The 10 Most Popular Italian Boy Names of 2014

Italian Boy Names

As I’ve pointed out before a few times, it’s pretty well known that I’m about as Italian as it gets. On top of my dark features and jokes amongst friends that I started shaving in fourth grade, my full name happens to be Nicholas Dante Dimengo.  And as someone who loves my heritage and hearing stories from my great aunts and uncles about their time over in the old country, I figured it would be pretty cool to dive into some of the more popular names that Italian families are giving their little boys when they’re born. As a guy who’s can’t wait to be a dad, I figured it would be a pretty solid idea to try and see which names I should at least starting looking into, right? I mean, I don’t exactly have a girl picked out to help decide this sort of thing, yet, but it’s never too early to at least plan ahead. So for all of you Italian folks out there, here are some of the top names that you should consider for those boys of yours—because they’re the ones that are in right now.

10. Riccardo

The Italian version of the name Richard, I had a former boss whose name is Riccardo and he was one of the finest leaders I had ever met. I don’t know if that’s a byproduct of his name or the way he was raised, but, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and would like to think that his first name had something to do with it. There have been plenty of rulers with the name Richard from past centuries, so it’s no surprise Italians want their sons to be associated with such power.

9. Davide

It might not seem all that great—after all, the name Davide is basically just the English name David with an ‘e’ added onto it—but the pronunciation of the Italian name separates it from others. While the name itself is just the Italian version of the aforementioned David, those in Italy still prefer it—most likely because of Michaelangelo’s famous statue of Biblical hero David.

8. Leonardo

As much as most of us would love to think that the name Leonardo is still popular because of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the fact of the matter is that it’s most likely because of the Italian artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, whose work is revered by natives. There’s a reason why so many people line up to catch glimpse of the Mona Lisa, and it’s because of da Vinci’s esteemed piece of art. For that reason, it remains extremely popular. In more recent history, Leonardo DiCaprio has helped carry on its legacy, giving Italian parents every reason to use it as their son’s name.

7. Mattia

Much like a few other names on this list, the name Mattia is most commonly taken from the bible in a number of different countries. While it has a great history of a number of different rulers and historians traced back as far back as the 15th Century, it remains to fall in the top-10 for Italian families to this day. It’s also one of the most beautiful names to say.

6. Gabriele

For those who fell in love with the popular Italian actor and model Gabriel Garko, this might be the choice for their next son. Although it’s spelled differently, the name Gabriele remains one of the top choices for families in the European country. With varying versions of the name and its background and history, the Italian version most likely comes from the church.

5. Matteo

When you hear the name ‘Matt’ in English, there probably aren’t too many people who find it as beautiful as the Italian pronunciation of ‘Matteo’, with no offense to those named Matthew. Common in both first and last names in the Italian language, Matt may be extremely well liked in the States and other parts of the world, and the Italian form of Matteo seems to be just as favored.

4. Lorenzo

Popular in both the Italian and Spanish heritage, the name Lorenzo is both strong and powerful, with most romance languages—especially Italians—naming their boys after Lorenzo de’ Medici, who was simply known as “The Magnificent” because of his ruling of Florence during the Renaissance. As a man who loved arts, he employed some of the most recognized artists in Italian history like da Vinci and Michaelangelo. For that reason, among others, his name is still very popular even these days.

3. Andrea

Personally speaking, the name Andrea actually happens to be one of my favorite. Maybe it’s because it holds a variety of different pronunciations depending on which heritage it comes from and what vowels get the accent. Regardless of my own taste, though, it seems like Italian parents have grown quite fond of it, as well, as it falls in the top-3 most popular names right now in the country. One of the more famous people bearing the name is Andrea Verrocchio, who was a Renaissance sculptor who taught da Vinci, among others. And we all know how seriously the Italians take their art.

2. Alessandro

One of my favorite soccer players to ever suit up for the Italian national team was Alessandro Del Piero, who remains to be one of the most famous players to ever wear the green, white and red of the nation’s flag on his jersey. While many families probably don’t name their son after the great soccer star, it still falls as No. 2 on the list, with Italian physicist Alessandro Volta arguably being the most famous who holds it as their first name, as he invented the battery.

1. Francesco

So what does the most popular Italian name mean? Well, to be quite honest, the name Francesco is just short of the U.S. version of Frank. And while that might not seem too exciting, the name in the Italian language is one of the most masculine of all, with one of the most well known sculptors from the Renaissance periods being Francesco Laurana. It’s fun to say, too, so it’s no wonder it lands in the top spot.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


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