10 Most Popular Italian Baby Names for Boys

Baby name on ankle

ODHD / Flickr / CC by 2.0

Just like how you’ll meet a Mike, a John, and a Tyler every day, Italy also has its common names for men. In fact, when I'm in Italy, it's hard to keep track of each Lorenzo, Gianmarco, and Luca that you'll encounter.

But what are the most frequent names for boys, and what do they mean? 

L’ISTAT, the National Institute of Statistics in Italy, ran a study that resulted in the ten most popular names in Italy. You can read the names for the males below along with their English translations, origins, and name days.

1. Alessandro

English translation/equivalent: Alexander

Origin: From the Greek name Aléxandros and derived from the verb alexéin, "protect, to defend." Etymologically means "defender of one's own men"

Name Day/Onomastico: August 26—in honor of the martyr St. Alexander, patron saint of Bergamo

Related Name/Other Italian Forms: Alessio, Lisandro, Sandro

2. Andrea

English translation/equivalent: Andrea

Origin: Derives from the Greek andrÈia "force, courage, virility"

Name Day/Onomastico: November 30—in memory of St. Andrea

3. Francesco

English translation/equivalent: Francis, Frank

Origin: Derived from the Latin Franciscus, indicating the appearance of the Germanic people of Franchi

Name Day/Onomastico: October 4—in memory of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of Italy

4. Gabriele

English translation/equivalent: Gabriel

Origin: Derived from the Hebrew Gabri'el, composed from either gabar "to be strong" or gheber "man" and from El, abbreviation of Elohim "God." It can mean "God was strong," or "man of God" (for the human appearance the angel assumed during its apparitions)

Name Day/Onomastico: September 29—in honor of St. Gabriel the Archangel

5. Leonardo

English translation/equivalent: Leonard

Origin: Derived from the Lombard Leonhard, composed from leo- "lion" and hardhu- "strong, valorous," to mean "powerful as a lion"

Name Day/Onomastico: November 6—in memory of St. Leonard who died in the 6th century

6. Lorenzo

English translation/equivalent: Lawrence

Origin: Derived from the Latin surname Laurentius, or "citizen or descendent of Laurento," an ancient city of the Lazio region that the Romans associated with a "forest of laurel"

Name Day/Onomastico: August 10–in memory of Archdeacon St. Lawrence, martyred in 258

7. Matteo

English translation/equivalent: Matthew

Origin: Derived from the Hebrew Matithyah, composed from matath "gift,"" and Yah, abbreviation of Yahweh "God," therefore meaning "gift of God"

Name Day/Onomastico: September 21—in memory of St. Matthew the Evangelist

Related Name/Other Italian Forms: Mattia

8. Mattia

English translation/equivalent: Matthew, Matthias

Origin: Derived from the Hebrew Matithyah, composed from matath "gift,"" and Yah, abbreviation of Yahweh "God," and therefore meaning "gift of God"

Name Day/Onomastico: May 14—in honor of St. Matthew the Apostle, patron of engineers. Also celebrated February 24

Related Name/Other Italian Forms: Matteo

9. Riccardo

English translation/equivalent: Richard

Origin: From the German ric and hard meaning “powerful courageous” or “strong man”

Name Day/Onomastico: April 3—in honor of Richard of Chichester (died 1253)

10. Tommaso

English translation/equivalent: Thomas

Origin: From the Aramaic To'ma or Taoma meaning "twin"

Name Day/Onomastico: April 3—in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas (died 1274)