Giovanni – A Classic Italian Name For Your Baby Boy

Are you looking for more information about the name Giovanni? You’ve come to the right place!

Giovanni is a classic, authentic Italian name, with a deep history and many famous namesakes.

We do know a few people here in Italy named ‘Giovanni,’ and they are mostly older men. It’s not a common name for younger children here, but my sons do know a few little boys named Giovanni.

Read on for more details, including:

  • its pronunciation, meaning, and origin
  • authentic Italian nicknames and variations
  • variations in other languages
  • its popularity
  • alternative Italian names that begin with ‘G’
  • other Italian names you may like
  • its famous namesakes

Note: We can guarantee that the names on this list are authentic Italian names that are spelled correctly and pronounced accurately. The origins and meanings of these names have been researched thoroughly and to the best of our ability, but we cannot guarantee their accuracy. If you find a name you like, please continue to research its origin and meaning. If you have any feedback, please let us know.

How To Pronounce Giovanni

Giovanni is pronounced joh-VAHN-nee.

Listen to it here:

Meaning Of The Name Giovanni

The name Giovanni means ‘God is gracious.’

Origin Of The Name Giovanni

Giovanni has its origins in Hebrew.

Authentic Nicknames For Giovanni

Of course, you can create any nickname you like for your child, but if you want to use authentic nicknames for the Italian name Giovanni, call him ‘Giova’ or ‘Gio.’ 

The shortened version of Giovanni is Gianni, but that’s a different name and isn’t used as a nickname for Giovanni.

Other Italian variants of Giovanni include Giovannino, Giannino, Nanni, Nino, and Zanni.

Variations Of The Name Giovanni

The list of variations of the name Giovanni is quite long.  You’re probably familiar with John.  Here are a few of the many variations:

  • English – John
  • French – Jean
  • German – Jans
  • Spanish – Juan
  • Portuguese – João
  • Swedish – Jonas
  • Indonesian – Yan
  • Russian – Vanya
  • Dutch – Johannes
  • Danish – Jens
  • Norwegian – Jan
  • Greek – Ioannis
  • Romanian – Ioan
  • Irish – Eóin

Popularity Of The Name Giovanni

Stroller being pushed down a small road in Tuscany, Italy.  There is grass on both sides and some olive and cypress trees.  Two boys walk with walking sticks on the road ahead.

While the name Giovanni hasn’t cracked the top 10 in Italy or the USA, it is moving up each year.  Giovanni is still off-the-radar in Australia and the UK.

  • 2020 Italy – 17th most popular name for boys, up from 18th in 2019.
  • 2020 USA – 120th most popular name for boys, up from 142nd in 2019.
  • 2020 United Kingdom & Wales – Giovanni was not in the top 100 names.
  • 2020 Australia – Giovanni was not in the top 100 names.

Other Italian Boy Names That Begin With ‘G’

If you’re not sure if Giovanni works for you, but you want an authentic Italian name that begins with the letter ‘G,’ take a look at these names:

NamePronunciationMeaningOrigin
Gabriele strong man, heroHebrew
Giacomo holder of the heelHebrew
Giancarlo God is gracious/warriorHebrew/German
Gianfranco God is gracious/free manHebrew/Spanish
Gianluigi God is gracious/famous warriorHebrew/Germanic
Gianmarco God is gracious/god of warHebrew/Latin
Gianni God is graciousHebrew
Gianpiero God is gracious/stoneHebrew/Greek
Giorgio farmerGreek
Giuliano youthLatin
Giulio youthLatin
Giuseppe may he addGreek
Gregorio watchmanGreek
Gustavo venerableLatin

Alternatives To The Name Giovanni

Baby in carrier picking an apple off of the tree in Italy.

If you’re looking for another classic, authentic, multi-syllable Italian name, try one of these:

NamePronunciationMeaningOrigin
Alessandro defender of manGreek
Antonio priceless oneLatin
Edoardo guardian of wealthOld English
Emilio rivalLatin
Federico peaceful rulerGerman
Francesco frenchmanLatin
Lorenzo from LaurentumLatin
Massimo greatestLatin
Riccardo ruler, leaderGerman
Roberto fame, brightGerman
Stefano crownGreek
Tommaso twinGreek
Vincenzo conquerorLatin

Check out 101 Italian Baby Boy Names and Gender Neutral Italian Names, for more naming inspiration!

Famous People Named Giovanni

  • Giovanni Agnelli, founder of FIAT
  • Giovanni Marradi, musician
  • Giovanni Ribisi, actor
  • Giovanni Reyna, soccer player
  • Giovanni Gabrieli, composer
  • Giovanni Casanova, adventurer
  • Giovanni Moroder, composer
  • Giovanni XXIII, pope (along with 22 other Pope Giovannis!)
  • Giovanni Boccaccio, writer
  • Giovanni da Verrazzano, explorer
  • Giovanni Falcone, judge

There are also many famous fictional characters named Giovanni, including:

  • Giovanni, Team Rocket boss in Pokémon
  • Giovanni Francis ‘Johnny Boy’ Soprano, Tony Soprano’s father
  • Don Giovanni, from Mozart’s opera
  • Giovanni Auditore, from Assassin’s Creed

Name Day Or Onomastico For Giovanni

In Italy, some people celebrate a person’s name day, or onomastico.  This is a day that celebrates a particular saint. 

While name days are becoming less important to the younger generations, they are still celebrated, especially in Southern Italy.

There are multiple name days for Giovanni, but the most celebrated is July 24th.  July 24th is the feast day of St. John the Baptist. 

In Italy, St. John the Baptist (San Giovanni Battista) is the patron saint of Florence.   Every year, on his feast day of June 24th, we have a huge celebration in the city that includes a parade, special mass, calcio storico, and fireworks.

Interesting Fact:  St. John the Baptist is the only saint who is celebrated on the day of his birth, not the day of his death.

Check out our post on Italian Naming Traditions and Rules!

Feminine Version Of The Name Giovanni

baby holding an orange balloon with hearts on it. they are in a baby bedroom with all white furniture

Giovanna is the feminine version of Giovanni.  Here in Italy, it’s seen as more of an older woman’s name.  It’s less common than other baby girl names but may make a comeback like other classic names. 

I hope this has helped you decide if Giovanni is the right name for your baby boy!

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