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A Review of La Parolaccia Restaurant - Roma

Updated on August 24, 2011

La Parolaccia

There is a restaurant in Rome that people in Rome fear. Yes, the locals stay well clear of it. Some few brave souls venture within, only to leave ten minutes later their faces red and sweaty, covering their children's ears with their hands, their eyes downcast and humbled. The typical Trastevere side-street that leads up to it, ominously empty. Even the golden street lights seem to shy clear of it.

Forget the Violioncelli

This restaurant is La Parolaccia. Quite simply, "the swear word". Of all the restaurants I've been to in Rome, this place will forever shine as the most unique and eye opening experience that one can have in a restaurant. The food? Roman menus, fixed prices and meals. But who cares? It never was, and never will be about the food. The waiters are actors, their sole purpose in life is to offend you. If all this doesn't make sense, hold on because it only gets worse.

La Parolaccia has been around for 20 years or so. The place made famous by various films, such as "Fracchia La belva umana" (a well known film in Italy!). It sits arrogantly within the cosmos of glittering lights of Trastevere like a black hole. It certainly looks like a restaurant. One of many in the area. Small, dark, a comfy feeling that feels distinctly European. The charade ends as you open the door.

"Bugger off!"

As a warning, to those crazy enough to go there. Dinner starts at 8.30pm. Not before, nor after. If you're late, stay that way. You're going to be ushered in and forcibly separated from your friends. Tables are for 6, no exceptions.

What to Expect

The dinner is thrown at you. Literally. You will be insulted from start to finish. Once again there an no exceptions. If you want to impress your friends by "counter-attacking" be advised that these people have 20 years of insult experience. There are no holes in their defenses. They will obliterate you in seconds. Their one-liners are the fabric of legend. This is their job, they have every angle covered. If you stand up and make for the exit, cursing and yelling at the illegality and injustice of the treatment, you will be trailed by a cloud of laughter and applause all the way to your car. Even the police are laughing at you.

My personal, tragic, experience

My personal experience was not a happy one. Although it had its moments. I recall an oblivious scandinavian pair entering the lair of the beast. Obviously father and son, they politely made their way to the counter. What struck me most, was the incredible, overwhelming and tangible silence that greeted their late entry. The waiters froze, the people stopped eating. The only noise the creak of the door slamming shut like a tomb.

"Ma che, siete Gay?"

The father looked a little startled at that. Shaking his head emphatically, laying an arm around his son's shoulder protectively.

"Allora Vaffanculo!"

Soon the rest of the waiters joined in and the songs began. All the while the rather unassuming Scandinavian family stood transfixed, like a couple of hypnotized cobras. Needless to say it did not end well. Their departure met with a new song and a fresh round of laughter. Please note that no customers had the balls to laugh. We knew what would happen if we did. Like prisoners in a Gulag, we ate in silence, our eyes downcast.

Last words

While I don't really think anyone had that much fun. You wear the experience like a symbol of pride. It is a tale to recount and a testimony to your courage. In a way, it remains a very typical Roman experience. One that does not reflect the Rome of today, but it is a taste of the spirit of Trastevere as it once was. Not the rich tourist district. But the old popular slum that it was.

I recommend the experience. If only because you'll never forget it. For good or for ill.

Would you go?

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    • profile image

      Rendy 4 years ago

      Arrived home last evening and just waentd to drop you a quick line to tell you how satisfied we were with your company's services. The whole Family enjoyed time spent in Rome, on the road to Sorrento, and the Tour in Pompeii. Everyone wished that he was available on the day for the Vatican Tour. Our guide's knowledge of ancient Rome was amazing, the boys enjoyed his knowledge, humor and everyone had a great time. He was very courteous to me and the issues of my handicap, he made an extra special effort to have the car brought around to assist me. The car was great and comfortable, making the ride to Sorrento enjoyable. I only wish I had looked into including your services for transfer from Venice to Rome, and then from Naples to Rome on the day we left (instead of flying from Naples to Rome).I will use you as a referral should I have the opportunity with any friends traveling to ItalyThanks again (Grazie')Andy Gagliardi

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      fellendael brigitte 6 years ago

      I just can't wait to go there.... I need to brush up my swear words though.... planning a trip to Rome in February and the Parolaccia is high on my list.... My boyfriend has already warned me, he'll act as if he doesn't know me... hahaha..... Here I come guys, I don't really speak Italian but I'm willing to learn! ;-)

    • profile image

      M watts 6 years ago

      I went to this restaurant over the weekend, luckily i was with friends that could translate for me as they were was hilarious, most off the time i was the butt of there jokes being English and Vegetarian!.They were kind though as you got what you were given to eat, no menu, they went out of there way and made me a fantastic Vegetarian pasta option, but later told me it was 2 days old (joking off course)

      I would recommend anyone to visit this restaurant but only if you know the local language or lucky enough to have a translator.The meal was a 5 course with plenty of laughter, singing and entertainment al for just 50 Euros

    • profile image

      Marina 6 years ago

      What is the address of this restaurant????

