As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
I have found my great grandmother birth certificate and my ggrandmothers death certificate. to make sure I definately have the right people I need to know how common was it to Place the name Maria in front of their given name? I have "Maria Rosa Sangiorgio" and "Maria Raffaela Laino".
In the Province of Campobasso (Molise) is was VERY common to include "Maria" in the given name of a female child, in fact much more often than not. It usually preceded a second given name, which was often the name that the child was known by. Sometimes even a masculine child's given name included "Maria", although usually as a second name, e.g., Giuseppe Maria or Nicola Maria. However, this was far less common, although certainly not rare.