Of Italian origin.
From the Tuscan Italian word “ornello”, meaning “flowering ash tree”.
It was firstly used by Italian author Gabriele d’Annunzio in his novel “La Figlia di Iorio”, sometimes written as “La Figlia di Jorio”.
D’Annunzio also wrote the libretto for Alberto Franchetti’s opera in three acts, of the same title, which was a close adaptation of his play.
The masculine form of the name is Ornello. It is a name almost extinct.
Famous bearers are Italian singer Ornella Vanoni and Italian actress Ornella Muti.
Ornella Muti became widely known after her role in the film Flash Gordon in 1980.
Ornella Vanoni is one of the most popular singers in Italy.
Her career started as an actress in theatre, mainly in Bertolt Brecht’s plays.
After meeting Gino Paoli she focused her career in music. She has collaborated with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Vinicius de Moraes, Toquinho, Gil Evans.