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Pisa bans penis-themed Leaning Tower trinkets

Fabio Muzzi / AFP

Tourists visit the leaning tower of Pisa earlier this year.

More than a million people visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa each year. Some climb it. Others get their picture taken "propping up" the 800-year old slumping building. And, according to Pisa’s mayor, far too many shops around the Tuscan treasure sell erotic-themed souvenirs featuring the tower, Michelangelo’s "David" and other attractions.

The novelty items show up everywhere. In an episode of this season's "Jersey Shore," for example, Deena Cortese was featured wearing an apron showing all of Michelangelo's David.

Now, vendors in Pisa caught selling erotic souvenirs such as underwear with the famous tower posed as a penis and aprons highlighting David's genitalia can face fines of up to $700, the Daily Mail reports.

Mayor Marco Filippeschi calls the souvenirs "trashy" and "not the image of the city we want to cultivate," he said, adding: "This material is offensive to public decorum and should be banned from souvenir stalls — people with young families should not have to see these shocking items."

Florence is a city of romantic red-tiled rooftops, the Duomo and Michelangelo's David. Lonely Planet heads for the highlights in the birthplace of the Renaissance.

The Daily Mail says the Catholic Church, which has a cathedral near the Leaning Tower of Pisa, is also shocked by the souvenirs and supports the mayor’s request to have nearby towns such as Siena, Florence and San Gimignano join in efforts to rid the region of the tawdry trinkets.

From its origins as the "Capital of the World" to a timeless penchant for excess, Rome is a city that doesn't do shy. Join Lonely Planet in discovering its epic highlights.


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