PRESENZA – This surname is derived from the Latin first name “Praesentius,” meaning ready, powerful. It is only registered with the Bureaus of Vital Statistics in seven of Italy’s 20 regions, most in central and north regions, except for one in the south, Puglia. Variations: Presenzio, Presenzi. PRESUTTI – This surname is derived possibly from the dialect word for prosciutto “presutte,” meaning ham. It is only registered with the Bureaus of Vital Statistics in 13 regions. It might indicate that the ancestors of the present-day families with that surname were pig farmers. However, a more competent origin may be derived from a change of consonants in the ancient name of the Praetutii peoples who inhabited the area of Teramo, Abruzzo in pre-Roman times. Variations: Presutto, Presutte.
PRETE – This surname is derived from the Italian word “prete,” meaning priest, which in turn is derived from the Greek
“presbyteros,” meaning the eldest. This surname does appear in all 20 regions, given that many male inhabitants on the post-pagan Italian peninsula went into the priesthood. It is mostly present in Puglia and least in Val d’Aosta and Sardegna. Variations: Preti, Preite, Previte, Preve.
PRIMAVERA – This surname is derived from the Italian word “primavera,” meaning spring. It is registered with the Bureaus
of Vital Statistics in 18 regions. It is most prevalent in Abruzzo and least registered in Sardegna. It is not present in Trentino-Alto Adige or Val d’Aosta. Variations: Primavere.
PRINZI – This surname derives from the Italian word “principe,” meaning prince. It is only registered with the Bureaus of Vital Statistics in 13 regions. What is the possibility that present-day Italian families with this surname are descendants of royalty? Pretty good, considering that up until 1861, the Italian peninsula was broken up into many different city-states or ruled by foreign kingdoms like Spain, France and Austria-Hungary. Variations: Prinzio.
PROFETA – This surname derives from the Greek word “prophetis,” meaning prophet. It is registered with the Bureaus of Vital Statistics in 17 of the 20 Italian regions. It is mostly present in Sicilia, which makes sense, given the island’s long connection to Greece. The three regions where it is not present are Trentino-Alto Adige, Val d’Aosta and strangely enough, Calabria, despite its historical ties to Greece.
PACINO – This surname first appeared regionally in Italy are with the -o ending typical of Sicily where it is most registered in the regions bureau of vital statistics. It is also present in 12 other regions. However, it is believed that the surname possibly originated from a first name, as documented in one Pacino da Bonaguida, a Florentine artist active about 1303-1347. The first name, as was customary in Tuscany and central Italy, changed to the plural Pacini to indicate the family group.
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