Maddie’s Quest

Our own Maddie (Madeline Vitella) tried to get some answers from Myron and myself. In this case she came to the wrong people. We are both part of the “fruitless”. So she went on her quest all alone. I’ll let her explain…

A Bit of Italian Custom

In an effort to find out as much as possible about “our boys” I attempted to find out their middle names. It stands to reason that they would have middle names, right? What Italian practicing Catholic doesn’t take their sponsor’s name when they make their Confirmation?

I went crazy trying to figure out how I could get that information (since I’m not friends with any of them on FB). My search, however, was fruitless.

One of our instructors at my Italian Language class is from Italy, so I asked him if Italian boys take middle names at Confirmation (since I couldn’t find their middle names on the internet) and to my surprise he told me they do not. I then asked him what the custom is for men taking their mother’s maiden names after their own name, such as Ignazio Boschetto Licari (Licari being his mother’s maiden name). My source told me that this custom is not carried throughout all of Italy; he said that certain regions have carried that custom on from the Spaniards who once inhabited the area in which they reside. I’m taking the word of a true Italian.

What I WAS able to find out though, is that Piero’s mother’s maiden name is Oglebene, and Gianluca’s mother’s maiden name is DiVittorio.

If anyone has any other information about this custom, please let us know.

And then I found this article:

Italy: Law requiring use of father’s surname ‘discriminatory’

m-1 maddie

Children of married couples in Italy will be allowed to carry their mother’s surname, after a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The court found that the country’s practice of automatically registering a child under the father’s surname was “patriarchal” and “discriminatory”.
Judges have ordered Italy to change the law, which dates back to the Roman era.
The case began in 1999, when a couple were refused permission to give their daughter the mother’s maiden name.
Alessandra Cusan and Luigi Fazzo appealed against the decision, arguing that there was no provision in Italian law which prevented Maddalena from bearing the maternal surname.
But the court dismissed the appeal on the basis that the rule “corresponded to a principle rooted in social consciousness and in Italian history”.
The couple won a minor victory in 2012, when authorities in the city of Milan allowed Maddalena to be called Fazzo Cusan.
But last year the couple decided to took the case to the ECHR in the French city of Strasbourg.
On Tuesday, the ECHR ruled that Italy’s law was incompatible with the principle of gender equality enshrined in Italy’s modern constitution.
The tribunal called the practice “excessively rigid”.
“The child’s father and mother were treated differently… in spite of an agreement between the spouses,” the ECHR said in its ruling.
“The tradition conferring the father’s surname to all the members of a family could not justify discrimination against women.”
Rome will have to change its legislation to comply with the ruling, unless it lodges an appeal with a higher chamber of the European court within three months.


Thanks Maddie!

Very interesting. We would still like to have the definitive answer to the Boys proper middle names. Let us know. 


25 thoughts on “Maddie’s Quest”

  1. I did email Barbara Vitali about middle names. She replied that they are not supposed to use any middle names and she cannot give them out. I am curious why the secrecy, but that is the way it is from their office.

    1. Thanks, Myron. Now I’m curious, too, about the secrecy. I’ll pursue it when classes resume.

      1. Maddiev, Gianluca´s father answered to Il Volo Mundial Oficial by his facebook page, that GG´s name is only Gianluca Ginoble, and his mother is Di Vittorio. From this answer IVMO stopped to put their mother´s name in their final names. I am from an Italian family and my city was a Italian colony many years ago, so there are many italians families here and I don´t know no one who has the mother´s name instead of the father even in the middle.

      2. One more thing. I remembered that when Ignazio took his drive licence he put a picture of it, and the name on it was only Ignazio Boschetto. I remembered that someone told that he was crazy to show his doc in internet.

  2. I think it is nice that there is something private about them that they will not disclose. May be a security issue I would think….code words? While we all want to know EVERYthing about these fabulous young men, isn’t it intriguing to know they hold some secrets!!

      1. Hi Mary Ann I keep in touch with him through twitter but get no response either. That’s ok I don’t twitter him that much anyway. Its too bad there isn’t someway for them to be out other grandchildren. If he was my grandchild that would satisfy me.

