The Most Popular Italian Names for Girls

Choosing the name for a newborn is a cherished ritual that means a lot to every parent-to-be. It’s not just about honouring family traditions or nodding to modern trends, but delving into a deeper narrative that will become a part of the child’s identity.

Good old ancient Romans encapsulated this belief in the adage “nomen omen”, hinting at the power a name has to foretell one’s destiny. And indeed, a name is far more than a mere label, it’s an integral part of the individual narrative waiting to unfold.

So, if you’re looking for that perfect name for your little princess, here’s a list of the most popular Italian names for girls to consider.

The Most Popular Italian Names for Girls

Classic Italian Names for Girls

Elena: meaning “shining light”, this is a classic pick for a baby girl. It’s drenched in mythological charm, echoing the bewitching allure of Helen of Troy, whose legendary beauty ignited the Trojan War. Famous Italians with this name include Elena Ferrante, the celebrated author of “The Neapolitan Novels.”

Maria: this popular Italian name for girls stems from the Aramaic “Maryam” (meaning “drop of the sea”) and holds a divine allure. Dating back centuries, its celestial charm was cemented by the biblical figure of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Notable Italians with this name include Maria Montessori, who promoted a pedagogical revolution that still resonates today.

Francesca: this Italian girl’s name is rooted in the Latin “Franciscus,” which means “French” or “free one.” Its popularity soared in the 14th-century, inspired by Saint Francesca Romana, a noblewoman who spent her life serving the poor and ill. The name also echoes the tragic romance of Francesca da Rimini in Dante’s Divine Comedy, where she’s the protagonist in the fifth canto of the Inferno with her lover Paolo.

Giulia: here’s another classic Italian name for girls that oozes historical richness. It traces back to the Latin “Iulia,” the surname of one of Rome’s most noble families.  Among its famed bearers stands Giulia Gonzaga, a 16th-century Italian noblewoman famed for her beauty and sharp intellect. The name further delights with its variants, Giuliana and Giulietta.

Elisa: effortlessly elegant and easy to pronounce, Elisa springs from Elisabetta, with roots in the Hebrew words “El” for “God” and “sheba” for “promise.” Simply put, it means “God is my oath.” Among the famous Italians rocking this name – which can be shortened to Lisa – is singer Elisa Zoffoli.

Chiara: this cherished name comes from the Latin “Clarus,” which translates to “clear” or “bright.” It shines with the aura of Saint Clare of Assisi, a close follower of Saint Francis who initiated the Poor Clares order. Fun fact: ‘Chiara’ is also the title of a beautiful serenade by Andrea Bocelli, one of the greatest Italian tenors.

Anna: a simple name, easy on the tongue and oozing with sweet significance. It comes from the Hebrew “Channah,” signifying “grace,” and it has been carried by many iconic figures, from the Virgin Mary’s mother, honored as Saint Anna, to the Italian actress Anna Magnani. This name frequently complements others, leading to beautiful combinations like Anna Maria or Annalisa.

Valentina: choosing this name for your baby girl is a timeless tribute to love. Valentina is the feminine for Valentinus, signifying “strong, vigorous” in Latin, and rose to popularity following the recognition of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers. Italian music offers numerous serenades to Valentina, with hits like Cara Valentina by Max Gazzè and Vai Valentina by Ornella Vanoni.

Alessia: this timeless Italian girl name derived from the Greek ‘alexein,’ meaning ‘to defend’ or ‘to protect,’ thus embodying strength and resilience. Its use is linked to the figure of Saint Alessia, a 4th-century Roman icon who defied convention to escape an arranged marriage and live as a hermit.

Laura: a name of enduring grace, it comes from the Latin “laurus,” signifying glory and immortality. Its popularity in Italy was propelled by literature, with the renowned case of Petrarch’s love saga with a woman named Laura in the 14th century. Today, it continues to be a classic choice.

little girl playing with wet hair in front of the mirror after taking a bath

Old-Fashioned Italian Names for Girls 

Ludovica: inspired by the Germanic Ludwig, which means “famous warrior,” this name screams nobility with a hint of battlefield valor. Widely used among European elite throughout history, today its meaning resonates with those who cherish valor and a lasting heritage. 

