Italian Culture


  • Italian naming conventions are similar to those in Australia, with the surname following the first name, e.g. Alessandro CAPONE (male) and Francesca SORRENTINO (female).
  • Many Italian names end in a vowel. For men, ‘o’, ‘e’ or ‘i’ are common: e.g. Gianni, Alberto, Dante. Female names commonly end in ‘a’ or ‘e’: e.g. Sofia, Adele.
  • Many people are named after their grandparents; however, parents are increasingly choosing new names for their children.

Name Days

Traditionally, most Italians had a name that corresponded to a saint. In some regions such as Campania, the name day of that saint is celebrated as if it were one’s birthday. For common names, there might be multiple days during the year to celebrate a saint, but Italians usually pick only one day to celebrate. Some Italian villages, towns and cities are also named after a particular saint and will celebrate the day as a public holiday. Some saints are considered more important than others due to the role they play in the Bible, such as Pietro (Saint Peter), Paolo (Saint Paul) and Giuseppe (Saint Joseph). 

In the past, name days were more important than birthdays. This may be continue to be true for some people, usually for the elderly (as name days don’t remind them of how old they are). Today, most young Italians consider the name day to be less important than one’s birthday.

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  • Population
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Italian (official)
    Other regional dialects
  • Religions
    Christianity (80%)
    No Religion (20%)
    Islam (1.67%)
  • Ethnicities
    Italian (92.0%)
    Romanian (1.81%)
    Asian (1.11%)
    North African (1.07%)
    Albanian (0.77%)
    Other (2.61%)
    [National Institute of Statistics, 2014]
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with Italian Ancestry
    1,000,006 [2016 census]
Italians in Australia
  • Population
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Italy.
  • Average Age
  • Gender
    Male (51.1%)
    Female (48.9%)
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (91%)
    No Religion (3.3%)
    Jehovah's Witnesses (0.9%)
    Other (2.6%)
  • Ancestry
    Italian (93.1%)
    English (1.1%)
    Australian (0.7%)
    Other (2.5%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Italian (80.8%)
    English (17.8%)
    Spanish (0.2%)
    Other (0.7%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 74.3% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    Victoria (41.5%)
    New South Wales (27.8%)
    South Australia (11.2%)
    Western Australia (10.5%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (89.7%)
    2001-2006 (1.4%)
    2006-2011 (2%)
Country Flag Country Italy