Spelled with either one or two Ns, Arianna has steadily climbed its way well into the top 100 list over the last several years. Meaning "most holy," this beautiful, lilting name has a slightly exotic sound; Arianna Huffington (of the ubiquitous Huffington Post) is its best-known pop culture namesake.
The Italian version of Alexis—and an attractive alternative to the arguably-overused Alyssa—Alessia means "defender." Light, lovely and authentically Italian, it's an unusual name in America, but may be prone to mispronunciation.
Anthony is a hugely popular name in America, and has been for years; it held the #11 most-popular spot in 2011. Meaning "priceless one," and appearing on Shakespearean characters ( Antonio), a patron saint, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the likable television mobster Tony Soprano, this versatile moniker fits perfectly on just about anyone lucky enough to call it his own.
Another Italian and Spanish name, <a href=Gabriella is most popular with two Ls. Although always well-loved in Italian and Hispanic families, Gabriella has recently branched out to the mainstream; Disney's High School Musical featured a Gabriella as its lead female character, confirming its current "cool" status. A host of cute nicknames can be derived from Gabriella, too, including Gabby, Ella, and Bella.
This Italian version of John has, in recent years, become newly hip in the States, perhaps in part due to actor Giovanni Ribisi's reviving it in the public eye. Of Hebrew and Italian origins, this classic name's meaning is "God is gracious." Its shortened form, Gio, is a super-cute nickname, too.
The patron saint of childbirth, and a famous Norwegian queen, Juliana means "youthful." Also spelled with two Ns, this popular choice will be girly enough for your little one, but definitely not a name she'll outgrow.
This Italian version of Matthew, along with its Spanish cousin Mateo, has enjoyed a recent ascent in popularity among celeb babies, and across America-at-large. It's no wonder; the name Matteo perfectly balances its beautiful sound with a masculine feel, and shortens to the sweet nickname Teo.
This classic Italian name is popular in both the US and the UK, and boasts noteworthy female namesakes the world over, from the American civil rights activist Rosa Parks to the French painter Rosa Bonheur. While not an unusual name, it's pretty, grounded, and somewhat set apart from the suddenly resurgent Rose.
The most popular girl's name in 2011 (that's right, Sophia rocked the number one spot!) this sophisticated and smart-sounding name means "wisdom," and is a favorite among celeb-parents ... and everyone else!
An ideal choice for parents who like the letter Z, but want to try something different than the popular Zoe, Zola is both Italian and—surprisingly—Congolese. Meaning "piece of earth," the name found fame through renowned French author Émile Zola; while it's truly adorable for a little girl, its unique sound will likely safeguard it from ever becoming commonplace.
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