I am interested in finding the origins and oldest references for the surnames LORIA and LAURIA in Italy. There are many Loria families listed in the Italian phonebook and there is also a town of that name.
Well, here's a reply nine years later! My surname is Loria, and we have traced my family back past Roger of Loria, the Sicilian Aragonese admiral from the Vespers war.
From what I have researched, it seems that my ancestors were originally Sephardic Jews in northeastern Spain who were expelled in the fifteenth century and settled in Sicily for the next 400 years. My family immigrated to America from a small town called Poggiorealle in Trapani, Sicily right around 1900. By this point in time, however, my family identified as Catholic.
I have read some about perhaps the name Lauria coming from "La Uria," which would imply that these Laurias are from a completely different area in Italy and are not related to the Lorias. Most of what I have found seems to indicate that Loria and Luria are closely related. The Catalan spelling of Loria is Lluria.