Caterina: another rather noble-sounding name that makes a beautiful pick for your little princess. Caterina is believed to derive from the Greek ‘katharos’, meaning ‘pure’ or ‘clear,’ and gained popularity during the Renaissance, driven by the admiration for Caterina de’ Medici and the reverence for the 14th-century Saint Caterina da Siena.

Matilde: this name derived from the Germanic words for strength (“maht”) and battle (“hild”), blossoming into a warrioress – mighty in battle, fierce in spirit. It’s a name with royal vibes, adored across Europe for centuries. Among its bearers is Countess Matilde di Canossa, who played diplomat between Emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII.

Enrica: this old-school Italian name for girls comes from the Germanic Heinrich. In a blend of “heim” (home) and “ric” (ruler), Enrica translates to “home ruler” or “queen of the household”. Now, it’s clear who the boss is going to be, right?

Vittoria: from the Latin word “victoria,” which means victory or conquer, back in the day this name was frequently given to the daughters of triumphant generals and soldiers. With its allure heightened by saintly and royal bearers, Vittoria’s vintage charm is blooming again, especially after style icon Chiara Ferragni chose it for her baby girl.

Ginevra: this gorgeous Italian name for girls oozes ancient allure, tracing a mystical journey across diverse cultures. Derived from the Welsh classic Gwenhwyfar, meaning “white fairy.” The name is linked to the story of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table and the romantic triangle between Ginevra, King Arthur and Lancillotto.

Sofia: historically associated with the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, this name gained popularity particularly in Sicily, due to the revered Santa Sofia, the patron saint of Sortino near Siracusa. This name has been used in songs like Alvaro Soler’s hit “Sofia” and Disney’s cartoons like “Principessa Sofia,” and it dazzles in the legacy of screen queen Sofia Scicolone, best known as Sophia Loren.

Beatrice: meaning “she who brings happiness,” this name has graced saints and muses alike throughout the centuries, including Dante’s big love. Choosing this name – sweetly shortened to Bea – is a promise for a life sprinkled with joy and romantic allure for your baby girl.

Luisa: with Franco-German roots translating to ‘illustrious warrior,’ this elegant Italian name for girls has danced across Europe during the Renaissance, courtesy of queens and noblewomen. One notable person with this name is Luisa Spagnoli, the Italian entrepreneur who founded the brand Perugina and a renowned fashion line, immortalizing her innovative essence through her name’s valiant allure.

Lucia: inspired by the Latin ‘lux’ meaning “light,” this charming Italian name has graced religious and literary icons for centuries, from the reverent Saint Lucia of Siracusa to the famous Lucia Mondella of Manzoni’s The Betrothed. Surely, the perfect name for a baby girl destined to shine!

Funny family! Father and his children daughters with a paper accessories. Funny girls holding crowns on stick.

Modern Italian Names for Girls

Vanessa: invented by the English author Jonathan Swift in his poetic saga “Cadenus and Vanessa” (1713), this beautiful name has danced its way across borders wooing hearts in Italy. Exuding classic British elegance, Vanessa is also a delicate butterfly, adding grace and allure to the name.

Micol: this name is entwined with historical charm and literary elegance. It’s the Italian rendition of the Hebrew name Michal, featured in the Old Testament as King Saul’s daughter, who becomes the first wife of David. Its allure skyrocketed post Giorgio Bassani’s novel “Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini,” where the captivating female protagonist is called Micol.

Giorgia: resonating with a love for nature, this Italian name comes from the Greek Georgios, which blends “ge” (earth) and “ergon” (work), whispering ‘worker of the earth.’ A significant figure associated with this name is St. George, whose legendary battle with a dragon, which symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, adds a dash of valor to this already charming name.

Gaia: this is another Italian name for girls that pays homage to nature. In Greek mythology, Gaia was revered as the personification of Earth and the venerable mother to all Olympian deities. Entrusted with such an illustrious heritage, the name Gaia is often chosen as an emblem of ethereal beauty and nurturing grace.

