The surname Zito

My surname (last name) is Zito.My grand-grandfather with this name went around 150 years ago in the village of Fragagnano from where the family Zito has grown and now its members live mostly in the village of origin but also in Lizzano (where I came from) and San Marzano all small villages nearby Taranto.For what I know no member of the family has emigrated in America. I don't know from where this grand-grandfather came. Probably from some village nearby like Francavilla where there are also Zito. But also in Taranto,Bari,Conversano there are Zito. In the South of Italy there are also Zito in Basilicata .Also in Calabria there are Zito with a family having a member in the Italian Senate (Parliament) a few years ago.The name is also present in Sicily. This is the map of the distribution of the name Zito in Italy. As you can see , it is present in 829 villages. Mostly in the main 4 regions in the South but also around Torino and Milano surely because of the internal emigration in Italy. From this site instead you may have a list of all apulian village with people having this surname.The same list in Sicilia and Calabria. Starting from this page you can make similar lists for each italian region. The Ellis Island records report 1274 Zito but none of these come from Lizzano, Fragagnano and San Marzano. Instead they come mostly from places in Sicily, Calabria , Basilicata and Campania.

Going back to present times:the italian white pages have 3750 Zito listed and the yellow pages around 200.A search for zito on facebook returns at least thousands of zito but also many "zitoun" (this sems to be a very common arabic surname).

There is also another italian telephone directory available online on Infobel. If you are searching a Zito in Italy please search on these services looking for the place where the person you are looking for came from.For example, this is what I get looking for Zito in Fragagnano.

According to the Zingarelli (Italian dictionary) the name comes from citto a word from Tuscany which means boy. The word is now in use only in the South of Italy. In dialect the name means "bridegroom" but also "young bachelor".As an adjective it means "engaged with".In the book from Camilleri :A month in Montalbano this author from Sicily that uses dialectal words in his works employs the word in this meaning.Ziti(bride's macaroni) are also a kind of tubular pasta called like this because it was used during the marriage ceremony(or perhaps because of its phallic shape).
If you search for "zito" images on the Web, you will get also wheat ears and fields : after some research I discovered the reason: zito means "rye" (segala in italian) in Czech and "wheat" (grano) in slovenian.
Amazon has introduced a new feature that let's you search a name in more than 33 million pages from over 120,000 printed books.I have done a search of "zito" that gives 568 results. As you expect most of them are people's names. Famous Zito in America: Barry Zito baseball player, Chuck Zito actor, Joseph Zito director, Tommy Zito pianist,Torrie Zito pianist and musical arranger-conductor, Nick Zito horse trainer. But you discover also some interesting things:like the fact that "zito" in greek means "long live!"(Viva!). And also that there is a serbo-croatian sweetcake named "zito". There was also a famous Zito's bakery in Greenwich Village (N.Y).
Also Google let's you search zito inside printed books.Perhaps the most cited author with surname Zito is Angela Zito Associate Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies at NYU because of its work Of Body and Brush: Grand Sacrifice as Text/performance in 18th C. China.

I include here some resources for Italian genealogy:
Maintained by Giuseppe Zito:
last update: