Of course, if you really are Italian, or want to follow the traditions of their great culture for your own reasons, your daughter's name has already been chosen. For generations, many Italian families have named the firstborn female after the paternal grandmother, the second after the maternal grandmother, and subsequent daughters after a favorite aunt or saint.
If you decide to go with an Italian baby girl name, keep in mind that Italians celebrate both the child's actual birthday and her name-day, or "onomastico." Since a large majority of Italian baby names are descended from the name of a saint, there is typically a day on the calendar earmarked to celebrate that saint, and by extension, anyone carrying that name. Italian baby girls can even look forward to getting presents on their name-day!
So what are the five most popular Italian baby girl names?
Adriana: A form of the Latin name "Adrienne," Adriana means "dark" or "rich." The name also refers to a province in Northern Italy, home of the beautiful Church of Santa Maria Assunta della Tomba. Currently celebrities sharing this name include model Adriana Lima, and in the fictional realm, Drea de Matteo's lovely but doomed "Sopranos" character Adriana La Cerva.
Angela: This is a very popular name across the world, especially when you count its many variations (Angelica, Angeline, and about 40 others.) In its original form, Angela derives from Greek origins, and means "messenger" or "messenger of God". Of course she'll be your angel from heaven, and she'll share good company with a wide range of stars of screen including Angelina Jolie, Angie Harmon and Angie Dickinson.
Rosa: We'll give you one guess what beautiful flower this Latin-derived Italian baby girl name descends from. Yes, it's the rose! As with Angela, there are many variations of this Italian baby girl name available, Rose being the English version, and Charo, Rosabel, Rosalie and many others preferred in different cultures.
Anna: The second most popular Italian baby girl name is a Latin variation of "Hannah." The name originated from the bible in the form of a devout woman who saw the infant Jesus presented at the temple in Jerusalem. If names are any indication of future success, your daughter could be a famous ballerina (Anna Pavlova) or tennis player (the lovely and talented Anna Kournikova.) As with most of these Italian baby names, there are tons of variations: Ann, Annamarie, Annika and many others.
Maria: The most popular Italian baby girl name is another Latin name, this one meaning "star of the sea." This popular name has taken many forms across the world; with Mary proving the most popular English form and Marie ruling French culture. The ballad "Maria" from the popular musical "West Side Story" gave this name a huge boost a few generations back, and it continues to reveal new popular variations, such as pop singer Mariah Carey.
Photo courtesy of Rudy and Peter Skitterians at Pixabay