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15 Italian Baby Names That Are Beautiful Whether You're Italian Or Not

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There are many factors to consider when you're choosing a name for your baby-to-be. To many parents, the history behind a name is important. Others look for names with inspiring meanings or namesakes. Still others look to cultures they admire or hale from when choosing a baby name. If you have Italian heritage, or even just have a fondness for the culture, choosing an Italian baby name is a choice you won't regret.

Although I'm not from Italy, my husband's family is. When we were choosing a name for our youngest daughter we knew we wanted a name that paid tribute to his family's history. Choosing from a multitude of gorgeous names wasn't easy, but I love the name we ended up choosing and love the fact that it contains a bit of our family's history.

Italian names are elegant, decadent, and classic, much like the culture they originate from. Although many Italian names are popular in America (like Bella, Mia, Anthony... you get the picture) there are many more "traditionally" Italian names that aren't as common overseas yet.

The beauty of these elaborate names is that they can be paired with a more common name as a middle name to give them a sense of balance. Similarly, most of these names have great potential for multiple nicknames. Others still can stand on their own perfectly. Whether your family is from Italy or you're just drawn to the culture, choosing an Italian baby name could be the perfect choice for your baby.

1. Aria

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This light, musical name means "air or lioness" and has roots in the opera. It also makes a gorgeous baby name with a powerful meaning.

2. Matteo

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The Italian version of Matthew means "gift of God" and is a more unique variation of a classic name.

3. Vera

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Though this name is technically Russian for "faith," it's a popular choice in Italy with an antique sound.

4. Andino

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This unique name has meaning to match. It means "manly or brave," and would be a great alternative to the English name Andrew.

5. Giovanna

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The feminine form of Giovanni meaning "God is gracious" is an increasingly popular name among parents looking for an elegant name for their baby.

6. Bella

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Though this name isn't as exclusively Italian as it used to be, it's still as gorgeous as ever. Short for Isabella, the word means "beautiful."

7. Rocco

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Italian for "rest," Rocco is a unique gender-neutral choice that many babies aren't as likely to have.

8. Caterina

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The Italian version of Katherine, "meaning pure," is a beautiful twist on a classic.

9. Alcee

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A unique option for parents who love names like Alice or even Alex, Alcee is an Italian literary name.

10. Anthony

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Meaning "priceless one," Anthony is a classic choice with a host of well-known namesakes.

11. Cara

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The endearing Italian word for "face" is a popular choice in many countries.

12. Brando

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Made popular by classic actor Marlon Brando, the name makes a great first name as well. It means "firebrand or sword," giving it the perfect edge.

13. Alessandro

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Similar to Alexander, but more unique, Alessandro means "defending men."

14. Marco

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If you're looking for a classic like Mark or Marcus, but don't like the over-used names, opt for Marco, which means "warlike."

15. Allegra

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Another musical name, Allegra means "joyous" and is a sweet sounding name for any little girl.