Most common Italian surnames

These are the top 10 most common Italian surnames for families currently living in Italy.
The results will be presented in decreasing order of popularity. With every surname, you’ll find an access to external links containing information about them: where the surname is geographically located in Italy, ow it’s distributed into provinces; its origin and meaning.

# Last Name Meanings and origins
1 ROSSI It is believed that the origin of this surname is related to the characteristic of the color of the hair or skin of the family that gave rise to it. Already among the Romans had arisen the surname Rossius. It is undoubtedly the most common surname in Italy, so it is natural to find it in first position in most Italian cities. It derives from the name and nickname Rosso (from the last Latin Rubeus or Russus), given to those who had reddish-blond hair. In other cases, it can be derived from the Germanic name Ross, namely “horse” or “horse”, always with reference to the red color of the mantle of such an animal (mantle called baio).

Alternate Surname Spellings: ROSSO, ROSSA, RUSSI, RUSSO, RUGGIU, RUBIU, ROSSELLI, ROSSELLO, ROSSELLINI, RISSIELLO, ROSSILLO, ROSSETTI, ROSSETTO, ROSSETTINI, ROSSITTI, ROSSITTO, ROSSINI, ROSSINO, ROSSOTTI, ROSSOTTO, ROSSINI, ROSSONE, ROSSUTO, RUSSELLO, RUSSINO, RUSSOTTI, RUSSOTTO, RUSSIANI, RUSSOLILLO

2 RUSSO It derives from the name and nickname Rosso (from the last Latin Rubeus or Russus), given to those who had reddish-blond hair. In other cases, it can be derived from the Germanic name Ross, namely “horse” or “horse”, always with reference to the red color of the mantle of such an animal (mantle called baio).

Alternate Surname Spellings: ROSSI, RUSSELLO, RUSSINO, RUSSOTTI, RUSSOTTO, RUSSIANI, RUSSOLILLO

3 FERRARI The surname Ferrari derives from the activities related to the trade of a blacksmith (‘fabbro’ in Italian) which in Latin was called ‘faber ferrarus’ or from the activities related to the extraction and smelting of iron. The blacksmith was an artisan who enjoyed great consideration in the different Italian regions, his work was essential in countries with agricultural vocation; with the tweezers, the anvil, pliers, hammers and masses, the blacksmith gave form to the iron bars that, red-hot, yielded to their vigorous blows.

Alternate Surname Spellings: FERARI, FERRARIO, FERRO. The variations of Ferrero/Ferrari/Fabbri/Fabris/Favre in the North all meaning “smith”

4 ESPOSITO The surname Esposito derives from the name “Expositus” given to the abandoned children normally in the front of places of charity (like parishes, monasteries, etc.). The abandonment of the newborn children was a common phenomenon, widely used in some ancient societies. The Espósito form is found throughout the Italian territory, mainly in Campania. Other variants: Espositi (common in Rome), Esposti (in the area of Milano and Lodi), Esposto (in Le Marche, Sicilia and Foggia), Degli Sposti, Sposti.

Alternate Surname Spellings: ESPOSTI, ESPOSTO, ESPOSTI, DEGLI ESPOSTI, SPOSTI, SPOSTO.
See more about Italian Infant Abandonment

5 BIANCHI Bianchi is the plural of the Italian word “bianco,” which means ‘white’. The surname Bianco is derived from the white word used as a name or nickname derived from a physical characteristic of the hair and more precisely the color of the skin, the pallor. At the time of our ancestors, poor diet contributed to the premature aging of the hair with the early appearance of gray hair. The nickname can also be derived from a place name ie the name of a place, for example ‘casa Bianca’ = white house; ‘Monte Bianco’ = White Mountain; ‘Mulino bianco’ = white mill. Bianco is a surname present in all regions of Italy, particularly in Piedmont, Campania and Puglia.

