Whether you have Italian roots or dream of traveling the country with your little one, these charming old Italian baby names have the perfect vintage vibe.
What do you picture when you think of old-fashioned Italy?
The red and white tablecloths of trattorias on the streets of Naples?
Riding around Rome on an old Vespa?
As it turns out, old Italian baby names are infused with that same vintage charm.
We’ve searched the archives for the perfect picks for your future bambina or bambino.
In this article: 📝
- Top Italian baby names
- Old-fashioned Italian names
- What is a strong Italian name?
Top Italian baby names
Before we go back in time, let’s look at the top Italian baby names from the last few years.
Although these are popular with Italian parents right now, many have a strong and timeless feel that might be exactly what you’re looking for.
According to the office of Italian National Statistics, the top names for boys are:
For girls, the most popular choices are:
Although these names are in the top ten for boys and girls across Italy, there are big regional differences in the names Italian parents choose.
Areas like Lombardy and Veneto in the north prefer Leonardo and Sofia.
In the south, Francesco and Aurora are more popular.
And Sicily does things its own way — Giuseppe is the most popular boy’s name on the island.
Old-fashioned Italian names
But what if you want your baby’s name to stand out on the streets of Florence, Venice, or Milan?
Names with an authentic Italian vintage vibe are the way to go.
The Italian statistics office only lets you track as far back as the ‘90s.
But if you were to browse old Italian playbills, memorials, and plaques from the last century, these are some of the names you might find:
What is a traditional Italian name for boys?
- Achille: A variation on Achilles, the Trojan War hero from Greek mythology.
- Alberto: ‘Noble’ or ‘bright.’
- Aldo: ‘Old and wise.’
- Arnaldo: An Italian take on Arnold, meaning ‘strong as an eagle.’
- Basilio: ‘Royal’ or ‘knightly.’
- Bruno: *We don’t talk about… * how this name simply means ‘brown.’
- Cesare: Especially if you can find a laurel crown for your little emperor to pose with.
- Claudio: In Latin, this name meant ‘lame,’ but it has such a beautiful sound that we’re willing to let that old meaning slide.
- Calimero: An old Italian boy name that’s also a compliment — it means ‘strong and beautiful legs.’
- Domizio: From the Latin family name Domitius, meaning ‘having been tamed.’
- Ermenegildo: A name with German roots that means ‘immense treasure.’
- Eufrasio: ‘He who uses words well’.
- Fernando: ‘Bold voyager.’
- Fortunado: A lucky name that means ‘happy and prosperous.’
- Franco: This can mean either ‘French man’ or ‘free man.’
- Giorgio: Like the English George, this name means ‘farmer.’
- Gottardo: A mighty family name meaning ‘strong by God.’
- Mansueto: ‘Docile’ or ‘gentle.’
- Marcello: Related to the biblical name Mark, meaning ‘hammer.’
- Marco: Another Italian variation on Mark or Marcus.
- Mario: The Italian version of Marius, Mario means ‘dedicated to Mars,’ the Roman god of war.
- Massimo: Meaning ‘biggest’ or ‘greatest.’
- Maurizio: Related to the name Maurice, meaning ‘dark-skinned.’
- Mauro: A variation on Maurizio.
- Onorato: ‘Worthy of respect.’
- Oreste: A mythological name meaning ‘one who can conquer mountains.’
- Paolo: An Italian form of Paul, meaning ‘small.’
- Pierluigi: There’s a tradition of adding Pier- or Piero- (a form of Peter) to the beginning of old Italian boy names. Pierluigi is essentially the name Peter Louis.
- Roberto: ‘Bright fame.’
- Sergi: This name (and the closely-related Sergo) goes back to the Roman family name Sergius, meaning ‘servant’ or ‘attendant.’
- Severino: ‘Stern and serious.’ Perfect if your baby is an old soul.
- Stefano: An Italian form of Stephen, meaning ‘wreath,’ ‘crown,’ and ‘honor.’
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What are some rare Italian names for girls?
- Ada: Meaning ‘noble.’
- Adalgisa: ‘Precious promise.’
- Adriana: A name related to the region of Adria in northern Italy.
- Allesandra: A feminine form of Alexander, meaning ‘defender of men.’
- Armanda: A name with German origins meaning ‘soldier.’
- Barbara: Meaning ‘stranger.’
- Carla: Related to the name Charles, meaning ‘free man.’
- Cinzia: Another old Italian girl name tied to a region, this time the Greek island of Kynthos.
- Chiarina: A pet name for Chiara, meaning ‘bright’ or ‘clear.’
- Claudia: The feminine form of Claudio or Claudius.
- Colline: Meaning ‘people of victory.’
- Daniela: ‘God is my judge.’
- Elvira: A name that now has gothic associations, it’s originally of German roots and means ‘fair’ or ‘foreign.’
- Emanuela: ‘God is with us.’
- Flora/Floria: Meaning ‘blooming flower.’
- Franca: Meaning ‘free.’ This could be a cool alternative to Francesca.
- Gioconda: A name related to the Mona Lisa, which is also known as La Gioconda.
- Giuliana: A more extravagant version of Giulia — one of Italy’s top ten girls’ names today.
- Guiseppina: The feminine form of Giuseppe, meaning ‘God gives.’
- Iole: A colorful name meaning ‘violet dawn.’
- Ines: A name with Spanish origins meaning ‘holy.’
- Luciana: Meaning ‘light.’
- Liliana: A name related to garden lilies.
- Marcella: ‘Warlike.’
- Maria: A perennial favorite across Europe, this name is often double-barrelled to Maria-Luisa in Italy.
- Marian: Like Marcella, this name can be related to Mars, the god of war. It also has links to Marie, meaning ‘bitter’ or ‘beloved.’
- Margherita: A form of Margaret meaning ‘daisy.’
- Monica: Meaning ‘advisor.’
- Paola: The feminine form of Paul.
- Patrizia: Meaning ‘noble.’
- Piera: Like Peter, this name means ‘rock.’
- Rita: A shortened form of Margherita.
- Rosa: Related to the flower, which is rosa in Italian.
- Rosanna: With the ‘anna’ on the end, this one becomes ‘gracious rose.’
- Rosetta: This is a diminutive form of Rosa and also refers to the famous Rosetta Stone that has been key to our understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics.
- Rosina/Rosine: The last rose name on our list.
- Sabrina: One of the few Celtic names popular in Italy, this can mean ‘legendary princess.’
- Silvana: A woodland name meaning ‘of the forest.’
- Simona: ‘To hear,’ or ‘to listen.’
- Stefania: Meaning ‘crowned.’
- Theresa: This could be a perfect fit, depending on your due date. This old Italian girl name means ‘late summer.’
What is a strong Italian name?
If it’s strength you’re looking for, where better to start than the Romans?
It was a tradition in Roman times to give your child names based on their birth order, ending with -o for a boy and -a for a girl:
We hope you’re got some amore for one of these names!