Italy Has Decriminalized Public Masturbation

Nation's Supreme Court declares pleasuring oneself in public is not against the law, so long as minors aren't present

September 13, 2016
Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in "Roman Holiday" (1953) Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in “Roman Holiday” (1953) Photo: Paramount Pictures

There’s good news for pasta-loving globetrotters looking to touch themselves outdoors: Italy has officially decriminalized public masturbation, with one (literally) minor caveat.

La Corte di Cassazione, the nation’s highest court, has ruled that public masturbation is no longer a criminal offense, so long as the act is not performed in the presence of minors. The decision was made in June, according to CNN, but has only recently been made public.

La Corte’s ruling relates to the 2015 conviction of “PL, “a 69-year-old man caught publicly masturbating at the University of Catania, on the island of Sicily. The man, identified only as “PL,” reportedly performed the act in front of students. He was later sentenced to three months in prison for his public act of masturbazione and was also ordered to pay a stiff fine.

“PL”‘s lawyer appealed the ruling, however, and the case eventually found its way to the nation’s Supreme Court. Judges there ultimately ruled that public masturbation — so long as it’s not in the presence of minors — could no longer be considered a criminal offense, thanks to a recently changed law.

Click here for more information on the ruling. Click here to book travel to Italy today.

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