Italy’s highest appeals court has ruled it is a criminal offence for Italian men to touch their genitals in public – a judgment that has far-reaching implications for superstitious males.

Anyone who has seen a hearse go past in Italy, or been part of a discussion in which some terrible illness or disaster is mentioned, will know it is traditional for men to ward off ill luck with a quick grab at what are delicately called their attributi.

Oh, like you could have resisted.

(This is my favorite line: “The third penal division of the Rome court was having none of it.”)

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