Italian Enthusiasts proficient in the Italian language are quick to recognize strange names of Italian foods, drinks and places, especially if they have vulgar meanings.  America, for example, censors nudity on television and in magazines while Italy takes a more open approach, often displaying nudity to the public across all channels.  Similar to Italy’s approval of nudity (in comparison to the United States), Italy takes a similar approach with its language, often referring to foods, drinks and towns by names most Americans would find inappropriate.  For Italian Enthusiasts, however, they are funny and culturally fascinating.  See below for some examples, broken down by categories of Food, Wine and Towns.


Gnocchi.  Gnocchi is a type of pasta we all love, but the meaning comes from the female private part.  The name derives from La Gnocca, which in Italian means “pussy” because of the shape and the softness of the pasta.  So when you order Gnocchi for dinner, you are also asking the chef for a plate of pussy.

Cazzilli di Patate.  In Palermo, there is a popular dish called Cazzilli di Patate, which means “Small Dicks of Potatoes”.  The name comes from the fact that the food is small and shaped like penises, sort of like croquettes.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca.  In Naples, a popular spaghetti is called Spaghetti alla Putanesca, which in English means “Whore’s Pasta”.   This dish includes poor ingredients, such as olives, capers and tomato sauce – very easy ingredients to find in Naples.  The dish was regularly served in brothels for this reason.

Palle del Nonno.  In Tuscany, there is a popular salami called Palle del Nonno, which means “Grandpa’s Balls”.  It is pig salami that has a falling shape, appearing like an elderly man’s testicles.

Coglioni di Mulo

Coglioni di Mulo.  In Abruzzo, there is a popular salami known as Coglioni di Mulo, which means “Donkey’s Nuts”.  The pig salami and lard has a shape appearing to be of a huge donkey’s testicles.

Culatello.  In Parma, there is a ham made with the back part of a pig’s thighs called Culatello, which means “small ass” in English.

Zizzona.  In Salerno, there is a type of mozzarella that looks like a large tit.  It can weigh from 1 to 15 kilograms and a lot of milk comes out of it when the cheese is squeezed.  Zizzona is also equivalent to Tettona, which means “tit” in English.  When the cheese is made, you have to tie a knot at the end of it, which looks like a nipple.

Grattaculi.  In Lazio, wheat spikes tend to grow on top of the zucchini in the vegetable gardens or fields.  The name grattaculi, means “ass scratcher” in English, and it is due to the spiky shape and the itch a person may feel when they bend down to pick the zucchini up in the fields.

Tette di Vergine.  In Sicily, there is a dessert made with shortcrust pastry and milk cream.  Tette di Vergine means “Tits of the Virgin” and it was originally created in the Sicilian convents to celebrate Saint Agatha, the martyr nun and patron saint of Catania.  Saint Agatha was tortured and her breasts torn off with pincers, which is why she is often depicted with her breasts on a plate in medieval paintings.

Tette delle Monache.  Similar to Tette di Vergine, in Abruzzo and Puglia there is a delicious creamy pastry called Tette delle Monache which means “Tits of Female Monks”.


Tette di Vergine

When it comes to wine in Italy, there is also no shortage of vulgar names describing the type of wine or brand.  Even more so, perhaps, since wine is known to free people from their inhibitions and open doors to fun and eroticism, wine names in Italy capture many sexual undertones and expletives.  Consider some of the following examples.

Soffocone di Vincigliata

Soffocone di Vincigliata.  In Tuscany, there is a famous wine called Soffocone di Vincigliata, which means “Blowjob of Vincigliata”.  The name comes from the fact that the Tuscan estate where the wine is produced is close to a wooded area where couples would go to fulfill their sexual pleasures.  The label shows a woman on her knees and this has caused problems importing the wine to the USA, where the label had to be changed

Bernarda Bernarda is the name of a wine in Piemonte, which means “Pussy”.  The name is the union of Barbera and Bonarda, the two wine varietals that have been joined to create this wine.  But the label shows a naked feminine body with its central part colored in black.

Bastardo.  There is a wine in Umbria called Bastardo, which means “Bastard”.  It is produced in the village called Bastardo.  In Roman times, there was an inn for travelers along the Via Salaria called “Osteria del Bastardo” (Bastard’s Inn).  A “bastard” in Italian is not only a bitchy person, but also someone with no father or whose father is unknown, so the Inn was likely a place where prostitutes frequented or worked.

Merlo della Topanera.  In the town of Montecarlo, in the Province of Lucca, there is a wine called Merlo della Topanera, which means in English, “Blackpussy’s Blackdick” (or the literal translation – Blackmouse’s Blackbird).  It is a simple wine meant as an homage to women, or to men and women who join their sexual organs.

Passerina.  In Marche, there is a famous wine called Passerina, which means in English, “Little Pussy” (or the literal translation being Little Female Bird).  It was called this because apparently small vine birds love its little, sweet grapes of this varietal.  However, it has a dual meaning, and the label (picture of a wine glass being held on a female pubic region) implies the real meaning that is being portrayed.

Ficaia.  In Tuscany, there is a wine called Ficaia, which means “Pussy House”.  It also has a dual meaning of “Fig House” but Italians believe the meaning has more to do with the sexual sense, or a “place to find a lot of pussies”.  It is not coincidence, therefore, that the “Pussy House” wine is produced by the Uccelliera farm, which translated means the farm of dicks.

Birra Minchia.  In Sicily, there is a famous beer called Birra Minchia, which in English means “Dick Beer”.  In the Sicilian dialect minchia means “cock” but the exclamation “minchia!!!” can also mean “Fuck!” or “Fuck me!!!”.  The beer slogan says “REAL beer, like us Sicilians”.


The names of Italian towns and places can also be fun to read and learn about.  Here are some examples of vulgar or strange town names or places in Italy.

Po della Gnocca.  In Veneto, there is a part of the River Po called Po della Gnocca (Po of the Vagina), which was once called Po della Donzella (Po of the Young Girl).  Tradition tells that the young daughter of a rich land owner of the area fell in love with the son of a poor farmer.  The girl’s father didn’t approve of their marriage and the girl committed suicide in the river Po.  This part of the river gives the name to the town of Gnocca, in the same area.

Bastardo Bastardo is a town in Umbria, which means “Bastard”.

Trepalle Trepalle is a town in Lombardy meaning “three balls”.  It comes from “tre pali” (three poles) because the first houses in the town were built using three poles like an Indian tent.

Sega Sega is a town in Veneto which has the meaning of “saw” because the town has several wood factories.  However, the word Sega also has a vulgar meaning, similar to “wank”.

Trepuzzi Trepuzzi is a town in Puglia with an English translation of the “three smellies”.

Femminamorta.  Femminamorta is a village in Tuscany, which means “Dead Woman”.

In the United States and most other parts of the world, it is not possible to go to the town of “Jerk Off” to order “Vagina” for wine and “Little Dicks” and “Ass Scratchers” for dinner.  But in Italy, this is indeed possible.  This is just one of the many reasons why Italy is such a great and fun country.  Italian Enthusiasts would all agree.


Leave a Reply