Rome: Italy`s armed forces have passed new regulations to prevent and contain practices that might affect the image of the Army, including shunning a "macho" rite practised in armies the world over -- tattooing.
The new regulations bar members of Italy`s military services from getting inked and piercings in "visible parts of the body".
Tattoos that raised concern were "obscene, sexual, racist, anti-Semitic and subliminal messages", according to a document from the Italian armed forces.
Commonly spotted on Italian soldiers` bodies are tattoos pronouncing political allegiance to far-right movements or soccer teams. Images demeaning women are also not a rare site.
The "occasional presence of soldiers exposing signs of exteriority" could bring a sense of difference and despise from other populations that disapprove of tattoos for religious or cultural reasons, said the army`s official website forzearmate.org.