Subject: Researching Italian roots
Hello Jonathan and Ziners

the Italian genealogy sites I found around aren't usually free, you can try this one for a general idea of where the family name comes from:

This one has a list of names with meaning and plave of origin (but mine is not in it, so I don't know how good it is!)

In addition, some family names from Southern Italy like Russo or Esposito are so common it's almost impossible to trace them back, also because of the local habit of giving always the same names to children (lots of Pasquale, Giovanni, Maria etc.). If your girlfriend's grandparents came from a little town it'd be easier, as birth records in churches are usually accessible and the clerks of a small municipal office would be thrilled by the idea of helping some nice foreigner. In a big town like Naples it's a different story, though. Maybe she can dig out the name of the neighborhood and visit the local parish? This requires a lot of spoken Italian though, as English isn't usually spoken by elder people. Bye Paolo Trieste, Italy