This is a slightly revised re-run of a post I wrote for Nameberry.  In case you missed the first go around:

You don’t have to be Italian to fawn all over Isabella.

She’s lyrical, historical, even practical with nicknames Bella and Izzy at the ready.  It’s no surprise she and cohorts Olivia and Sophia would be storming up the charts, now assuming spots 1, 3, and 4.

Let’s take a look what people are choosing in New Jersey– as housewife fame has evidenced, they’re heavy on Italian pride.

Top picks for the state: Adriana (#64), Adrianna (#95), Angelina (#30), Ariana (#46), Arianna (#43), Gabriella (12), Gianna (#11), Julia (#19- Giulia in Italy), Isabella (#1), Juliana (#49), Julianna (#63), Maria (#65), Natalia (#72), Olivia (#2), Sophia (#3), Valentina (#92), Victoria (#22- Vittoria in Italy)

Italian-American mothers often lament that all the good names are taken by their family and friends.

I assure you the options are vast!

If you’ll be summering with Nonna in Toscana, you may want a choice that is both well loved there and reads undeniably Italian here (rankings are from Italy in 2008):  Alessia (#8), Chiara (#5), Federica (#21), Francesca (#9), Giada (#13), Giorgia (#6), Ludovica (#27), Ilaria (#25), Vittoria (#26)

Italy also has a few popular names that wouldn’t necessarily scream Bolognese sauce: Alice (#10), Anna (#11), Beatrice (#18), Elisa (#12), Emma (#14), Greta (#24), Marta (#29), Martina (#3), Matilde (#15), Nicole (#30), Noemi (#19), Sara (#4).  Note Alice and Beatrice are pronounced ah-LEE-che and be-ah-TREE-che.

A triumvirate of recent Cosimas, Claudia Schiffer’s child, Sofia Coppola’s baby, and a Windsor 22nd in line to the throne, remind us that there are still other genuine Italian names to cull from the history books.  Some are quite antique, but just as we have “old lady chic” here, so too do they in Italy.

I urge you to take a chance on an ancient beauty:

Agnella

Agnese

Alessandra

Allegra

Anastasia

Antonia

Artemisia

Aurelia

Aurora

Catarina

Cecilia

Chiara

Claudia

Cosima

Costanza

Diana

Elena

Elisabetta

Fabrizia

Filippa

Filomena

Fiora

Flavia

Flora

Gemma

Ginevra

Giulianna

Letizia

Lucia

Lucrezia

Luisa

Maddalena

Marcella

Mariella

Marina, Marinella

Milena

Minerva

Ottavia

Paola, Paolina

Priscilla

Raffaella

Renata

Romilda

Rosalia

Sabina

Serafina

Serena

Sibilla

Silvia

Silvana

Simona

Susanna

Taddea

Tiziana

Valentina

Veronica

Vincenza

Violetta

Viviana

Should you have a boy, Armani may rank in the top 100 for males in Rhode Island, but does not come recommended as a genuinely Italian choice.  ;-D

10 Responses to “Italian Girl Names: Le Tante Sorelle di Isabella”

  1. eBirdie Says:

    I love Noemi. And many others on this list.

    Agnella
    Allegra
    Cosima
    Fiora
    Ginevra
    Renata
    Viviana

  2. sarahrosangela Says:

    The man and I are considering changing our daughters name from Elizabeth to Elisabetta. Her middle name is a family one, Rosangela, and we think the Italian spelling flows better. Elizabeth never felt totally right. We call her Eliza anyhow, so the switch won’t confuse her.

  3. Helen Says:

    I think Elisabetta would be lovely with Rosangela. Good luck with that.

  4. katie Says:

    My husband and I chose Cecilia for our little girl. If we happen to have another one I think I will definately choose one with Itilian heritage!

  5. youcantcallitit Says:

    Elisabetta IS lovely, but so is Elizabeth. You really can’t go wrong, though I suppose Eliza is more intuitive from Elizabeth? What name would you prefer her have on a diploma or wedding announcement? How old is she now?

  6. youcantcallitit Says:

    Cecilia is one of my favorites! I find myself suggesting it often. :-)

  7. katrina Says:

    I love Fiora, Lucia, Cosima, and Cecilia. I also love Francesca. Too bad I’m far from Italian.

  8. Sebastiane Says:

    In my neighborhood back in Chicago we have 3 Francesca’s, 2 Giannas, 3 Giovannis and a Giovanna.

  9. delovely Says:

    Lucia is my #1 girls name choice at the moment! I looove Italian names… favourites are:

    Alessandra
    Aurelia
    Aurora
    Cosima
    Elena
    Elisabetta
    Flora
    Rosalia
    Serafina
    Valentina

  10. Rita Says:

    Cecilia is lovely, especially pronounced it the Italian way!

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