Sue Ellen Orlando? Lothar Palmieri?
Yes, children with first names such as Toto and Samatha could outnumber Pieros and Marias by the year 2000 in a country increasingly influenced by television and soccer.An Italian Catholic magazine, in a national survey, found that names linked to religious tradition are dropping in favor of names of popular soccer and television stars.
Francesco Ruppi, the archbishop of Lecce in southern Italy, called for a return to tradition.
"Baptize your children after the names of their grandfathers. . . . Give your children the joy of celebrating their name-day," the archbishop said.
Prospettive nel Mondo, a Rome-based Catholic monthly magazine, reported that a recent survey showed that out of 100 girls born in the past year, only two were named Maria. There were three Elisabeths and one Catherine.
Out of 100 boys there was only one Piero (Peter) and two Giovannis (Johns).
Instead, there were more Totos, Diegos and Lothars - named after World Cup soccer stars Schillaci, Maradona and Matthaeus.
Most Diegos - 23 out of 100 children - were in the area of Naples, the southern Italian city where the Argentine star plays with local major league team Napoli.
Salvatore "Toto" Schillaci, the popular forward of the Italian national team and of Juventus of Turin, was the leading scorer in this summer's World Cup, earning him nationwide celebrity status.
Schillaci, in keeping with the trend, named his daughter Jessica.
Matthaeus, who plays in Italy with Internazionale of Milan, led West Germany to the World Cup title in July.