20 Italian Baby Names That are Classics For a Reason

These bellissime names will never go out of style.

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Every country has their own set of popular baby names. Liam and Emma were chart-topping American monikers this year, but the most popular Italian baby names were Francesco and Sofia in 2017 (the most recent recorded year of data), according to the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT).

Looking at the trends of baby names in Italy from 1999-2017, a pattern emerges. Most male baby names end in the letter "o" whereas female baby names end in "a." The same names also appear over and over again throughout the years with classic names continually topping the charts. There aren't any Daenerys or Katniss babies in Italy (or, at least, not that many).

This holds true for my own Italian family, who alternated giving their male babies the name Joseph or Vincent for decades. (The Italian versions of these names are Giuseppe and Vincenzo.) Passing down a family name means a lot in the Italian culture. According to ItalianGeneology.com, it's been common in Italian families for the first child to be named after the paternal grandparent and the second child to be named after the maternal grandparent. My parents did it backwards, with my middle name coming from my maternal grandma and my brother's middle name (Vincent) coming from my paternal grandpa.

This hand-me-down naming strategy pays homage to your ancestors and also explains why these classic Italian names have never gone out of style.

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Francesco

The top Italian male baby name in 2017, Francesco means "free one," so it's perfect for children who already have free spirits even as newborns.

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Sofia

ISTAT reported that the top female baby name in Italy for 2017 was Sofia. It comes from the Greek Sophia, meaning "wisdom." Name your baby Sofia and she may just become wise beyond her years.

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Giovanni

This is the Italian version of John, which means "God is gracious." Italy is a heavily Catholic country, and, as such, many common baby names stem from the Bible.

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Giada

One Italian making the Giada name famous is Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis. She's been bringing Italian cuisine into everyday Americans' homes for years. Giada is Italian for "Jade," which is itself a popular baby name.

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Andrea

In America, Andrea is usually a girl's name, but it's a common boy's name in Italy. It was the sixth most popular male baby name in Italy in 2017, according to ISTAT. It comes from the Greek word for "manly."

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Vittoria

This is the Italian form of the name Victoria, and it fittingly means "victory." It sure is an adorably winning name.

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Davide

Your baby boy will never doubt your love for him if you name him Davide. It means "beloved," which is honestly so sweet. No wonder it was the 16th most popular male name in Italy in 2017.

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Carina

If you want your daughter to feel the same way, name her Carina which also means "beloved" or "dear." Carina is also the name of a constellation, which makes it extra unique.

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Matteo

The ninth most popular baby name in 2017 in Italy, Matteo means "gift of God." And what a gift any little baby with this name would be.

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Aurora

If you think your baby girl is the center of your universe, name her Aurora. It means "luminous" or "dazzling," just like the sun.

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Leonardo

From Leonardo DiCaprio to Leonardo da Vinci, this name is a classic Italian one in every sense of the word. No surprise it was the number two name in Italy in 2017. It also means "brave lion," so it's perfect for your brave little boy.

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Gaia

This name comes from the Greek goddess of the earth or the Latin word for "cheerful humor," both of which would be great namesakes for your daughter. It was the 16th most popular Italian female baby name in 2017.

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Alessandro

Italian for Alexander, this name comes from the Greek words for "defend" and "warrior." Babies with this name may turn out to be fiercely protective. It was the third most popular male baby name in Italy in 2017.

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Valentina

Want your daughter to have a warrior's name too? Call her Valentina, which means "strong."

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Luca

This is one of the rare Italian boy names that ends in "a" instead of "o." Luca means "light," and any little baby named Luca will bring so much light into your life.

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Chiara

Like Luca, Chiara also means light, but this is a more traditionally female version. You may know a famous Chiara in fashion blogger and designer Chiara Ferragni.

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Stefano

This name means "crowned," which means your baby will practically be a royal family member with this moniker.

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Giulia

The Italian version of Julia was the second most popular female baby name in Italy in 2017. It means "youthful," so naming your daughter this is one way of keeping her a forever baby.

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Edoardo

The Italian form of Edward means "rich guardian." It's also the name of Princess Beatrice's new beau, so the moniker has some serious royalty attached.

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Sienna

Siena is a city in Italy, which explains its popularity as a baby name. Whether you spell it with two "n"s or one, it's a beautiful name for a little girl.

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