What is the origin of the last name Rizzo?

The last name Rizzo has its origin in Italy and is derived from the given name Rizius or Riccius, both of which are variations of the Latin name Richardus, meaning "powerful ruler" or "brave leader." The name Rizzo is most commonly found in southern Italy, particularly in the regions of Sicily and Calabria, where it is prevalent among the Italian diaspora.

Countries of origin for the last name Rizzo

The last name RIZZO is of Italian origin and is primarily found in Italy and the United States.

One of the earliest mentions of the surname can be traced back to the medieval period in Italy. It is derived from the Italian word “riccio,” meaning “curly” or “frizzy,” which is an apt description for someone with curly hair. It is believed that the surname was originally a nickname given to individuals with this distinctive hair type.

The RIZZO surname is most commonly found in the southern regions of Italy, particularly in the regions of Sicily and Calabria. These areas have historically been major centers of Italian migration to the United States, which could explain the high concentration of individuals with the surname in America.

Immigration records indicate that many individuals with the surname RIZZO arrived in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They primarily settled in states such as New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, where significant Italian-American communities were established. The surname RIZZO is particularly prevalent among Italian-Americans in these areas.

Genealogical research also reveals that variations of the RIZZO surname exist, such as Rizzio or Rizzuti, which may have originated from the same root. It is not uncommon for slight variations in spelling to occur due to regional dialects or transcription errors.

Over the years, many individuals with the RIZZO surname have achieved notable accomplishments in various fields. However, it is important to note that the surname itself does not inherently indicate any specific traits or abilities. It is simply an identifier that has been passed down through generations.

While extensive historical and genealogical research has been conducted on the RIZZO surname, there may still be undiscovered connections and untapped information. As with many surnames, it is a testament to the vastness and complexity of human history and the potential for further exploration and discovery.

Interesting facts about the last name Rizzo

  • The surname Rizzo originated in Italy and is of Italian origin.
  • Rizzo is derived from the Italian word “rizza” which means “curly hair”.
  • The Rizzo surname is most commonly found in the southern regions of Italy, particularly in Sicily and Calabria.
  • Historically, the Rizzo family was associated with occupations such as farming, fishing, and olive oil production in Italy.
  • During the Italian diaspora, many Rizzo families emigrated to various countries including the United States, Canada, and Australia.
  • Due to its popularity as a surname, Rizzo can be found among various cultural and ethnic groups around the world, not limited to individuals of Italian descent.
  • Rizzo is a relatively common surname in Italy, making it challenging to trace specific genealogical lines without additional information.
  • There are several variations of the Rizzo surname, including Rizzi and Rizzoli.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Rizzo include artists, musicians, athletes, and politicians.
  • In popular culture, the name Rizzo is sometimes associated with the character Betty Rizzo from the musical Grease.

Name Rank


There are around 18605 people with the last name Rizzo in the US

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