Top 50 Last Names in Milan: ‘Hu’ Is Second After Rossi

By Laura Cozzolino, Epoch Times
September 22, 2013 5:39 pm Last Updated: September 22, 2013 10:09 pm

The heart of Northern Italy is becoming more and more Chinese and the traditional surnames from Milan, such as Rossi and Colombo, have been replaced by those from the land of the Dragon, like Zhou and Hu.

In Italy, the number of Chinese immigrants is dramatically increasing, along with the businesses they own and run. Leather manufacturers, clothing and shoe shops, beauty salons, hairdressers, and also restaurants, cafés, and hotels are being bought or started by Chinese interests, despite the economical crises.

Twenty-five years ago in Milan, there were no foreign surname on the top 30 names list, but the new portrait of the capital city of fashion is very different. Statistics show that foreigners, and in particular Chinese residents (whose first settlement in the city dates back to the 1920s) are more and more numerous.

Recent research on the top 50 surnames set a milestone: At 4,345, Rossi still holds first place, but it is followed very closely by 4,101 people named Hu, in second place.

Chen and Zhou are also in the ranks, showing a steady increase from last year. In 2012, there were 1,625 residents named Chen; in 2013 it was up to 1,883. Zhou had seen a similar increase, with the number going from 1,439 in 2012 to 1,602 in 2013.

Some Italian surnames on the other hand, have gone in the opposite direction. The traditional Milanese Colombo went from 3,685 in 2012, to 3,652 in 2013; Ferrari dropped from 3,568 to 3,532; Bianchi sent from 2,784 to 2,745, and the iconic Brambilla (the name always indicates the person is from Milan), from 1,536 in 2012, to 1,501 in 2013.

Oddly enough, in August, the Milan Records Bureau recorded two weddings by people named Zhou but none by Brambilla.

According to the Assessor for Commerce Franco D’Alfonso, 13,000 residents have among them 8 Chinese surnames: Hu, Chen, Zhou, Wang, Wu, Lin, Zhang, Liu, Zhao.