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Schiavone (singular; plural Schiavoni) is an Italian ethnonym literally meaning "Slavs" in Old Italian: originally, this term indicated origins in the lands of Dalmatia and Istria (in present-day Croatia), when under the rule of the Republic of Venice. Today it is an Italian surname.


The importance of Schiavoni's role in the Venetian Republic is best shown by the name of one of the main streets in Venice, Riva degli Schiavoni, just in front of the Doge Palace and San Marco Square.

A number of artists who worked in Italy who were of Croatian descent were nicknamed Schiavone by their origin: most famous among them is Giulio Clovio (Julije Klović). However, the name Schiavone was not exclusive to Croats. For example, Francesco Laurana, Luciano Laurana and Andrea Meldolla are examples of people from Dalmatia who were not of any known Croatian descent, but were still called Schiavone. Also, referring to artists from Dalmatia by using their place of origin as a surname was common in Italy at the time, for example in the cases of Giovanni Dalmata or Giorgio da Sebenico.

Schiavone was also a designation of the Oltremarini, a military unit or a group of assassins of the same descent in the Venetian Navy. The basket-hilted sword schiavona was also named after the Schiavone.


In Italy, the surname Schiavone (Italian pronunciation: [skjaˈvone]) mostly occurs in the southernmost regions of the mainland, namely Campania and Apulia, but it is also common in Rome, Turin, Milan, and Syracuse.[1][2] Thanks to emigration, branches of the Schiavone family can also be found in Argentina, Brazil, Malta, Uruguay, United Kingdom, the Philippines and the United States.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cognomi. GENS. Accessed November 15, 2006.
  2. ^ Schiavone. Origine dei cognomi. Accessed November 27, 2006.