Apulian Last Names

In Apulia (Puglia in Italian), as in most of the southern peninsula, the following names are amongst the most used: Rizzo, Leone ("lion"), Bianco ("white"), Santoro (derived from the medieval name Santorus, in its' turn devied from Sanctorum Omnium, "all saints"), Bruno ("brown") and Palumbo.

Rather common with the rest of the peninsula are Conte ("count"), Gentile ("kind"), Romano ("roman"), De Santis, Orlando, Rinaldi and Rizzi.

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On closer examination, in the Brindisi area, we can find many Guadalupi, in the area of Bari and the surrounding area the surname that excels is Lorusso whilst at a local level there are Carrozzo ("carriage"), Quarta, Lippolis, Carrieri, Semerano (deriving from a dialect nickname tied the trade of a "donkey herdsman"), Saponaro and Ingrosso.

However, the most common surnames in Puglia are Russo and Greco ("greek").
From the category of surnames derived from nicknames, we have examples such as: Mele (from the word miele which means "honey"), Caputo (from the word testone meaning "stubborn"), Peluso ("hairy"), Amoruso, Longo, Pinto ("coloured, spotted") and Patruno (from the word padrone meaning "boss").

It is typical in Puglia to have surnames that use the prefix lo- and la- (meaning "the"), such as Loconsole ("the consul"), Lorusso, Losacco, Lobascio ("the short"), Loiacono ("the deacon"), Lafortezza ("the fortress"), Loiodice ("the judge"), Loperfido ("the perfidous") and Loporcaro ("the swine farmer").

Amongst the surnames with suffixes the most relevent is Calogiuri (derived from the greek term kalogheros, "respected elder" a title particularly reserved to monks and respectable or titled people) and Calimero is tied to the term calò, "beautiful"; ending in such as Castrignanò, and also ending in -achi and -aci such as Petrachi, Antonaci, Colaci and Liaci.

And finally there is a series of names with a German and French origin (Ruggiero, Ranieri, Ciuffreda and Grimaldi) and those tied to greek names (Basile, Colella, Serio and De Mitri).