Whether you’re of Italian descent, or just love this style, Italian girl names range from the familiar to the rare, with plenty of choices in between.
Some are authentically Italian, with roots stretching back across millennia. Others are popular in Italy now, even though their stories begin elsewhere. And a few are names that American parents will perceive as Italian names for girls … even if they wouldn’t be recognized as such by native speakers.
Also worth noting: an overwhelming number of Italian girl names import into English flawlessly. But a few could create pronunciation hassles. You might love the way Claudia sounds when you hear it spoken on your study abroad semester in Florence, but that’s not the way it will be said in the US. It’s up to you if that’s a dealbreaker.
Before jumping into all of the possibilities, let’s look at the most popular Italian girl names in Italy.
As compiled by ISTAT, the ten most popular girl names are as follows:
Now, let’s look at all of the Italian baby girl names, from the Top Ten to the oh-so-obscure.
ITALIAN NAMES for GIRLS
Adele looks like a two-syllable name, made famous by the world-famous singer. But when we’re talking about Italian baby girls, the pronunciation is closer to Adela.
The saintly Agatha is out of favor in English, but in Italy, Agata is a well-established Top 100 favorite.
Another two-syllable name turned three in Italian, Agnese is right up there with Agata, perhaps partially due to the saint.
Venerable classic Alexandra swaps the X for a double S in Italian.
Another Alex name, made famous by Italian-Canadian singer Alessia Cara.
Alicia is the Latin form of Alice; but the Italian Alice sounds quite a bit like the English Alicia.
Joyful and musical, Allegra means lively. If not for the allergy meds, it could be a smash hit name.
Delightfully international, brief and complete Alma might be Hebrew, Latin, Tatar, or Spanish, meaning apple or soul … or something else entirely. But it does, indeed, appear in Italian and so fits on this list.
The Italian equivalent of Amber, quite stylish right now.
Almost as popular in Italy as it is in the US.
A Slavic favorite with Greek roots meaning resurrection, this name sounds equally appealing in Italian, too.
ANGELA, ANGELICA, ANGELINA
In Greek, angelos means messenger, the source of our word angel – as well as the name Angela and elaborations Angelica and Angelina.
Take Anna, add the diminutive -ita ending, and Anita feels like a whole new name.
An enduring classic, Saint Anna – Anne in English – is the mother of Mary in the New Testament.
Take Anna and add bella – beautiful – and this compound name is the result.
Two popular names smooshed together create this elaborate, romantic name.
The oh-so-Roman Antonius became Antony and later Anthony in English. Antonia is widely used as the feminine form, from the ancient world to modern Europe. Antonella is an elaboration that adds all the -ella nicknames as options.
In Greek mythology, Ariadne helped Theseus escape the Minotaur. Her name means “most holy.” It’s been softened over the years to Arianna. The single N spelling – Ariana – is more popular in English.
A modern favorite in Italy, borrowed from the name of the continent.
A religious name, from Mary’s title, Our Lady of the Assumption.
An ancient name with a glittering meaning – golden.
Borrowed from the Roman goddess of the dawn.
American parents adore Scarlett, but Italians? They’re all about this lovely name meaning blue.
During the fourteenth century, Dante Aligheri penned his epic poem, Divine Comedy. Inspired by his real-life love, Beatrice, Dante named a character after her.
From the Italian word meaning beautiful, though it’s not popular in Italy.
Buttoned-up Benedict becomes romantic Benedetta in Italian.
A nickname for Elisabetta, this could also stand on its own as a vintage, romance language charmer.
Blanche feels very Golden Girls, but Bianca offers a certain kind of European glam.
The feminine form of Bruno, rare in the US.
In Virgil’s Aenid, Camilla is a warrior maiden. American parents prefer to spell it with one L, Camila.
Charlotte is the Top Ten choice in the English-speaking world, but Carlotta is big in Italy.
As in Mrs. Soprano, from Mary’s title “Our Lady of Carmel.” Carmel means garden in Hebrew, mentioned in the Old Testament, so this is a little bit Biblical, and almost a nature name, too.
Caroline picks up an a, like the southern states, but the pronunication becomes car-oh-LEE-nah.
A feminine form of Cassian, this name combines ancient roots and Star Wars cred.
The Italian form of Katherine.
The same name that we know in English, except the Italians say the Cs like “ch” rather than “ess.”
It’s a soft C and two syllables in English; in Italian, it’s three syllables, again with “ch” sounds: cheh LEH steh.