Martina: a gentle and sweet name, yet rooted in the fierce lore of Mars, the Roman got of war. Over the centuries, its warlike essence has morphed into a symbol of strength and valor. Among fabulous Martinas, spotlight on Martina Caruso, the culinary genius with a Michelin star at Ristorante Signum on Salina island.

Azzurra: among the popular Italian names for girls, Azzurra stands our for its evocative charm. Literally translating to “blue” in English, this name instantly brings to mind the dreamy hues of the sky and the sea. Its origins trace back to the Persian ‘lazvard,’ hinting at the rich color of sapphires and lapis lazuli.

Allegra: derived from the Italian term allegro, meaning “cheerful” or “lively” in English, this Italian name for girls exudes boundless positivity and optimism, perfect for vibrant and cheerful personalities. Notable Allegras include Allegra Versace, the Italian heiress and socialite from the Versace dynasty. Surely, a name that radiates brilliance!

Greta: an abbreviation of Margherita, this Italian girl name finds its origins in the Greek word ‘Margarētēs,’ poetically translating to ‘pearl.’ And just like the glow of a pearl, this name radiates a unique beauty that makes it one of the most popular Italian names for girls.

Serena: derived from the Latin word “serenus,” which means tranquil or serene,  this name carries an auspicious charm, symbolizing the wish for a life filled with happiness. It enjoyed popularity during the Roman Empire and was proudly borne by numerous women from noble families, including the daughter of Emperor Theodosius.

Emma: a romantic name originating from the Germanic word “ermen,” which means “universal.” It became popular in England during the Middle Ages, largely thanks to the figure of Emma of Normandy, who was twice the queen consort of England. Over the centuries, its charm spread across Europe, securing a special place in Italian hearts as one of the most popular Italian names for girls.

Girl with painted green hands

Unique Italian Names for Girls

Lea: short and sweet, this is a unique Italian name for girls effortlessly combining simplicity with strength. It’s got Latin roots, meaning “lioness” – the perfect choice to watch your daughter roar with confidence as she grows up.

Morgana: steeped in Celtic mystique, this is a strong name that’s believed to come from the Welsh word “Morgan,” which means “sea circle.” Its rise to fame was largely due to the captivating figure of Fata Morgana, the iconic antagonist in King Arthur’s legends.

Dafne: a unique Italian name steeped in history and culture. In Greek mythology, Daphne was the nymph who captured the heart of Apollo. To protect her from his grasp, her father, Zeus, turned her into a laurel tree – a tale that’s beautifully immortalized in Bernini’s masterpiece, ‘Apollo e Dafne,’ on display at Rome’s Borghese Gallery.”

Viola: a gorgeous flower name that directly refers to the color of violets. Symbolizing modesty and sincerity, it’s got some charming variations like Violante and Violetta. The latter gained fame as the heroine of Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘La Traviata.’ 

Asia: a unique, elegant Italian name for girls with ancient origins. It finds its roots in the Babylonian term ‘Asu,’ symbolizing the enchanting eastern lands where the sun rises.

Iris: in Greek mythology, Iris is depicted as the divine messenger who personified the rainbow, which was considered to be a celestial bridge linking the earthly realm to the divine. This name became notably popular in Italy following the 1898 debut of Pietro Mascagni’s opera, “Iris.”

Noemi: a unique pick for little princesses, this lovely name traces its roots to the Hebrew “Na’omi,” signifying “sweetness” or “my delight.” It also boasts a biblical connection, being the name of Ruth’s mother-in-law, adding a layer of classic elegance.

Diletta: a delightful name derived from Latin, where it translates to “beloved” or “favorite.” Historically, it was used as a tender nickname or a term of endearment in literature and poetry. Only over time, it transitioned to a formal first name, making it a perfect choice for modern romantics.

Sole: brimming with brilliance and vitality, this short Italian name literally translates to “sun” and is a great choice for little girls destined to radiate vivacity. It’s often twinned with the name Maria, forming the delightful combination Maria Sole or Mariasole.

most popular italian names for girls

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