This Italian surname of PIZZUTO is of three-fold origin. It was an occupational name for someone who made and sold pizzas, a kind of cake; one with a goatee beard; the dweller on a peak or pointed hill. The name is also spelt PIZZA, PIZZI, PIZZO and PIZZETTI. Despite evidence that hereditary surnames were in use in the Venetian Republic as early as the 10th Century, the origin of many Italian surnames is unclear. There is still a great potential for research into medieval Italian records while documented evidence indicates the adoption of the father's name as a surname is the most common form. The familiar endings of "i" and "o", meaning to be a member of a certain family, bears this out. Ilderbrando PIZZETTI (1880-1968) was the composer, born in Parma, Italy. He studied at Parma Conservatory, and in 1908 became professor at the Instituto Musicale, Florence. He was director there from 1917 until 1924, when he became director of the Guiseppe Verdi Conservatory, Milan. He composed extensively in all forms, winning a particular reputation for opera with 'Fedra' (1912). The Church played a very important role in Central Italian heraldry and many Italian families who derived their titles from popes incorporated elements of the papal insignia, notably the papal tiara and the crossed keys, on their Coats of Arms. As in the rest of Europe, the turbulent history of Italy in the Middle Ages is reflected in its heraldry. Traces remain from the successive invasions of the Germans, French, Spanish and Austrians. Certain characteristics, such as the use of horse-shaped shields which were put on the foreheads of horses during tournaments, remain uniquely Italian. Social conditions in Southern Italy during the agricultural depression of the late 19th Century spurred the first wave of emigration as thousands of people escaped to the New World. Latin America was the original destination for these early settlers but as the economy strengthened in the United States, North America became more popular. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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