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Italian Surname Meanings

A Stunning List of Italian Surnames And Their Meanings

A name is our primary identity and a surname further makes it unique. There are various cultures across the globe that have a treasure of surnames, and Italians are one of them. In this article, we will take a look at the meaning of Italian surnames.
OpinionFront Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Surnames also known as family names or last names are so commonly used nowadays, but do you know that all surnames have a deep-rooted meaning to them. The aim to add a surname was to distinguish two individuals with the same family name. There are surnames which describe the occupation of a person, whereas some surnames are linked to the individual's place of origin.

Before we know the meanings of Italian surnames, we will like to tell you that most of the surnames in Italy were categorized mostly by the occupation, location, character and patronym of the individual. For example, surnames like Zappa usually referred to someone from the farmer's family, whereas da Vinci implied that the person lived in the region of Vinci. Similarly Montana was the surname of someone who lived near the mountains, and Poccoli meant a short-heighted person. It is not only the Italian surnames that describe the characteristics of a person, but most of the English surnames like Cook, Farmer, Baker also have been coined to reflect the occupation of the individual.

Meaning of Italian Surnames

Abandonato
Forsaken

Abatangelo, Abatantuono, Abatescianni, Abbà
Priest

Abelli
A Pyrenean God in the Roman times

Acciai
Ax-man

Acciari, Acciaro, Acciaroli
Steel maker/Ax maker

Acerbi, Acerbo, Acerbo
Cruel

Acqua
Carrier of water

Acquafredda, Acquarone, Acquati
A person from Acquafredda (a place in Italy)

Adelardi
Noble and hard-working

Adriatico
Dweller of the Adriatic sea

Affini
In-law

Africani
From/of Africa

Agresta
Rural, simple

Agrioli
Farmer

Aiolfi, Aiolfo
Featured like a wolf

Aita
From Aita, Italy

Alamanni
From Germany

Albini, Albinoni, Albino
Someone with light colored hair/skin

Arcelli, Arcellone, Arcelloni, Arcellaio
Bow-makers

Arcaini, Arcari, Arcaro
Craftsmen dealing with wood

Armani
Son of Armato

Azzarà
From southern Italy

Bacco
Wine trader/someone who worked in a vineyard

Bagni
Public bath attendant

Balestra, Balestrini
Crossbow maker/soldier

Ballarini, Ballarino
Acclaimed dancers

Baldi
Brave/bold

Barbieri
Barber

Basso
Short-heighted

Basurto
In the middle of a forest

Bello
Beautiful

Bellomi
Beautiful man

Belmonte
Beautiful man

Benenati
Born good

Bergamaschi
From the city of Bergamo, Lombardy

Bianchi
White-haired or pale

Bicchieri
Drinking glasses

Biondi
Fair-haired

Bologna
From the city of Bologna in southern Italy

Borgnino
Blind in one eye/Squinting

Bosco
Forest

Breda
From Breda in Venice

Bruno
Brown

Buffone
Professional clown employed to entertain the king

Buonarroti
Good increase

Cacciatore
Hunters

Caiazzo
From the city of Caiazzo, near Naples

Caito
Leader, official, judge

Calligaris
Shoemaker

Cantu
From the town near Como, Lombardy

Capello (1)
Someone who made or wore cloaks

Capello (2)
Trickster

Caro
Beloved

Carriere, Carriero
Wagon-driver

Caruso
Shop-boy

Castro
One who lives near a castle

Catalano
From the Spanish region Catalonia

Cavalcante
To ride

Cavallo
Horse

Colombera
Dove/a place where doves were held

Corti
Court

Corvi
Crow

Costa
Riverbank/a person who lives near a riverbank

Crespo
A person with curly hair

Dal Monte
From the mountains

D'Amore
A symbol of love

D'Angelo
Son of Angelo (Angel)

De Campo
From a place near Campo

De Palma
From the palm tree

De Rege
The king

Di Caprio
From the island of Capri, near Naples

Di Corrado
Courageous person/one who can take decisions in crisis

Di Mercurio
Son of God Mercury

Di Salvo, Di Salvio
Saved by earth

Durante
A stubborn person

Episcopo
Bishop

Fabbri, Ferrari, Ferraro, Ferrero
Blacksmith

Fattore
Land agent on a farm

Faraldo
Unknown

Fiore
Flower

Fontana
From the fountain

Franzese
Frenchman

Franci, Francescato, Francescotti
Inhabitant of France

Gagliardi
Very strong

Gentile
Kind, noble

Greco
From Greece

Gronchi
A numb person

Guerra
One who is eager to indulge in warfare

Guttuso
A sad person

Idoni
A fit person

Innocenti
Innocent

Laguardia
Sentry/Sentinel

Lamon
From the city of Belluno, Venice

Leggièri
Not serious, superficial

Maestri
Master

Magro
Thin, lean

Manco
Left-handed

Marmo
Marble

Merlo
Blackbird (a symbol of naïve person)

Milano
From the city of Milan, Italy

Mondadori
Fleece selector

Naggi
From the town of Naggi in Italy

Nasato
Someone with a prominent nose

Negri
Someone with dark hair or dark skin

Nicchi
People related to the sea

Orsini
Little bear

Palladino
Knight

Palumbo
Pigeon

Panzavecchia
Old stomach

Parodi
From the name of a village in Genoa, Italy

Parrino
Godfather

Paternoster
Opening words of a prayer

Pavoni
Proud or an arrogant person

Pecora
Flock

Pellegrino
Little pilgrim

Pesce
Fisherman

Piccoli
Dwarf/short

Pisani
From Pisa in Tuscany

Poggio
Dweller on a hill

Porto
Someone who lives near a harbor

Quattrocchi
From the family of judges and barons

Ragno
Spider

Rana
Frog

Ratti
Sly individual

Ricci
Someone with curly hair

Rossi
Red-haired person

Sabbadin
Someone born on a Saturday

Sala
Worker at a manor house

Santoro
Someone born on "All Saints Day"

Sapienti
Wise

Sarto
Tailor

Scarsi
Poor/miserly

Sciarra
A quarrelsome person

Serpico
Serpent, reptile

Tafani
An annoying person

Tamboia
A drummer

Tedesco
German

Terranova
New land

Uccello
Bird

Vacca
A person who worked with the cattle

Veronesi
From the city of Verona

Vinci
From Vinci near Florence

Zangari
Shoemaker, boot-maker

Zappa
An agricultural worker

These were some of the Italian surnames and their meanings. Some of the famous Italian last names are da Vinci, Di Caprio, Agessi, Dante, De Niro, Langello etc. Italians have made their presence felt in almost all fields and are one of the most successful communities worldwide. This was all we had about Italian surname meanings. We hope this information is useful to you.