It sounds like Kiara, but Chiara is the Italian equivalent of Clara, used for centuries.
The Latin form of Claire and Clare, sometimes elaborated to Clarissa. While Chiara is more popular in Italy, Clara also ranks in the current Top 100.
An ancient Roman name, Claudia is mentioned in the New Testament, but remains relatively uncommon in much of the world.
In heavily Catholic countries, women’s names are often taken from titles of the Virgin Mary. Concetta refers to the Immaculate Conception.
The Italian form of Constance. The missing N isn’t a mistake; Constanza is more typically Spanish. (Think of the way Victoria becomes Vittoria.) Connie feels like an Italian-American stereotype kind of name, and that’s fair – but it can come from multiple Italian names for girls.
A name with centuries of history, Cosima comes from cosmos – order.
Drop the ‘h’ and Cristina is the romance language form of the classic name.
Delilah by way of Venice.
The Italian feminine form of Daniel, Daniela sounds very similar to the Italian masculine: Daniele.
A Roman goddess name, we associate Diana with royalty from singer Ross to the late Princess of Wales. But it’s also Italian.
Popular in Italy, Diletta means beloved.
The feminine form of Dominic, it’s much less common than the masculine.
Designer and business exec Donatella Versace reinforces this name’s Italian style. It comes from donatus – given, a popular name element for early saints. It’s also the source of Donatello, the Renaissance artist/ninja turtle.
Hedwig is best for snowy owls, but the enchanting Edvige – pronounce the last e as “jeh” – might be different enough to appeal.
A nicely pan-European form of Helen.
Elaborate Euro twist on tailored Eleanor.
In Greek myth, Electra is the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. Theirs is a dark and twisted tale of venegance. Maybe that’s why Electra has never caught on in English; or maybe it’s just too charged. But lovely Elettra is trending in Italy.
A pretty, flowing name used in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. It ultimately comes from the Roman family name Aelius, meaning “the sun.”
Eliza is the trending favorite, but this short form of Elizabeth has potential, too.
The pretty, frilly Italian cousin to Elizabeth.
In Latin, helvus means blonde, and so forms of this name have been used across the ages. Elvia seems especially promising, a mix of Evelyn and Amelia.
This long-time favorite means whole or universal. And that meaning applies! It’s been a chart-topper across much of the western world, including Italy.
The Roman family name Aemilius gives us both of these lovely names. Emilia is a popular choice in both Italy and the US. Emiliana is comparatively rare, but has plenty of potential.
Henry’s feminine form in English is the antique Henrietta. But in Italian, Henry becomes Enrico … and Enrica.
Rare, but familiar, Eugenia could be one of those so-far-out-they’re-in kind of picks.
If Eugenia is known, but rare, then Eulalia is very rare … and little known! It literally means “good speaking,” and has roots in medieval Spain.
A mini name at home in nearly any language.
Mix Aveline and Evelyn, and you’ll arrive at the lovely Evelina.
In Latin, faba means bean. It’s the root of Fabius and Fabian, as well as feminine names Fabia and Fabiola.
A saintly favorite with an auspicious meaning: lucky.
Frederick’s sister, by way of Verona.
Fiamma means “flame” in Italian. The elaborate Fiametta adds frills to the fire.
An Isabella alternative with an appealing meaning: to be loved. Filomena is spelled with an F in Italian and Spanish, but Philomena is the typical English version.
Fiore means flower in Italian; add an -ella and it’s an irresistible name.
The Latin word flavus refers to someone blonde, or golden-haired. Flavia (and the masculine Flavio) are given names from flavus.
Fiorella means flower, but Flora was the Roman goddess of springtime and flowers – which means that this name has history around Naples and Rome, too.
Among the most popular Italian baby names in the US, Francesca is a favorite with American parents.
Gabriel’s girl equivalent.
The mother goddess from Greek myth, and a potential name for a daughter in many languages.
Galileo was a giant amongst scientists. Galilea is the feminine form of his name. Both refer to Galilee, the ancient place name so significant in the New Testament.
The Italian equivalent of Jasmine.
A logical alternative to Emma, Gemma means jewel.
The Italian form of Genevieve, far more rare, but possibly closer to the original.
A short form of Gianna – or nearly any similar G- name for a daughter.
Hyacinth makes for an unwieldy flower name in English, but it’s lovely when translated to Giacinta. In 2002’s Die Another Day, Halle Berry appeared as Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson, an American agent assigned to work with James Bond.
