pronunciation: A-bruz--se

Meaning: Abruzzian or from Abruzzo.

50. Accardo

Pronunciation: A-card-o

Meaning: Edge of a sword, bold, or hardy.

51. Accomando

Pronunciation: A-coo-mando

Meaning: German shepherd dog.

52. Aceto

Pronunciation: A-cé-to

Meaning: Vinegar or acetic acid.

53. Achille

Pronunciation: Ah-kee-ley

Meaning: A Greek warrior and leader in the Trojan War. A hero of Homer’s Iliad.

54. Acierno

Pronunciation: A-chair-no

Meaning: Of steel.

55. Acquaviva

Pronunciation: Acqua-viva

Meaning: Living water, running water, or spring.

56. Aloisio

Pronunciation: Ahl-oh-ee-zee-oh

Meaning: Famous warrior.

57. Altadonna

Pronunciation: Alta-dunnah

Meaning: High lady or tall woman.

58. Altamura

Pronunciation: Aal-tuh-mur-uh

Meaning: High walls.

59. Altieri

Pronunciation: Uh-eh-lee–ei

Meaning: Old, to practice, experienced person, or a person who works with richness.

60. Abano

Pronunciation: Ah-bahn-o

Meaning: Water.

61. Abbandonato

Pronunciation: A-bahndoe-not-o

Meaning: Forsaken, abandoned.

62. Zabatino

Pronunciation: Z-aahba-tee-no

Meaning: Saturday.

63. Zara

Pronunciation: Z-aahd-ra

Meaning: A person from the city of Zadra

Funny Italian Phrases

Not only is Italy beautiful, but its culture is filled with gorgeous phrases you can use to face life’s ups and downs. Here are several common phrases, along with their Italian translation, to help you along.

  • In bocca al lupo. Translation: In the mouth of the wolf. Meaning: Good luck or break a leg.
  • Ubriaco come una scimmia. Literal translation: Drunk like a monkey. Meaning: To be wasted.
  • Avere le braccine corte. Translation: To have short arms. Meaning: This phrase is used to describe someone who is cheap or stingy with their money.
  • Hai voluto la bicicletta? E adesso pedala! Translation: You wanted the bike? Now you’ve got to ride it! Meaning: I told you so…
  • Non avere peli sulla lingua. Translation: Without hair on his tongue. Meaning: To give a ruthless and honest opinion.
  • Non avere peli sulla lingua. Translation: Without hair on his tongue. Meaning: Not to mince one’s words.
  • Gettare la spugna. Translation: To throw in the sponge towel. Meaning: To give up on someone or something.

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