Venice, one of the oldest and most beautiful island regions of Italy, is the esteemed birthplace of numerous prominent families, including the family that bears the surname Pesce. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they are characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. Although the most common type of family name found in Venice is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's givenname, names derived from occupations are also found. Occupational surnames, which are less common than other types of surnames in Italy, date back to the feudal era. However, under the Feudal System, occupational names did not become hereditary until the offices themselves became hereditary. It was only after an occupation was inherited by several generations in lineal descent that occupational names came to be applied to entire families, and so became a hereditary surname. The surname Pesce is a common occupational name for a fisherman. The surname Pesce is derived from the Italian word pesce, which is itself derived from the Latin word piscis, which means fish. The surname Pesce is also a nickname type of surname for a person who resembled a fish.
In the United States, the name Pesce is the 9,409th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name.  However, in France, the name Pesce is ranked the 6,964th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name.