Alternate Surname Spellings: BIANCA, BIANCO, BIANCHESSI, BIANCHETTI, BIANCHINI, BIANCIOTTI, BIANCOLINI, BIANCONCINI, BIANCOTTO, LO BIANCO, BIANCA, BIANCH, BIANCAT, BIANCATO, BIANCOLI, BAINCONE, BIANCOCINI, BIANCACCI, BIANCARELLI, BIANCHELLA, BIANCHELLI, BIANCHET, BIANCHETTA, BIANCHETTI, BIANCHETTO, BIANCHI, BIANCHIN, BIANCHINI, BIANCO, BIANCOTTI, BIANCOTTO, BIANCU, BIANCUZZI, BIANCUZZO

6 ROMANO  The popular Italian surname Romano was often used to denote someone who originally came from Rome, Italy, from the Italian form of Romanus, the Latin word for “Rome.” it is no surprise that Romano is one of the most common Italian last names. It is a surname that tells two stories. One: that you are from Rome. And two: that you are an heir to that ancient empire.

Alternate Surname Spellings:  ROMANò, ROMANI, ROMANELLI, ROMANETTI, ROMANINI, ROMANAZZI, ROMANATI, ROMANATTI

7 COLOMBO The surname Colombo was already used in the Middle Ages as a name given at the time of baptism, alluding to the Holy Spirit that was represented by a dove to emphasize purity and meekness. Thus the name was subsequently transmitted as a surname. Colombo is also a typical surname given to abandoned children mainly in Lombardy.
Colombo is also a typical surname given to abandoned children mainly in Lombardy. Between 1845 and 1864 they were abandoned in the Pia Casa degli Esposti e delle Partorienti in Santa Caterina alla Ruota di Milano, 85,267 children.
It is a male variant of “Colomba” (pigeon), a symbol of the institutions that, by the authorities’ disposition, received and provided homes and cares to orphaned or abandoned children for reasons of wars, famines, forced migrations, illnesses. They were always immediately baptized and registered by name after being found.
From the word “colombo” (= dove). Colombo is the most common surname in Lombardy, where it seems to derive from the symbol of the Ospizio di Santa Caterina della Ruota, Milano where infants were abandoned.
This was the surname of the 15th-century explorer Christopher Columbus.
Alternate Surname Spellings: COLOMBANI, COLOMBRA, COLOMBINI, COLOMBRINO, COLOMBETTI, COLOMBAZZI, COLOMBI, COLOMBERA
8 RICCI Ricci derives from the nickname ‘riccio’ that is to say the curly hair, with curls. It was formed as a surname in the Middle Ages and spread throughout the Italian peninsula. Other hypotheses argue that it derives from the coating of the chestnut (riccio) or of an animal name since ‘riccio’ means porcupine.

Alternate Surname Spellings: RICCIO, RIZZI, RIZZO, RIZZA, RISSO, RICCELLI, RICCIARELLI, RICCETTI, RICCINI, RICCIOLI, RICCIOLINO, RICCIULLI, RICCIOTTI, RICCIONI, RICCIUTO, RICCERI, RICCITIELLO, RIZZELLO, RIZZIELLO RIZZETTI, RIZZETTO, RIZZINI, RIZZOLI, RIZZOLA, RIZZOTTI, RIZZONI, RIZZONE, RIZZARI, RIZZATO, RIZZIERI, RIZZUTI, RISSOLO

9 MARINO MARINO born as a name or nickname after it became a surname. Marino can be derived from Marius (Mario) or from ‘marinus’ (from the sea). In some cases this surname could derive from a place name called Marino, something common in the south of Italy, establishing a connection with the word sea (coast) allowing us to presume that the place of residence of the parents was close to the coast.

Alternate Surname Spellings: MARINI, MARIN, MARINELLI, MARINELLA, MARINIELLO, MARINETTI, MARINUZZI, MARINOLLI, MARINOTTI, MARINONI, MARINATO, MARINACCI

10 GRECO Someone who originates from Greece.

Alternate Surname Spellings: GRIECO, GRECI, GRECHI, GREGO

SOURCES:
http://www.paginainizio.com/nomi/cogmomidiffusi.htm
http://cognome.alfemminile.com/w/cognomi/cognomi-piu-diffusi-in-italia.html
http://www.gens.labo.net/it/cognomi/toptwenty.html
http://www.cognomix.it/top100_cognomi_italia.php
http://www.cognomix.it/cognomi_diffusi.php