Lazio knives

Knives of Lazio

Lazio is a region located in the geographical center of Italy. It can be also considered the ideal center of the country, as it houses the capital city: Rome

Talking about Lazio knives means introducing one of the masterpieces of Italian cutlery: The Coltello alla Romana  (Roman Style knife) formerly known as Serratore alla Romana (Roman style folding knife).

It’s a master of semplicity, elegance and effectiveness. Just three components: a simple horn or brass arc-shaped handle, an extremely sharp and pointed blade and a reliable external spring with the function of blocking system.

The Coltello alla Romana is a duel knife who was born in Rome at the end of XVII century and then spread with the same mechanism but different forms in all Papal State or State of the Church and in Sourhern Italy.

Coltello romano

The Coltello Romano was a faithful companion of young men, stuck in their pocket together with the rosary and ready to come out during a fight inside the local osterie (inns) or in the dark alleys of the city.

This mix of of religious feelings and violent pride is well underlined in 1830 Gioacchino Belli poetry L’Adducazzione (The Education)

“…D’esse cristiano è ppuro cosa bona: 
Pe questo hai da portà ssempre in zaccoccia 
Er cortello arrotato e la corona. “

“…Being a Christian is also a good thing:
For this reason you must always carry in your pocket
The sharp knife and the rosary.”

Rome’s streets,  between the 1700s and the late 1800s, were really dangerous and the stabbings were numerous every day, often for futile reasons or for the excessive wine consumption .

The main features of Lazio knives

Often big or very big size. Folding knives of 50 cm or more, once opened, are not rare.

Horn or brass handle usually arc shaped.

 – An external spring that block the blade in the opening position. It’s fixed on the back of the handle by one or more often two screws. To unhook the blade from the spring , on the spring itself an iron  or brass ring is often present.

The blade is sharp and very pointed. It’s sometimes divided in lenght in three areas. The central one with a concave profile.

The blade presents on its back, near the handle, a raised portion (often worked in three or more parts), that in open position fits a corresponding aperture in the spring.

Typical decorations of the handle consisting in elaborated engravings,  inlays, insertion of silver coins

Lazio knives – list of models

  • Coltello alla Romana with horn handle
  • Coltello alla Romana with brass handle

Here you can find pictures of knives from Lazio

Do you want to read about other regions knives?