The Italian Register Law forbids parents to give a little boy a female name, and vice versa.
But what if you are an immigrant and you want to call your daughter ‘Andrea’ ?
This is a female name in many languages, including English and German, but it is a male name in Italian (Andrea Bocelli, for example).
Italian Register officers, when required to register a girl as ‘Andrea’, would do so, but they would immediately send the file to the District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney would then sue the parents, asking the Court the change the girl’s name.
For example, the name of a girl called Andrea was changed to Giulia by the Florence Court of Appeals.
The parents, however, challenged the decision in the Supreme Court, which issued a landmark ruling.
The Court stated: ‘The name ‘Andrea’, taking also into account its lexical peculiarity, cannot be deemed ridiculous nor disgraceful when given to a female, nor it can bring about any measure of ambiguity in the person’s sexual recognition, since, in a cultural context which is no more strictly nationalistic, it no more belongs exclusively to the male genre’.