Giacomo is the Italian version of James, and Giacoma, the feminine form.
The Italian equivalent of Jade, made famous by celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis – who named her daughter Jade.
The feminine form of John, made more popular due to the tragic death of Gianna Bryant.
Famous as the full name of Ginny Weasley in the Wizarding World, Ginevra is also the Italian equivalent of Jennifer.
Word names aren’t just an English language phenomenon. Gioia literally means “joy.”
Georgia by way of Rome.
Effortlessly Italian, Giovanna is the feminine form of Giovanni, the Italian equivalent of John. It shares that name’s religious meaning: God is gracious. American parents sometimes respell it Giavanna.
From a Germanic word meaning hostage or pledge, Gisella brings to mind a ballet and a Disney princess, too.
GIULIA, GIULIANA, GIULIETTA
The Italian spelling of Julia, as well as elaborations Juliana and Juliet/Julietta. The last one is quintessentially Shakesperean, thanks to the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet. But the Giulietta spelling would be an extravagant choice in American English.
While it’s out of favor in the US, Gloria has appeared in Italy’s Top 100 for all of the twenty-first century. It feels like a promising alternative to Sophia.
Grazia is the Italian equivalent of Grace. Graziana adds even more sounds and syllables.
We think of Greta as German or Scandinavian – and it is! But Greta is also heard elsewhere in Europe, and in Italy, it’s been a Top Ten favorite in recent years, and a Top 100 pick for all of the twenty-first century.
In Latin, hilarus means cheerful. Hillary rose in the 1980s, a sister for Kimberly and Courtney. But the romance language Ilaria feels like an entirely different name.
If you know your Marian names, you’ll recognize Immacolata as the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. It’s a Catholic-y Catholic kind of pick, but probably found on more than one Italian-American family tree.
A sweet mini name, short for Isabella. It sounds a little bit like Eva with an S in Italian.
We think of Isabella as Spanish, probably thanks to the powerful Spanish queen from the Age of Exploration. But it’s every bit as Italian, sometimes spelled Ysabella in the Middle Ages.
Also spelled Isadora, this name means “gift of Isis.” But it’s remained in use mostly thanks to two Spanish saints, the sixth-century theologian Isidore of Seville and the late eleventh/early twelfth-century Isidore the Farmer.
We all know the story of Romeo and Juliet; the medieval tale of Tristan and Isolde is similar. Isotta is the Italian version of Isolde.
While it’s not used as a given name in Italy, Italia might appeal to parents seeking a heritage choice.
A pan-European name with a host of associations, Lara is both familiar and rare.
Traditional Laura brings to mind the laurels once awarded to the victors of ancient sporting events.
Ancient and elaborate, Lavinia has been a Top 100 pick in Italy for much of the twenty-first century.
Drop the H and Leah becomes the Italian Lea.
A queen from Greek myth, Leda is another nicely portable name, easily used in many western languages.
An Italian take on elegant Eleanor.
Leontios and Leontius were ancient names, worn by saints and rulers. Leontina is a logical feminine alternative.
The Latin Letitia means joy. Italian swaps the second T for a Z. Letizia appears in history books as the mother of Napoleon, as well as the current queen of Spain.
An even slimmer, trimmer version of Lea and Leah, though it ranks behind the E spelling – in Italy, as well as the US.
Lydia is more commonly spelled with two Is in several European languages; celebrity chef and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich makes this version even more familiar.
Lily by way of Milan.
Americans shorten names to create affectionate forms. But Italians? Like many romance language speakers, they elaborate. So Angela becomes Angelina … and a nickname for Angelina is Lina. But also for Paolina or Nicolina or many other possibilities.
It looks like the end of Olivia, but Livia has separate roots, stretching back to Ancient Rome – and a notable empress.
French author George Sand invented this name for a character in an 1883 novel set in Venice; years later, an Italian writer gave the name to a title character in another book. It might trace back to the tiny Italian city of Loreo; residents are known as Loredani. The wealthy Loredan family wielded power in Venice – and beyond – well into the 1700s.
The Latin and romance language form of Lucy, Lucia is a favorite across cultures. The pronunciation changes slightly, though. Italians say the “C” like a “CH.”
Another T-for-Z swap transforms the Roman Lucretia into the contemporary Italian Lucrezia. If you know your Borgias, then Lucrezia needs no introduction. It’s also the name of the main character in Maggie O’Farrell’s 2022 bestseller The Marriage Portrait.
