Vanna (pronounced in Italian "vän'-na" and in English "väh'na") is a female first name that first appeared in recorded history circa 1294. The Italian medieval name originated in Tuscany, and is particular to Florence, Italy. Though similar in pronunciation and conjectured to be a derivative of the name Giovanna, Vanna is neither a nickname nor derivation.


The name Vanna first appeared in recorded history in "La Vita Nuova", a 13th century book of verse written by Dante Alighieri, an Italian Florentine poet. In one verse, Dante writes that personified Love proclaims Vanna is 'Primavera' (Springtime), and declares that Beatrice's name is Love itself.

Meanings and Usage


The Italian origin of the name is thought to be derived from the Latin "vanno" (vaglia), meaning "she who sifts" (or assesses). [] It is also considered a feminine form of the name Van, short for Evan, meaning "Youth".

Name Day

The Italian Name day is July 23, in memory of the Blessed Vanna of Orvieto, who died in 1306.


Vanna is a Cambodian unisex given name meaning "Gold." For Khmer speakers, it is based on an expression meaning "Golden." Pronunciation of Khmer names usually places stress on the last syllable.

People with the given name Vanna

*Monna (Lady) Vanna, 13th century citizen of Florence, Italy, muse and love of Florentine poet Guido Cavalcanti.

*Italian writer Luigi Ugolini named his granddaughter, [ Vanna Bonta] , after Dante's "La Vita Nuova" and christened her where the poet Dante was baptized at the Battistero di San Giovanni of Florence. [ [ Ugolini, Luigi] IMDB]

*Vanna White (alternate pronunciation) American game show hostess

*Vanna (band) (alternate pronunciation)

In Fiction

* [ Monna Vanna] play by Belgian Dramatist Maurice Maeterlinck

* [ Monna Vanna] movie at IMBD (story by Niccolò Machiavelli)

*Monna Vanna (opera) unfinished opera by Sergei Rachmaninov

* The Alchemist, a poem by Ezra Pound. In a chant for the transmutation of metals, Pound invokes:

"Vanna, Mandetta, Viera, Alodetta, Picarda, Manuela / From the red gleam of copper, [...] O Queen of Cypress, / Out of Erebus, out of the flat waste of air, lying beneath the world; / Out of the brown leaf-brown colourless / Bring the imperceptible cool." []

* The Cantos, by Ezra Pound. The very last line of the Canto 93 describes ("un lume pien' di spiriti") "a light full of the spirits [of love] ," and finishes with ("e Monna Vanna . . . tu mi fai rimembrar") "and Monna [Lady] Vanna, you cause me to remember [paradise] ." []

* "La Vita Nuova", by Dante Alighieri

" ... when I, to my surprise, / saw lady Vanna and lady Beatrice / coming towards me, where I still was standing - / one bliss pursuing still another bliss. / And - here is what I am reminded of - / Love said "The first is Springtime, but the second / resembles me so much, her name is Love."

See also

*Guido Cavalcanti
*"La Vita Nuova"
*Dante Alighieri
*Italian literature
*unrequited love


* [ Monna Vanna] the play by Maurice Maeterlinck (modern drama, social significance of the new woman as a reborn, regenerated spirit)

* [ Monna Vanna] painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Venetian ideal of female beauty)

*Henry Holiday; painting "Dante and Beatrice" by Henry Holiday depicting Dante, Beatrice and Vanna.


*Dante, "Vita Nuova". Milano, Garzanti, 1982.

*Tobias Eisermann, Cavalcanti oder die Poetik der Negativität, Band 17 in Romanica et Comparatistica: Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Studien, herausgegeben von Richard Baum und Willi Hirdt, Tübingen: Stauffenburg Verlag Brigitte Narr GmbH, 1992; ISBN

*AA.VV., "Antologia della poesia italiana", ed C.Segre and C. Ossola. Torino, Einaudi, 1999

*Migliorini, B. "Storia della lingua Italiana". Firenze, Sansoni, 1987


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