    • profile image

      Erick 6 years ago

      Insults, food thrown at me? Sounds like dinner with my wife...and I'm the cook.

    • profile image

      S Pinchbeck 6 years ago

      I went there accidentally. With a large group of people who didn't speak Italian. Oh my god. Just... there are no words.

    • profile image

      J Cachia 7 years ago

      Im from Malta , still in the mediterranean and we are experts in insults and swearing, not to mention the colourful religious profanity we can come with in promptu. Knowing it's on purpose and an act overall I think I would not mind it at all. Like I said being mediterranean helps. If you take it personally even if you know its an act, well... nuff said!

    • profile image

      ferdinando 7 years ago

      Of course! Only people with no sense of humor can be offended by this kind of thing. After all, they perform the planned script. I think I would arrive late and laugh at all the insults they would do. That's the spirit.

    • carmenph profile image

      carmenph 7 years ago from Philippines

      Although I'm not just out to be pleased and pandered on by other people, neither would I actively seek out to be extremely insulted. Sorry, not for me! :-)

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 7 years ago from Around the USA

      Why didn't I find this hub a couple of weeks sooner??? I JUST got back from Rome. (Love the city and the people, by the way.) I surely would have gone and dragged my family with me if I had known. Oh well, I threw my coin in the Trevi Fountain, so on my next trip to Rome, I will surely visit. I miss Rome already!

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 8 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thank you very much Dale! Yes, it is pretty scary, but the experience is definitely worth it!

    • Dale Mazurek profile image

      Dale Mazurek 8 years ago from Canada

      I dont know what to say. It sounds like a place to hate but a place one must visit.

      The hub was great and really put thought into a persons mind.

      Your hub is now posted on my blog.



    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 8 years ago from Rome, Italy

      well nck, I daresay they've had their experiences, hence the friendly cops outside ;)

    • profile image

      nck. 8 years ago

      I'll go. With a cinderblock. One fugulo word, I'll bash their head in with that cinderblock. Oh what fun!!!!

    • RKHenry profile image

      RKHenry 9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

      What a great story line and hub idea. I enjoyed this very much. Awesome!

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 9 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Glad you plan to go there, well, sort of :P

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      I must be crazy, but I will surely go there on my next visit to Rome. Why? why pay to be insulted when we can be insulted for free? LOL I like new experiences and new places so that puts La Parolaccia in my list of places to go; as you say, for good or for bad it is an unforgetable experience ;-)

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 10 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thanks for the comment Rompera, and the irony of the name is not lost on me ;) And yes, it is fun, although I said otherwise!

    • profile image

      rompera di palle 10 years ago

      I went to this restaurant and had an amazing time! However, I speak italian and have a good sense of my parolacce. I think for those who don't speak, or who especially have trouble with roman dialect it's kind of hard to follow, but if you do and can appreciate the harmlessness of the humour it's a great time!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      I have a couple co-workers I wouldn't mind taking!

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 10 years ago from Rome, Italy

      lol, thank you all for comments!

    • highwaystar profile image

      highwaystar 10 years ago from Australia

      Ohh...BTW, wheres the part about where to send flowers? Like you'd best never show your face or set foot in Rome or your next bowl of pasta could be your last, lol, better hide you ass, the MOB is after you too, great hub and thanks for the tip!

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 10 years ago from Chennai

      I'm usually nice to people and people are nice to me. So I have kind of led a sheltered life. Maybe I should go here and experience shock, that would be a experience! Great hub, as I have never known about it. Have something new to tell my friends now! Thank you!

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 10 years ago from Sydney

      You have mad my mind up thumbs up for you and down for them

    • 532054 profile image

      532054 10 years ago from Pakistan

      nice info thanks

    • profile image

      I├░unn 10 years ago

      I want to go!!!!

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 10 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thanks for the comments!

      Zsuzsy, I second that.

      Casale, yes. Taking any form of authority there is hillarious. Watching their pomp peeled off minute after minute. It's certainly a humbling experience!


    • profile image

      casale 10 years ago

      I think that I am going to take my boss....

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      I don't think this would be for me .

      regards Zsuzsy