Few names have transformed as dramatically as Louis across languages and place. The dramatic Ludovica is one of many cousins.
Borrowed from the Roman goddess of the moon, and the word for it in Spanish and Italian, too.
Madelyn and Madeline have been powerfully popular choices for nearly three decades in the US. Maddalena, the Italian form, remains seldom heard in English.
Elaborate, romantic Marcella can be traced back to Mars, the Roman god of war.
It’s a pizza, true. But it’s also the Italian word for daisy and the translation of Margaret.
Does it get any more classic – and quintessentially Italian? It’s often bestowed as a double name – think Maria Vittoria. But in combination or on its own, Maria is an elegant, romantic and so very wearable option.
Quite stylish in Italy today, Mariasole is a smoosh of classic Maria and contemporary Sole – sun.
MARIELLA, MARIETTA, MARILINA
So many ways to elaborate on Maria.
Another double name, this time Maria plus Stella – star.
Martha in nearly any European city – including Rome.
The feminine form of Martin, used across Europe, but surprisingly rare in the US.
From a Greek word meaning dark, Melania is more familiar in English as Melanie.
Originally a nickname for Maria, Mia is now more popular than the original in Italy, as well as the US. A mighty mini powerhouse, Mia wears equally well in Stockholm or Siena … or Southern California.
The 1990s were the golden age of Mc names for girls, with Mackenize opening the door to McKayla and Makayla – choose your spelling. While the latter might be a creative invention, it’s also a twist on Micaela, the feminine form of Michael. Always rare in English, but long used in romance languages. Michela is more distinctively Italian.
Dramatic, romantic Mirabella has an equally inspiring meaning. From the Latin mirabilis, it means wonderful.
Famous across the Christian world thanks to Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo. While the prounciation shifts slightly, Monica is relatively unchanged across languages and cultures.
Literally, Christmas Day, from the Latin phrase natale domini. Natalia is more common in much of Europe, though Americans prefer the French Natalie – though only by a little. Both names rank in the US Top 100.
Nicola is masculine in Italian, though Niccolo is heard, too. But for a truly feminine equivalent of Nicole in Italian, opt for the elaborate Nicoletta or Nicolina. Nico is the unisex nickname go-to for them all.
All of those elaborations often end in Nina. That means Nina can be short for Antonina, Giannina, or any other ends-with-nina name.
Lovely, Hebrew Naomi is a familiar Old Testament favorite in English. In Italian, it sounds just a little different – and really quite lovely. Bonus? When the nickname-proof Naomi becomes Noemi, nicknames like Noe (rhyme it with Zoe) and Emi become logical possibilities.
As in the mythological seat of the gods, Mount Olympus, and the modern Olympic games that share the name. Serena Williams named her daughter Olympia, but the I-not-Y spelling is Italian.
No one would guess that Olivia was an Italian heritage pick – it’s been too powerfully popular for so long in the English-speaking world. But Olivia is a Top 100 pick in Italy today, too – and olives and olive oil are quintessentially Italian.
Ariana is more popular in the US; and Arianna is a Top 100 pick in Italy. But golden Oriana is derived from the Latin aurum and the Italian oro. The name of a legendary British princess in a medieval Spanish epic, it’s Italian-ish.
Hortense is an obscure antique of a name. Ortensia, too, is fairly unknown. But dropping the H and adding the -sia ending makes it romantic and possibly just a little more wearable. Disney trivia alert: Walt Disney’s first creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, had a feline girlfriend named Ortensia.
Octavia in Orvieto.
There’s something a little challening about the vowel sounds in Paola (and Paolo), the equivalents of Paula (and Paul). But it’s an appealing sound … if you can slow down enough to say it properly.
Strictly speaking, this is a Greek – and English – name. But it’s rising in use quickly in Italy, too. If your goal is to project Italian heritage, it’s the wrong choice. On the other hand, if your goal is a name that will wear well in Italy today? Penelope bears consideration.
Feminine forms of Peter.
The Italian and Spanish word for pearl, and a gemstone name in those languages, too.
A mini name like Mia, derived from a Latin name meaning pious.
Prima means first; think prima ballerina. The masculine form is Primo. Vernal refers to spring, and so Primavera is literally “first spring.” Of course, Primavera is also pasta. Possibly a daring choice for a first-born daughter or a late March/early April arrival.
Rafael and Raphael are attracting more attention for boys; this elaborate feminine form with the lovely -ella ending might deserve some more attention for our daughters.
