Ciao Giovanni!

The most popular men’s name in Florence

Valentina Wurth
July 3, 2014

According to research into Florence’s register of baptismal names, kept at the Santa Maria del Fiore archives, between 1450 and 1900 the most popular name in the city was Giovanni. The name’s popularity is probably linked to Florence’s patron saint, John the Baptist.   


In the seventeenth century, the second most popular men’s name was Giuseppe, followed by Luigi, Cesare, Carlo and Enrico. According to the list of baptized babies registered in 2013, Giuseppe topped Giovanni as the most common name in Florence. Unsurprisingly, Giovanni took second place.


For women in the same time period, the most common name in Florence was Caterina. Caterina is Siena’s patron saint, and the name may have gained popularity throughout Tuscany as a result of this tie. Caterina was followed by Alessandra, Margarita, Maria and Anna. In 2013, the preferred name for women in Florence was Maria, followed by Anna.


Francesco Sestito conducted the research into Florence’s baptismal records, which have been digitized and can be viewed online (in Italian) at


The lack of variation perhaps reflects the general Italian attitude towards traditions, or perhaps that some names never really go out of style. 

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