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Italian names that start with the letter 'C'

Plenty of beautiful Italian names begin with the letter ‘C’. These include female names such as Chiara, Cinzia, and Costanza —as well as male names like Claudio, Corrado, and Costantino.

The Italian language rarely uses the letter ‘K’ (that letter is not part of the classic Italian alphabet). As a result, there are many Italian names that start with the letter ‘C’.

Italian girl names that start with 'C'

Click on the names to hear an audio recording of their pronunciation.

Cinzia

The Italian name Cinzia and the English name Cynthia have the same origin. Their meaning is “from Mount Cynthus” in reference to the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis in Ancient Greek mythology.

The difference in spelling between the names Cinzia and Cynthia illustrates some features of the Italian language.

For instance, the letter ‘y’ does not exist in the traditional Italian alphabet. In addition, the letter combination ‘th’ is frequent in English (for example in the words “theater”, “theory”, “aesthetic”) but not in Italian (where the corresponding words are spelled as “teatro”, “teoria” and “estetico”).

In fact, the letter combination ‘th’ doesn’t appear in any of the thousand most common Italian words.

Clelia

The name Clelia is the Italian form of the Latin name Cloelia. In ancient Roman history, Cloelia was a legendary woman. Her story is included in Giovanni Boccaccio's “De Mulieribus Claris” (“On Famous Women”), a collection of biographies of historical and mythological women that he wrote in the 14th century.

Clorinda

Many Italian names come from Latin. The name Clorinda, however, was created in the 16th century by Italian poet Torquato Tasso for one of the main characters in his epic poem “Gerusalemme Liberata” (Jerusalem Delivered).

Chiara

The Italian name Chiara comes from the Latin adjective “clarus” which initially meant “clear” and “luminous” and later took on the additional figurative meaning of “illustrious” and “famous”.

The Italian word “chiara” —spelled the same as the name, except in lowercase— is the feminine form of an adjective that means “bright”. It has the same Latin origin as the name.

The name Claire (which the English language has borrowed from French) has the same Latin origin as Chiara because it too comes from the Latin adjective “clarus”.

Christina

The Italian name Cristina differs in spelling from its English equivalent, Christina. The absence of the letter ‘h’ in the Italian version showcases a rule of Italian spelling.

In Italian, the letter ‘C’ produces a soft sound when followed by the vowels ‘e’ or ‘i’ and a hard sound otherwise.

The letter ‘H’ is added to convert the soft sound into a hard sound (for example, in the name Chiara). In front of other letters, the letter ‘C’ already has a hard sound; the additional letter ‘H’ is unnecessary from a phonetic perspective, so the Italian spelling leaves it out.

Italian is mostly a phonetic language: spelling closely matches pronunciation. French and English, in contrast, preserve silent letters that reflect the word’s etymology (its linguistic origin).

Italian boy names that start with 'C'

Click on the names to hear an audio recording of their pronunciation.

Italian first names that begin with ‘C’ among historical figures and public personalities

A name can derive additional allure from a famous namesake. Several Italian names that begin with the letter ‘C’ have been associated with artists.

These artists include musicians (Claudio Monteverdi, Claudio Abbado, and Cecilia Bartoli), actresses (Claudia Cardinale and Caterina Murino), and painters (Corrado Giaquinto and Ciro Ferri).

Individual Occupation
Claudio Monteverdi Italian composer (1567–1643)
Claudio Abbado Italian opera and philharmonic conductor
Cecilia Bartoli Italian opera singer
Claudia Cardinale Italian actress (starred in “The Leopard” by Luchino Visconti and “8½” by Fellini)
Curzio Malaparte Italian writer and filmmaker
Carlo Collodi Italian author and creator of the character Pinocchio
Corrado Giaquinto Italian painter (1703–1766)
Ciro Ferri Italian Baroque painter (1634–1689)
Costantino Nivola Italian sculptor (1911 – 1988)
Caterina Murino Italian actress (starred in the James Bond movie “Casino Royale”)
Chiara Ferragni Italian blogger and fashion designer