Italians are descendants of the Romans, a glorious Empire that once ruled almost the entirety of the European continent. Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world: masses flock to enjoy their cuisine, learn about their abundant history, and meet the charismatic local people. At the break of the 19th century, over four million Italians emigrated across the ocean to the States and many A-listers are their direct descendants.
Some celebrities clearly have Italian roots as their surnames give them away: Robert De Niro, Alyssa Milano, Al Pacino, and Martin Scorsese are all clearly of Italian descent. But what about other celebs whose names don’t give them away?
10 Steven Tyler
The Aerosmith singer inherited his singing voice and his Italian genes from his grandfather Giovanni Tallarico who was originally from Calabria. His father was a musician as well and young Steven played drums for his band when he was just 14 years old.
According to Italiani, he was mesmerized by his grandfather’s region in Italy: “Calabria is beautiful, deep, full of generous people, available. Not to mention the local cuisine.”
9 Selena Gomez
While it’s clear that Selena has Mexican roots from her surname alone, many of her fans don’t know this fun piece of trivia: she is a bit of an Italian. Her mother/former manager Mandy Teefey is of an Italian descent, while her father’s parents come from Mexico.
According to Insider, she is very proud of her international roots: “I’m always very vocal about my background, as far as me talking about immigration, and my grandparents having to come across the border illegally.”
8 Tara Reid
The American Pie star has roots from all over the Old Continent: Italy, France, Ireland, Scotland, and Hungarian. As is common in Italian-American families, she was raised Catholic.
She landed her break-through role in one of the best Coen brothers movies, The Big Lebowski, where she acted alongside John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, and Julianne Moore.
7 Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan left a lasting mark with her movies in the early 2000s. In 2016, Insider reported that she spoke in a Pan-European accent and Lohan’s mother came to defend her: “Since Lindsay was a kid, she was speaking fluent Italian because my mother is Italian and would only speak to her in it. She taught herself how to speak French, Arabic, Hebrew and the list goes on.”
Lindsay was raised Catholic and has Italian and Irish roots. In 2009, she became the face of Fornarina, an Italian clothing company.
6 Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani didn’t have plastic surgery, it’s a mix of her lifestyle and her amazing genes that keeps her looking so young. Her father Dennis is an Italian-American and she has three siblings. One of her brothers, Eric, actually founded No Doubt, the band that would pave Gwen’s road to stardom.
Related: These Are The Steps In Gwen Stefani’s Skincare Routine
Gwen Stefani loves Italy and is proud to be somehat of an Italian girl. According to People, she took her children to Fest of San Gennaro Italian festival in 2020 where they enjoyed the fabulous Italian cuisine.
5 Lady Gaga
Speaking of Stefani, Lady Gaga AKA Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta also has Italian roots. Both of her parents are of Italian descent, but they were born in the States. Lady Gaga considers herself an Italian: she’s even called herself “a strong Italian woman”.
Her parents own their very own Itialian restarautn called Joanne Trattoria. Lady Gaga, too, loves to cook and eat Italian food. But then again, who doesn’t …
4 Joe Rogan
Most celebrities’ Italian ancestry is given away by their surname, but not Joe Rogan’s.
In 2011, The Joe Rogan Experience host tweeted that he is three quarters Italian and one quarter Irish, saying that his paternal grandfather came “straight off the boat from Ireland“.
Madonna’s paternal grandparents emigrated from Pacentro, a lovely historical village in Abruzzo. Her mother, on the other hand, was of French-Canadian descent. Those who know her full name know that she has Italian roots: Madonna Louise Ciccone. She was raised Catholic, but doesn’t practice her childhood religion anymore. Instead, she is one of the celebrities who believe in astrology.
Madonna moved to New York City after dropping out of college. She found her fame in the ’80s when she released singles, such as ‘Material Girl’, ‘Everybody’, and ‘Like a Virgin’.
2 Leonardo DiCaprio
As his last name suggests, Leonardo DiCaprio also has Italian blood running through his veins. Not only that, though: he’s also a little bit of a Russian and German – his middle name is Wilhelm.
His mother decided to name him Leonardo after Leonardo Da Vinci. She was just looking at his art in Florence when she first felt baby Leo kick. Today, the Oscar winner can hold a conversation in Italian as well as German.
1 Bradley Cooper
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper didn’t only bond over their appreciation of music; they also bonded because they both have Italian genes. According to Variety, sparks flew like crazy once they made the connection: “I didn’t know you were Italian. I remember when we first met, after 10 minutes we were eating homemade food that she cooked – I love to eat – and that was actually a huge bond that we both came from East Coast Italian-American families.”
Cooper’s maternal grandparents lived in Italy and their family name was Campano.
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