This is an Italian surname, and these are amongst the most difficult of all to research. They are hereditary and have been since the medieval times, but are rarely locked in their spelling. In fact each generation used to take it upon themselves to change the spelling to the point where in some cases, particularly those that have a biblical origin, the spelling today may contain only one letter from the original form! However Italy also possesses more groups of names than almost anywhere else, and these include a whole range based around what we would call "household objects". This group that we are considering with this surname are based upon kitchen utensils, although whether they are nicknames or occupational is open to argument. They include Tavola, a table, Scopa, a broom, Mestola, a spoon or ladle, Forcella, a fork, Piatti a dish or cup, and many others. However whilst Piatti or Piatto may mean a dish in Lombardy, and possibly a potter or turner of such objects, it could mean something quite different in Sciliy. Indeed we do know that in this group Forcella, a dining fork, can also mean an earwig in some parts of Italy, a piece of land in Piedmont, and a pitch fork in other places. Surname recordings in Italy are also at best erratic. The country did not become a unified state until 1860, and not until Mussolini in 1922, did it begin to behave like one. As a result recordings have to be treated with some care. Examples include Domenico Piatto at Balbiano, Milano, on May 4th 1808, and Valentino Piatti at Santena, Torino, on September 18th 1917.
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