The last name Serrano is more likely to be of Spanish origin, but does occasionally appear on Italian registers, probably due to the two countries' historical and geographic proximity.
The etymological route of the name Serrano is actually the archaic French word serre meaning ridge. The spread of Latin throughout western Europe would have carried this word, or its Latin variation, to many different countries. This accounts for the word Serra meaning 'mountain range' in Galician, Portuguese and Catalan; while serre is also the root for the Spanish word Sierra. Therefore, it's safe to assume that the name Serrano was probably given to people who lived in or near a mountainous area.
Whilst people with the last name Serrano can be found in Italy, research suggests that it is unlikely the family name has its origins there. Records show it to be a relatively uncommon name, with the majority of Serranos being concentrated in the Reggio Calabria region, on the tip of Italy's boot. This would support the suggestion that the most likely source of the Serrano name is Italy's Mediterranean cousin, Spain; and would also account for the name's migration to South America where it enjoys significant popularity.
Notable bearers of the last name Serrano range from the 16th century Spanish sailor Pedro Serrano, through to the 1930s Mexican screen starlet Irma Serrano. The Serrano name is also associated with a type of chilli pepper indigenous to Mexico, and with a tasty Spanish dry-cured ham.