Ciriani taught Italian literature at a secondary school in the northeastern town of Pordenone for several years, but was transferred five years ago after students discovered her online videos and wallpapered campus lavatories with printed images. She maintains that her after-hours activities never interfered with her work as a teacher.
"My behavior at school has always been professional and irreproachable," Ciriani reportedly told the AGI agency. "I am a normal woman, with my family and my work as a teacher. I just happen to also be looking for transgression and sex."
After being transferred from the school in Pordenone, Ciriani began teaching evening classes to foreign adults in a nearby town.
All was well until Ciriani traveled to Germany in October for the 11th Venus Berlin, an international pornography fair where she made waves.
"Madameweb's extempore performance was one of the hottest moments at the fair," Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported on its website. "She followed it up with a five-minute YouTube video in which she appeared completely naked on a bus, on a subway system and walking along a street."
Ciriani's actions at Venus Berlin did not go unnoticed back home in Pordenone. Local and regional press got wind of her showing in Germany and dubbed her the "porno-prof."
Because of the coverage surrounding Ciriani, a colleague who identified himself as "Fabio" voiced his disappointment with the situation in his blog.
"Each of us - outside work and in our private life - is free to do what he or she wants, free to take whoever one wants to bed," he wrote. "What perplexes me is that Madameweb has a job in which, unfortunately, the private life matters - a lot. It matters for the families. It matters for the school."
Ciriani, responding to her colleague's blog, said her behavior at school always has been professional and upright.
"I never let my hobby get in the way of my teaching," she said. "I would like also to emphasize that my clothes were always modest in cut and my behavior [was] un-provocative. We as teachers must, first and foremost, guarantee a good cultural preparation, as well as the growth and maturation of individuals. However, values, et cetera, are the responsibility of the parents and must be transmitted principally by them. We are not substitutes for a mother or father.
"It is true that I am a schoolmistress, but that doesn't mean that what I am in private must change what I am in school or vice versa. I don't publish my photos everywhere. I only post them on sites which are forbidden to minors, and [where] consenting persons who share desires and sexual choices meet and talk."
Nevertheless, Ciriani's online activities prompted school authorities to suspend her from teaching altogether.
"The out-of-hours behavior of Anna Ciriani, who calls herself ‘Madameweb' in hardcore videos on the Internet and at erotic shows, was not compatible with educational activity," the head of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia education authority said.
In a related case, Luther Stephney, a second-grade teacher in Peru, N.Y., had his license revoked by the New York State Education Department after he allegedly was caught viewing adult material on a computer in his classroom.
Stephney, who was given paid administrative leave from the school district, maintained that no children were present when he viewed the pornographic material.
After tracking software revealed that Stephney had viewed several porn sites while at school, school officials began an investigation in March 2004. Stephney admitted that he had viewed adult sites two or three times, but an examination of his three classroom computers reportedly found that he viewed pornography six times during a one-month period, with viewing times ranging from 50 minutes to an hour.
Stephney maintained that when he viewed the sites, he made sure students were not present.
Unlike Ciriani, Stephney was suspended with pay, but his imminent dismissal is being sought based on administrative charges of insubordination; neglect of duties; searching for and viewing inappropriate, immoral and obscene images on the Internet; and violating the school district's Internet policy.
Stephney reportedly has said he understands there must be consequences for his actions, but he feels that revoking his license is an excessively harsh punishment.
Stephney was unavailable for comment.