The Italian Almanac

romantic kiss

Italian News - January 13

An Italian bank manager who tried to kiss a woman cashier on the lips on Valentine’s Day has lost his job, been given a 14-month suspended jail sentence and fined after being convicted of “sexual violence”. The ruling by Italy’s highest court puts another dent in the reputation of the macho Italian male, always on the lookout - according to the national myth - for a chance to pay a woman a compliment and overwhelm her with his charm. It was applauded by women’s rights campaigners.

According to the court, Valter approached the cashier, named only as Federica, “with the clear intention of kissing her on the lips”. Aware that the manager was approaching she twisted her head away, so he planted the kiss on her cheek instead. Offended none the less, Federica, whose age was not given in court, went to the police and denounced her boss for “sexual harrassment”.

He was found guilty and ordered to pay Federica’s costs. He had been ruined by an impromptu gesture of affection, he complained yesterday. He would look for another job - “though not in a bank”. He had argued in his defence that his kiss had landed on the cashier’s face, not her lips, and this could not be construed as “libidinous”.

Amedeo Postiglione, the presiding judge, said that the attempted kiss amounted to sexual violence. “Sexual acts are not only those which relate to the genital area but also all those which relate to erogenous zones,” the ruling said. These included “acts of touching, patting and rubbing”, even if they were “rapid and insidious”.