Va' Al Diavolo

Learn one way to insult someone in Italian

Learn one way to insult someone in Italian
Learn one way to insult someone in Italian. Dimitri Otis

While the sentiment isn't simpatico, sometimes you're forced to proclaim it: Go to Hell!

It could be in response to a perceived insult, a misdeed, or an instance of road rage on the autostrada. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself in such a situation, there are a number of nuanced ways, ranging from mild to blasphemous and ironic to literal to express your wrath in Italian.

Your Own Personal Hell

One thing to keep in mind when considering the insult "Go to Hell!" are the cultural differences between the United States and Italy.

American English speakers, for instance, should take notice that mentioning Hell is not blasphemous in Italy, where “Va' all'inferno! - Go to Hell!” is a milder phrase than Vaffanculo! (Mildly translated as “Up yours!”). If you want to learn more parolacce, or bad words, read this article: 8 Swear Words to Add Sass to Your Vocabulary in Italian

TIP: The word "parolaccia" is formed from "parola - word" and the suffix "-accio," which is used to talk about things that are considered bad or unfavorable. Click here to learn more suffixes like this

As a native Italian points out with regard to similar terms, "Gesù!" (Jesus!) is more an elderly lady's pious interjection than a blasphemous one. "Cristo!", on the other hand, is not exactly blasphemous, but some people might resent the use of the word as an interjection.

Hellish Vocabulary

Whenever using any of these Italian expletives—whether mild or harsh—be aware that context is critical. While muttering Va' a quel Paese! to your friends won't even lift an eyebrow, some of the more creative turns of phrase listed below should only be used if you're absolutely certain that those within earshot won't be offended.

Here are some ways, then, to tell someone to "Go to Hell!" in Italian:

Mild expressions:

  • Va' a quel Paese
  • Va’ a fare un giro
  • Va’...
  • Va' a ranare (this is dialect)
  • Va' al diavolo
  • Va' all'inferno
  • Va' in mona (regional Venetian)
  • Va' un po'...
  • Vaffambagno

Less mild expression:

  • Vaffantasca

Harsh expressions:

  • Va' a farti fottere
  • Va' a dar via 'l culo (regional Northern Italian and is really harsh)
  • Vaffanculo

Road Sign For Literary Fame

So the next time someone provokes you, you'll have a number of ways to express how upset you are.

And if for some reason, someone tells you to "Go to Hell!" in Italian, consider it a directive for success. After all, Dante Alighieri figuratively went to Hell in order to write L'Inferno, the first volume of his three-part epic La Divina Commediaand he became famous for it. 

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Filippo, Michael San. "Va' Al Diavolo." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Filippo, Michael San. (2020, August 26). Va' Al Diavolo. Retrieved from Filippo, Michael San. "Va' Al Diavolo." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).