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Italian Names and their Onomastico

Italian Names and their Onomastico

Have you ever noticed that many Italians have the same name and most of them are named after a Saint? It is not lack of imagination, but a strong influence of their tradition.

As we all know, Italy is one of the country with Catholic customs, one of these is the celebration of the Onomastico or Name Day. It is a person’s Saint Day, as each day is dedicated to a Saint in the Catholic religion, and it has been celebrated since the Middle Ages, not only in Italy, but also in other European and Latin American countries, who have been influenced by a Catholic or an Orthodox customs.

This tradition originated with the Christian calendar of saints: believers named after a saint would celebrate their saint’s feast day, or in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the day of a saint’s death.

Throughout Italy the onomastico is celebrated as a second birthday, though many Italians nowadays, especially in the north, do not celebrate it anymore. Now people just receive wishes, like “auguri” or “buon onomastico”. In the southern part of Italy this custom is still very current. One’s onomastico is a day of celebration and warm wishes from family and friends, much like a birthday.

Here are top three popular Italian names given in Italy in 2015 and their onomastico:


Francesco – Onomastico: 4 October;
Alessandro – Onomastico: 26 August;
Marco – Onomastico: 25 April.


Sofia – Onomastico: 30 September;
Giulia – Onomastico: 22 May;
Aurora – Onomastico: 20 October.

See who of your friends is celebrating their onomastico. Do not forget to wish them a “Buon onomastico”, for sure, they will appreciate it.

Other common Italian names and their corresponding onomastico are:
Adriana 8 luglio
Alberto 15 novembre
Aldo 10 gennaio
Alessandra 20 marzo
Alessandro 26 agosto
Alfredo 14 agosto
Andrea 30 novembre
Angela 27 gennaio
Angelo 2 ottobre
Anna 26 luglio
Bruno 6 ottobre
Carlo 4 novembre
Carmela 16 luglio
Caterina 29 aprile
Claudio 7 luglio
Domenico 8 agosto
Elena 18 agosto
Enrico 13 luglio
Francesca 9 marzo
Francesco 24 gennaio
Giorgio 23 aprile
Giovanna 12 dicembre
Giuseppe 19 marzo
Laura 19 ottobre
Lucia 13 dicembre
Luciano 7 gennaio

Luigi 21 giugno
Luisa 15 marzo
Marco 25 aprile
Margherita 22 febbraio
Maria 1 maggio
Marina 18 giugno
Mario 19 gennaio
Massimo 8 gennaio
Maurizio 22 settembre
Mauro 15 gennaio
Michele 29 settembre
Nicola 10 settembre
Paola 26 gennaio
Pasquale 17 maggio
Pietro 29 giugno
Raffaele 29 settembre
Renato 12 novembre
Rita 22 maggio
Rosa 23 agosto
Salvatore 18 marzo
Sergio 9 settembre
Silvia 3 novembre
Stefano 26 dicembre
Teresa 1 ottobre
Teresa 15 ottobre
Vittorio 21 maggio

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Easy Milano is the online publication for the international community of Milan. We offer practical tips, key information and essential insights about living and working in Italy. Easy Milano has been assisting English speaking expats in Milan since 1999.
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Comments (1)

  1. Why do Italians Eat Lentils on New Year's Eve? | Easy Milano

    […] your name is Sylvester or a variant of, then your onomastico, name day, is Dec 31st and the party is all for […]

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