The Italian Almanac

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horned salute (corna)

Italian News - February 3

Italians can be fined for using traditional insulting gestures against fellow motorists but are free to use the Italian language's full vocabulary of obscenities to vent their road rage. Gestures which risk causing a fight have been outlawed by the country's high court.

These include the classic 'cuckold' horned salute - popularised at a European summit by Premier Silvio Berlusconi - or the so-called 'umbrella' message telling people where to go.

The Cassation Court issued its ruling in the case of a 62-year-old driver from Perugia found guilty of making threatening gestures against another driver who had overtaken his vehicle. In its ruling the court upheld a fine against the gesture-making driver.