Widespread name particularly in Lombardy, although it is sometimes present in most of northern Italy. The name is of Longobard origin and derives from Ariovaldo composed of haria (army or even people of the Arii (warriors)) and waldan (to drive, command), with the clear meaning of leader, that is of the one who leads the army. The name in medieval times was often given to the firstborn of important families as a good omen. It then spread by imitation to the people. The surname therefore assumes the meaning of belonging to the family of an Ariovaldo and is not necessarily synonymous with noble lineage.
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