  3. The whole issue of middle names or confirmation names is an odd one and there really isn’t a set guideline on that topic. In the Catholic Church today a person is encouraged to take on the name of a patron saint but it is not required. Sometimes a name is used during the confirmation liturgy but then never used ever again. For instance, my patron saint is St. Philip Neri but I do not use it in my name. I just am not crazy about being known as Connie Philippa … The idea of using your sponsor’s name as your confirmation/middle name is one I have never heard of so that must be a cultural custom. Americans seem to insist that a child have a middle name but this is not the norm in the rest of the world. The English seem to enjoy attaching several names onto a child. One of my friends met Lord of the Rings actor Dominic Monaghan and asked him about his middle name he answered ” My full name is Dominic Bernard Patrick Luke Monaghan” Bernard and Patrick were his grandfathers and Luke was his confirmation name….actually he chose Luke because the priest wouldn’t let him use Hans Solo or Chewabbaca ( clearly a Star Wars fan).
    Anyway, sorry to go on but I could not resist. As much as I would love to know what the names are, I appreciate their need for privacy anyway they can get it. We are all fortunate that our guys share as much of themselves as they do!

    1. Connie— I really enjoyed your comments, especially about Dominic! Thank You!!! And I totally agree that we are so fortunate that The Boys share parts of their lives with us!

    2. Dear Connie. I’ll tell you all I know about the subject of middle names.My mom came from Sant Agatha a city next to Messina.My gramma ‘s maiden name was Naso. She bore 11 children and none had middle names.My dad came from Villa Rosa near Mt. Etna His mother’s maiden name was Michiche. She bore 4 children but none had middle names .My mom and dad had 4 children and we all had middle names plus confirmation names. I’ m guessing since they now lived in America they just followed our customs.They never knew why they didn’t have middle names.I’m sorry I don’t have any other information. My name is Mary Ann Therese Tolaro Smith Sutton!!

      1. That is a lot of names for a person! Hope you never need to write it out on any forms, you would run out of room real quick!

  4. Thanks Connie. Very insightful and educational. Even though we always want more, I too am grateful for the amount of time they do spend letting us into their lives.

    That being said…Where’s my new CD? Do you think you might win a Billboard Award? I just know you’re appearing on TV shows in May. Where? When? Where will you be going after June? Remember, my door is always open if you Boys have no place to go!

  5. This whole discussion of middle names is fascinating to me. I was raised in the South in the 1930’s, and so many of my friends had “double names”, as we called them—-Betty Jane, Bobbie Lou, Mary Ellen, etc., quite a common practice in those days. Thank heavens I didn’t have to use my middle name, which I hated, and still do! My sister got to use our mother’s maiden name as her middle name, and I’m afraid I envied her that.

    I also am curious about The Boy’s middle names, but I do respect their privacy. I like the custom of including the mother’s maiden names in The Boys’ names. Aren’t Italian names beautiful? They sort of roll off the tongue!

    Thanks, Maddie, Myron, etc., for all this good research and information.

    1. My parents were born in Italy, my mother in Naples, my father I Villabata, Palermo Sicily… They do not have middle names, My brother, sister and I, do not have middle names… It’s new to me that in Italy that the children are giving their mothers maiden names somewhere in their names… I am not saying they do not… I just saying that I learned something new today…I find out a lot of interesting information from this Blog…

  6. Last year, I chose a saint’s name for my Confirmation name so I now have four names. I think it’s good that there is a line of privacy that The Boys and their team do not let anyone cross. They already have and keep continuing to give the world so much of themselves, for which I’m very grateful.

    1. OMG! I have all of Patrizio’s CDs and he is second after Il Volo in my music collection (Andrea dropped to 3rd place). I am going to see Patrizio in concert in July in Englewood NJ. I watch videos on YouTube but never saw this one. I’ve never knew he was so comedic! He sings love songs… Thanks for this video!

      1. Funny how things happen, Maddie. I had just received this fun video from Ann and thought I would put it in your post comments. The man may have sat at a piano before!

  7. Thanks to everyone for your input on the topic of middle names. Please know that I was not trying to invade the boys’ privacy, I was just curious as to what their middle names were, and then found out that they don’t have any, or at least don’t want them known.

    I am elated that they keep us posted on so much of their private lives, and just can’t wait to see them again in June!

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