Also from The Guardian.
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.
The practice has become increasingly frowned on, but Io mi tocco i (I touch my) is a common phrase, equivalent to crossing fingers. The judges of the court of cassation suggested those seeking luck should return to the privacy of their homes before letting their hands stray trouserward. . . .