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Italian names that start with the letter 'D'

Donatello —and Donatella, its female version— are likely the most recognizable Italian names beginning with ‘D’ as nearly everybody has heard of the Renaissance Sculptor named Donatello —or at least of the Ninja Turtle character named after him.

Also beginning with ‘D,’ the name Dante enjoys a recognition that extends far beyond the borders of Italy thanks to the author of the Divine Comedy, the Italian poet from the Middle Ages, Dante Alighieri.

Plenty of other Italian names begin with ‘D’, including male names like Dario, Damiano, and Donato, as well as female names like Daniela, Domenica, and Donata.

Italian girl names that start with 'D'

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

Donata, Donatella, and Dorotea

Two Italian female names that begin with ‘D’ (Donata and Donatella) share a common Latin origin with the Italian word “dono” (which means “gift”). These names are related to the Latin verb “dōnāre” (“to give”) as well as the word “dōnum” (“gift”).

Dorotea (the Italian version of the name Dorothy) originates not from Latin but from Ancient Greek. Its meaning, however, is also related to the notion of “gift,” as it combines the Greek words “dōron” (meaning “gift”) and “theos” (meaning “god”).

Incidentally, the difference in spelling between the Italian name Dorotea and its English counterpart Dorothy can be explained by the fact that the traditional Italian alphabet does not include the letter ‘y’.

Diletta and Daria

Diletta is an Italian name with a lovely meaning: it comes from the Italian word “diletta” (which means “beloved”).

Daria, the feminine form of the Italian name Dario, comes from Old Persian. In ancient history, there was a Persian king named Darius the Great.


The Italian name Domenica shares a common Latin origin with the French name Dominique, also used in English. Both originate from the Latin word “Dominus” (meaning “Lord”).

In its lowercase version, the name Domenica corresponds to the Italian word “domenica” (which means “Sunday”).

Italian boy names that start with 'D'

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

Donato and Donatello

The Italian names Donato and Donatello are related. Donatello is formed by adding the suffix “-ello” to the name Donato. Both these names are of Latin origin and are related to the Latin verb “dōnāre” which means “to give” as well as the Latin word “dōnum” which means “a gift”.


The Italian name Dario has a characteristic Italian spelling, with its ending in “-io” (just like the name Mario). But, it comes from the Old Persian name Darius which was the name of a Persian king who reigned from 522 BCE to 486 BCE.


The name Dante comes from the name Durante, itself derived from the Latin verb “dūrāre” (which means “to endure”).

Dino and Duccio

Some Italian names that start with ‘D’ originate as shorter versions of longer names beginning with different letters. Just as Bob is a shortened form of Robert, some Italian names undergo clippings to produce shorter, affectionate forms that sometimes evolve into separate names.

Dino is a short and simple Italian name. It arose as a shorter version of the names Alfredino and Bernardino (which are diminutives of Alfredo and Bernardino).

Duccio is another Italian name that likely arose as a shortened form of longer names, and it has been in use since the Middle Ages, as it was the name of a pre-Renaissance painter from the Tuscan city of Siena.

Davide, Daniele, and Danilo

Davide and Daniele are Italian names that come from Hebrew, which correspond to the names David and Daniel found in English.

Danilo is an Italian name that originates from Hebrew and has the same origin as the name Daniel in English. In addition to being used in Italy, this name is also common in Latin America.

Dionigi, Delfino, and Desiderio

Dionigi is an Italian name that corresponds to the name Dennis in English.

The Italian name Delfino corresponds to the Italian word delphino which means “dolphin”. Its resemblance to Delphi, the name of the Ancient Greek city known for its oracle, is perhaps just a coincidence.

Desiderio is an Italian name that is spelled the same (except for the initial capital letter) as the Italian word “desiderio” which means “wish” or “desire”.


Delio —and Delia, its female form— are Italian names likely derived from the name of the Greek island Delos, which is the birthplace of the god Apollo and his twin sister Artemis according to Ancient Greek mythology.

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

Name Occupation
Donatello (1386–1466) Renaissance Sculptor (Born Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi)
Domenico Scarlatti (1685–1757) Italian Composer
Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) Italian Poet (Middle Ages), Author of the Divine Comedy
Donatella Versace Italian Fashion Luxury Designer
Dario Fo Italian Playwright, Nobel Prize in Literature Winner
Domenico Modugno (1928–1994) Italian Singer

By the way, if you like Italian names, why not learn the language? Start learning Italian with a free lesson.