Rome: Giving someone the finger is as insulting as verbal abuse, Italy`s highest appeals court has ruled.
The Court of Cassation Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that the gesture was "deliberately offensive".
The Court of Cassation said a 38-year-old woman, Claudia M., who had made the obscene gesture at her estranged husband, must pay a fine.
She must also pay her husband`s legal costs and a 1,000 euro charge for wasting the Italian justice system`s time, the court said.
The woman had taken the case to the top court claiming her husband, Agostino Z. could not be offended as she had only made the gesture at him from her car.
The couple, from Domodossala in northern Italy, was separating at the time of the incident.
The top court said "the deliberately offensive nature of the gesture" as well as verbal insults the woman had hurled at her husband during an argument between them a week earlier were "an insult".