Mussolini had a habit of touching his own testicles to ward off bad luck. Obviously, as he ended his days hanging upside down from a lamppost after being shot several times, it is fair to conclude that grabbing your own nads is not the best way to ward off the fickle finger of fate.
Regardless of the outcome of Il Duce's plum fondling, when the Italians are not living up to the national stereotype of gesticulating wildly, riding scooters and ending every sentence with 'Mama Mia', they are stroking their swingers for luck.
Or they were until yesterday because Italy's highest court has ruled it is a criminal offence for Italian men to touch their meat and two veg in public.
The judges stressed that the ban did not just apply to scratching, but any gratuitous grabbing of their crackers will be frowned upon and owner of the aforementioned love-spuds handed a fine of 200 euros.
"You should wait till you have returned to the privacy of your own homes before letting their hands stray trouser-wards" warned the judges.
Sound guidance indeed from the spaghetti munching judiciary. How George Michael and Pee Wee Herman can only wish they had been handed such sage advice.