Literally the Latin and Italian word for queen. Regina languishes in style limbo in the US, even as we embrace names like Royalty and Reign. But it could be the perfect everyone-knows-it but nobody-is-choosing-it choice.
From a Late Latin name, Renata means “born again.” Take it apart: natal means birth, and the first syllable means “once again.”
Like Nina and Lia, often Rita comes from the last syllable of a longer name. But it stands on its own, too. With all the glam of late Hollywood legend Rita Hayworth, Rita could fit right in with Ava and Audrey.
Possibly a feminine form of Roman, particularly popular in the 1970s and 80s.
Another name referring to Rome, and made familiar thanks to British actress Romola Garai.
The enduring classic.
One of several Rosa names used in Italian, a medieval Sicilian saint gets credit for making Rosalia feel particularly Italian.
A combination Rosa-Anna name that feels particularly at-home in Italy.
There are Italian names, and then there are foreign names popular in Italy. With Welsh roots and a literary pedigree by way of Hollywood, Sabrina is more of an English name. But it’s only recently left the Italian Top 100, and sounds great in Italian.
Drop the H and Sara is the form of this enduring classic used in Italy.
This fiery name isn’t common in English or Italian – even after Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner named their second daughter Seraphina. (Siblings are the far more mainstream Violet and Sam.)
Serafina and Sabrina might not be obvious Italian heritage picks, but Serena could be. With Latin roots, this name means tranquil, and is a Top 100 favorite in Italy.
An Italian place name, famous as the home of Saint Catherine of Siena. It’s also a color name, referring to the red-brown color of clay found there.
Like other names on this list, Silvia is more familiar to Americans with another spelling. (Sylvia, with a Y.) But Silvia is the authentically Italian version, from the Latin silva, meaning forest. It’s also a name from Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona and Rhea Sivia is the mythical mom to twin brothers Romulus and Remus. Admist the drama of their story (hey, it’s mythology), Romulus founded Rome.
The feminine form of Simon favored in Italian. Elaboration Simonetta is another option.
Like Stephanie in the US, Stefania’s most popular days in Italy are in the recent past. But it remains a valid feminine form of classic Stephen.
Along with Sophia and Sophie, a runaway favorite of a name across much of the western world right now. Sofia benefits from a strong meaning: wisdom.
It looks like sole – as in the soles of shoes. Or feet. Or the fish. Think Dover sole. Except the Italian girls name Sole is pronounced with two syllables: SO leh. And it is the Italian word for sun, a fast-rising nature name possibility.
If Sole is a relative newcomer, Stella – the Latin word for star – is a well-established favorite.
Popular in Italy until relatively recently, Susanna is a nicely international name.
Sveva looks … Swedish, maybe? A little like a product line at Ikea. But Sveva is a fast-rising favorite in Italy. It comes from the Germanic tribe, called the Suebi in English, known in the ancient world as the inhabitants of Suevia. (Germany and the Czech Republic today.)
A promising feminine form for the rare, but handsome, Thaddeus.
Like Theodora and Theodora, this Italian name means “gift of God.”
An overlooked classic, Teresa manages to feel accessible in English and effortlessly Italian – perhaps even conventionally Italian-American. That said, Teresa is common across several romance languages, as well as English.
The ancient name Timeaus became Timeo in Italian; Timea is the logical feminine form. Timothy is a cousin.
The Roman Titus became Tiziano in Italian. (It likely means “title.”) Tiziana is the feminine form.
In Puccini’s opera Tosca, the main character’s name is Floria Tosca. There’s a minor saint called Tosca, too.
A name from the ancient world with history to spare.
A pan-European favorite with plenty of romantic energy.
Valeria by way of Venice.
Another favorite across many European languages, rising in use in Italy.
Quirky-cool Veronica has been worn by at least two saints: the one who wiped the tears of Jesus with her veil, and a seventeenth-century mystic. Despite that history, this name doesn’t feel especially tied to religious belief or Italy, though it’s clearly a potential heritage pick.
Vincent becomes Vincenzo and then Vincenza.
A musical name, a choice used by Shakespeare, and an Italian name meaning “violet.”
This name feels uniquely American, thanks to the US state. Except it originally referred to Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen.
Italian names sometimes drop a sound, like Victoria losing a C to become Vittoria.
A cousin to Vivian and Vivienne, and the name of a fourth century martyr saint.
Another saint’s name, this time from the thirteenth century.
What are your favorite Italian names for girls?
This post was first published on June 25, 2016. It was revised and updated on April 13, 2023.