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Top 10 Italian Last Names

The surname is added to the baptismal name and it belongs to the members of a family. Given below is a breakdown of ten most popular surnames throughout Italy.

Choosing just 10 surnames from such a huge list of surnames is practically impossible. Nevertheless, we have short listed only those ten surnames which we felt are most popular.

Most of these surnames mentioned below, are descriptive and are generally based on a unique quality of the person or their nickname (such as the person's color of hair or skin). Furthermore, each of the surnames often take on similar alternate surnames with respect to the region.

The name Rossi actually refers to a person with red hair or reddish skin and is said to be the most common or prevailing surname in Italy. Rossi also is the plural of the nickname ‘rosso’, which means red. However, the southern Italian version of this is known as ‘russo’. Incidentally it is also a Finnish surname.

Bianchi is the pluaral of the Italian word "bianco," which means 'white'. Naturally, this name was given to someone with a fair complexion or light hair.

This is taken from the Italian word, ‘ricco’ which means curly hair. Ofcourse, the surname Ricci, Rizzi, Rizzo or other similar surnames are descriptive surnames for a person with curly hair.

This is another descriptive surname which is adapted from the word "marinus", which means 'from the sea' in latin. Marino or Marin indicate a person who works or lives near the ocean or sea.

Moretti is a Jewish-Italian word, taken from the word “maurus”, which indirectly means dark haired or dark skinned. Usually given to someone hailing from northern Africa or Mauritius. Other similar surnames include Moriyadi and Morritt.

Derived from the Italian word used for “brown”, Bruno or Bruni was usually used for a person with brown skin or hair, or someone who characteristically wore brown colored clothing. This name is adapted from the German word “brun” which means dark brown.

This is a last name which is quite common with those children in Italy who were abandoned, orphaned or given for adoption. In Latin, the word "exponere," indirectly refers to 'leave outside'. In other words, it means an orphan, as abandoned children were generally left on the church's steps. Other similar names linked to this practice included 'orfanelli', which means little foundling, a name which is very common in Naples.

This word means 'dove,' and the surname Colombo was usually given to the dove keeper.

Unlike others, ‘ferraro’ or ‘ferrari’ is an occupational surname that means a blacksmith

This popular name is taken from the word, ‘romanus’, the latin word for Rome. This surname and its other alternate descriptive name, ‘romani’, is generally given to someone from Rome.

If you feel there are other surnames that deserve mention, please don’t hesitate to add a comment.

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