My grandfather Giovanni LaFianza was born in Ferrandina, Basilicata, in 1879. There is no translation in Italian for "LaFianza". However, in Spanish, "LaFianza" means "bail" (as in "jail").
I have been able to trace all LaFianza's - there aren't that many - here in the U.S. back to Ferrandina. Not only are there no LaFianza's currently in that small town, but theree are only three phone listings for this name in the entire country of Italy. And none at all in Spain.
I know of the Spanish influence in Italy, as they ruled there on-and-off from 1400 - 1800 or so. In fact, Ferrandina itself was named for King Ferdinand of Spain in the 1490's.
My question is this: how common is it in Italy to have a Spanish surname, and what is the significance? Could my ancestors have come from Spain centuries ago, or is it possible that while under Spanish rule, the local lender in Ferrandina may have been called LaFianza? Thanks.