So you have an Italian background?
You want to carry on the Italian family traditions when it comes to naming your baby girl?
Or perhaps you just love Italy and its culture and want to introduce Italian naming traditions into your own family customs.
You've come to exactly the right place!
If you've ever tried to trace your Italian family tree you'll have come across a lot of relatives with the same names. That's because naming traditions have followed a clear pattern down through the generations.
That pattern applies to both Italian boy names and names for baby girls.
For girls, this is how Italian family traditions of choosing names works :
It doesn't always work that way though. If the first-born child is a girl, she may well be given the female version of her paternal grandfather's name to show respect for him : Antonia for Antonio; Angela for Angelo; Giuseppina for Giuseppe.
And we know of one family whose parents were so crazy about opera that they named all their children after characters from their favourite opera. So don't rely on these naming traditions if you're trying to trace your family tree!
Most of the Italian girl names that go back for generations will have their origins in religion and, specifically, in saints of the Roman Catholic Church.
Originally that name will have been given to celebrate the patron saint of the parents' village, or the saint of the day on which the person was born.
An individual's 'saint's day', or 'onomastico', is one of the Italian family traditions that's still upheld in some parts of Italy, particularly in the south of the country.
It's a bit like having a second birthday : cards may be sent, sweets given, an Italian cake made, or at the very least your mother or aunt will telephone to wish you a happy 'name day'.
Those who have names which don't have a specific name day celebrate on November 1st - All Saints' Day.
So why not adopt this naming tradition in your own family? Find out when your family's name days are and use our free interactive e-cards to send them a greeting.
Here are the twenty most popular Italian first names for baby girls.
To help you, we've also included each name's meaning, the English equivalent where there is one, and the date of their 'onomastico'.
||Maria / Mary
||Messenger of god
||Graceful much beloved
|Giulia / Giulietta
||Julie / Julia
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