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Italian and Jewish (from Italy): from the medieval personal name
Vitale (Latin Vitalis, a derivative of vita
‘life’). The name was popular with Christians as a symbol of their
belief in eternal life, and was borne by a dozen early saints; it
became especially popular in Emilia-Romagna because of two saints, San
Vitale of Bologna and Ravenna. As a Jewish personal name it represents
a calque of the Hebrew personal name Chayim ‘life’. Compare