Naoyuki and I had an early dinner in Venice Tuesday, following our gondola ride. At the restaurant was a large party that included a young woman who’d just graduated from medical school. She had a bikini and daisy dukes and a big wreath around her neck,which is apparently traditional for newly-graduate doctors. Her friends kept chanting, “Dottore, Dottore…” We were quite amused!
@Richard, I’ll fill in some details. In Italy, any graduate, in any subject, is entitled by law to be called dottore (dottoressa if female), cf. http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dottore#In_Italia.
In each university there are different traditions for graduation parties, but they often include the new “doctor” stripping down to his or her underwear and be submitted to friends’ practical jokes. Another tradition is the so-called papiro di laurea, a poster with caricatures and cartoons, often quite explicit or vulgar, which make fun of the newly graduate. The laurel wreath might be adorned with a ribbon in the colours of the faculty and with small golden berries that are often taken and kept by undergraduate friends as a good-luck charm for their upcoming exams.