The most common surnames in the Emilia Romagna area are those directly derived from an actual trade rather than from the nickname of a trade or a fathers name.
In fact, we can find many Fabbri ("blacksmith"), Ferrari, Molinari (that is to say the owner of a mill), Vaccari ("cow farmer"), Massari, Medici ("doctors"), Mezzadri ("sharecroppers"), Muratori ("bricklayers") and still Fornaciari ("bakers") Sartori ("tailors"), Sarti ("dressmakers"), Borsari, Calzolari ("shoe makers") Martelli (means "hammers"), Cavalli ("horses"), Farina ("flour") and Mazza ("bat").
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Particularly noticeable in this area, are family names made up of two nouns or from a verb and a name for example Pelagatti ("cats fur"), Codeluppi ("wolves head"), Ligabue (literally means "tie up the ox", to indicate a farmers trade), Pellacani, Maccaferri, Mazzavillani, Paraboschi.
There is also an abundance of surnames tied to physical appearance such as Rossi ("red"), Neri ("black") and Bianchi ("white").
Amongst the surnames given to foundlings, the ones that stand out are Incerti from Reggiano, Vacondio in Reggio Emilia, Casadei in Romagna, Casadio in Ravenna and finally Degli Esposti in Bologna.
We must also mention the surnames tied to names of places, the most popular of which include Emiliani, Bolognesi, Romagnoli and Reggiani.
Also worth noting are the names derived from migrants from other regions of Italy which include Lodigiani (from Lodi), Cremonini (from Cremona), Veronesi (from Verona), Mantovani (from Montova), Trevisani (from Treviso), Urbinati (from Urbino), Pesaresi (from Pesaro) and Fiorentini (from Firenze) or the more traditional Boschi ("woods"), Montanari ("mountaineers"), Prati ("fields"), Monti ("mountains") Laghi ("lakes").
To conclude there can be noted a vast presence of surnames associated to first names such as Donati, Guidi, Nanni and to suffixes -etti, -elli and -ini in the names Fantini, Pasini, Benini, Giovannini, Bartolini, Bandini, Gamberini.