Image via Merchant Ivory Productions/A Room with a View.

In the gorgeous 1908 novel A Room with a View, author E.M. Forster describes Tuscany as “the primal source whence beauty gushed out to water the earth.” It was true then as it is in present day—especially now that you can publicly masturbate in Italy.

The highest court in Italy—La Corte di Cassazione—has ruled that masturbation in public places is no longer criminal, so long as it’s not in the presence or view of minors. The case was presented to the court after a 69 (nice)-year-old Sicilian man was sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to pay €3,200 after he was arrested for jerking off in front of a group of students on the University of Catania campus.

According to CNN:

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The defendant’s lawyer appealed the case to the country’s highest court, which ruled on the side of the accused in June but only just made its decision public. Judges ruled that public masturbation out of the presence of minors is no longer deemed criminal conduct due to a change in the law last year, which decriminalized the act.

The new iteration of the criminal code does call for imprisonment—of up to four-and-a-half years—if the act is witnessed by a minor.

Imagine! Exploring the ancient Fori Imperialli and finding a pervert wanking it behind every column! Eating delicious gelato in the Piazza del Campo on a hot day, a chicken being choked on the very bench upon which you sit. Finally nearing the front of the line at the Uffizi and slipping on some forgotten jizz. Is that a sprinkle of rain your feeling as your gondola twists and turns down the canals of Venezia? No, you’ve just been splattered by the refuse of a man masturbating off the Bridge of Sighs.

Come to Italy for the food and the art, stay for the “street performers.”

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