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Italian names that start with the letter 'R'

Italian names that begin with the letter ‘R’ can sound romantic, refined, and full of resolve. They include male names like Riccardo, Renzo, and Raffaello, alongside female names like Rossella, Rosaria, and Raffaella.

Italian girl names that start with 'R'

‘R’ as in Rosa (the Italian word for “rose”)

A floral theme is visible among a cluster of Italian female names that begin with ‘R’: this group is related to the rose and includes names like Rosella, Rosina, Rosalba, Rosaria, and Rosanna.

Rosalba, an Italian name composed of the Latin terms “rosa” (“rose,” the flower) and “alba” (the color white), can be interpreted as meaning “white rose.”

Rosaria comes from the Latin word “rosārium” which refers to a rose garden or a rosary.

Rosella and Rosina are variants of the name Rosa, a capitalized form of the Latin word “rosa” (which means “rose”).

Rosanna is a combination of the names Rosa and Anna. Reversing the order leads to Annarosa, another Italian name —but one that doesn’t start with ‘R.’

Romana, Rita, and Renata

Romana (and its male version, Romano) are names derived from the Latin word “rōmānus” which means “Roman.” The name Romina may share that origin as well.

Renata is a name derived from the Latin word “renatus” which means “reborn” or “born again.”

Rita is a short form of the Italian name Margherita (Margaret, in English), which comes from an Ancient Greek word meaning “pearl.”


Rossana is the Italian equivalent of Roxana, a name that comes from Persian. The spelling difference is due to the fact that the Italian language rarely uses the letter ‘x’ aside from loanwords like “taxi.”

In Ancient history, Roxana was the name of a Persian princess who married Alexander the Great. By the way, Alexander is a name that undergoes a similar spelling transformation as Roxana and becomes Alessandro in Italian.

Italian boy names that start with 'R'

Some Italian names that begin with ‘R’ originated as shorter forms of names that start with other letters. Renzo is a shortened form of Lorenzo, while Rino is a shorter form of names like Salvatorino and Marino.

At first glance, the connection between the Italian name Ruggero and the English name Roger may not be immediately apparent, but they have a common origin.

Remigio is the Italian version of the French name Rémy (sometimes spelled Rémi).

Rinaldo is an Italian name that has variants in several other languages, including Ronaldo (in Portuguese), Renaud (in French), and Reynold or Ronald (in English).

Romolo is the Italian version of Romulus, a name featured in Roman mythology as that of one of the founders of Rome (the other being his twin brother Remus). According to the legend, the two brothers were nursed by a she-wolf after being abandoned after birth on the banks of the Tiber.

Italian first names that start with ‘R’ among historical figures and public personalities

A famous namesake can provide additional appeal to a name. The table below provides examples of historical figures and public personalities who have Italian first names that begin with ‘R’:

Person Occupation
Raffaello Sanzio (known as Raphael) Famous Italian Renaissance painter and architect who was a contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo
Renzo Piano Italian architect who designed the Whitney Museum in New York City and was one of the designers of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris
Romano Prodi Italian economist who served as Prime Minister of Italy and as President of the European Commission
Rita Levi-Montalcini Italian neurobiologist and Nobel laureate
Romolo Valli Italian actor who starred in movies by director Luchino Visconti, including the 1963 film The Leopard (Il Gattopardo)
Raffaele La Capria Italian author whose novel Ferito a morte won a major Italian literary award (the Strega Prize) in 1961
Riccardo Muti Italian conductor who was the music director of La Scala, the opera in Milan, for almost two decades
Ruggero Raimondi Italian opera singer who performed in many of the major opera houses around the world, including La Fenice in Venice, La Scala in Milan, the Met in New York City, and Covent Garden in London
Rudolph Valentino Italian actor who became an icon in the Hollywood of the 1920s. He is known by the English version of his name (Rudolph), though his original first name was the Italian version of that name (Rodolfo)
Ruggero Leoncavallo Italian opera composer
Rossano Brazzi Italian actor who moved to Hollywood in the late 1940s
Rossella Brescia Italian TV presenter
Rosanna Schiaffino Italian actress
Rosina Storchio Italian opera singer
Renata Tebaldi Italian opera singer

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