Church attire in Rome?

Apr 17th, 2007, 11:56 AM
Original Poster
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Church attire in Rome?

I've heard several threads that we should not wear shorts or sleevless tops in churches. But I'd like to get a little more specific if possible. We leave in 16 days...woohoo! And I'd like to not bring many pairs of pants. So are capris acceptable? I'm only 5'1 and the length is to the knee, not above at all.
And for cap sleeves ok?
I'd like to be as comfortable as possible.

Thanks in advance,

Sammygrll is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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I don't think it is called capris when they are only to the knee, I think that is shorts. Capris go down to somewhere around the calf, usually, the middle or bottom.

I'd forget the cap sleeves, also, which I think is just a sleevless blous that extends out a very little from the shoulder bone. It isn't going to make a bit of difference in your comfort if you wear that or a top with a short sleeve.
Christina is online now  
Apr 17th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Capri's are fine. They don't want bare shoulders, short-shorts or halter tops. If it's warm and you are dressed for the heat, just keep a scarf in your bag that you can put over your shoulders if you're not sure about your shirt.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 12:19 PM
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Its not just that you should not wear it....some places they will not allow you inside the church if you don't meet the dress code. We saw many people carrying good size scarves (not the tiny ones you tie around your neck) that cover your arms if you are wearing sleeveless. It was really hot when we went but I was comfortable in long, think cotton pants and short sleeve shirts. Preferred not to carry around a scarf. And yes, up to the knee will be considered shorts.
Aurora is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 01:02 PM
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hi, sammygrll,

my answer to the problem was to carry a light over- shirt in my day-pack. I could then just put it on over my t-shirt and not bother.

capris should be fine. I wore them with no trouble.

not so my husband though, who wore very decent to the knee shorts one day in Rome- he was chucked out of one church [on the capitoline hill], and made to wear a sarong in another. Thereafter he flatly refued to go in any churches without 24 hours prior notice!

regards, ann

annhig is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 05:42 PM
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No showing knees, bosom, midriff, shoulders or very top of arms. (Capris are to the calf - not knees - to the knees are shorts.)
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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Hey all, I was just wondering if you could tell me if regular graphic tees/shirts are okay for church attire. All of my shirts have graphic designs on them (think A&F)... will that be okay or are the churches that strict about attire?
SandeeApples is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 05:53 PM
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Nothing above the knee and at least short sleeve shirts. We traveled in Spring, and so were not carrying shorts
SusieCue is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 09:01 PM
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The best thing I took for Rome (and other Italian cities) was a very lightweight fairly large semi-sheer shawl in a floral pattern. It smushed to nothing in my day bag adn eadded no weight, obviously. Something like that will be big enough to wrap around your shoulders as well as cover anything your shirt might say and deal with the sleeve issue- I actually wore tank tops all the time and my handy shawl did the trick. The point is not to look fashionable, necessarily (although the scarf IS pretty!), but to go for quick on and off coverage you don't have to actually wear all day. Much seemed to depend on how busy the "guards" were, too- sometimes I didn't even get looked at. Ditto for the knees issue. I, too, am not much past 5 feet tall. If you really like your shorts, just take another shawl in case they object- you can't take photos of yourself inside anyway!
sglass is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 09:11 PM
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May I gently suggestion that as a guest in another country and also when visiting a church, temple etc. it would be the polite thing to wear what is appropriate even if the "guards" may be to busy to notice you. Showing respect for other countries, cultures and religious institutions is being a polite and respectful guest. am sure we al
LoveItaly is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 09:13 PM
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sorry, I hit the Post button to soon.
Anyway I am sure we all want to be considerate and polite while travelling just as are in our own country. And hopefully we are.
LoveItaly is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 09:26 PM
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Thank you, LoveItaly.

Be advised that the dress rules for churches in Rome also apply to the Vatican Musems.

Sammy, you heard right, to go back to your original post. Why wear shorts in Rome at all? You're going to be there in May, not August. The weather will be beautiful, most likely. If you plan to wear barer tops, carry a sweater or the recommended over-shirt. Your mornings will be cool anyway, most likely.

I think it's more intersting when away from home to understand and work within the rules than try to work around them. It's a small thing, but some travelers behave as though the host country should adapt to them, rather than the other way around.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 12:52 AM
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LoveItaly, your comment is just perfect. Thank you!
quokka is online now  
Apr 18th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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I'm not a Catholic, but I've always tried to be respectful of the congregation who visit these living monuments for their daily services. So, there I am in Venice, slacks and shirt (with a collar even)... when one of the church officials comes up to me and lectures me on my - HAT! D'oh! I forgot I even had it on... ;-)
ronin is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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Ronin, as long as you weren't shooting up the place, as in your namesake movie. But then again, there are very few good car chase scenes in Venice!
tomassocroccante is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 02:30 PM
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hi, sammygrll,

i think that I slightly resent the implication that in wearing shorts, my DH was "dissing" [never thought I'd use that phrase, but what the hell] italian culture or sensibilities.

THey are the most decent shorts you could possibly imagine. His knees are quite nice. Why should a god in whose image he is supposedly made object to them? [we tease him incessently now about his objectionable knees - it's a laugh a minute here!]

But I can forgive anyone who allowed me the delicious sight of him in a sarong.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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Loveitaly is right.

And would you men PLEASE remember to remove baseball caps when entering a church. Same goes for any other headgear for men, of course -- though I've never seen anyone retain any hat other than a baseball cap.
tedgale is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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dress code goes for men too! no shoulders, knees or bellies
TravMimi is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 07:52 PM
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We Americans are pretty used to going from Church to the golf course or the mall, aren't we? Can we deny that the overriding question always seems to be comfort and convenience?

Many of the best things in life ask just a smidgen of alleged discomfort and inconvenience. Make your own list...
tomassocroccante is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 08:11 PM
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I always mentally shake my head at people who don't seem to understand the concept of modesty in church. At Easter, I frequently see young women with strapless dresses, halter tops, spaghetti straps, or necklines that show cleavage. I imagine that they're twice-a-year churchgoers; otherwise I assume they'd know that is not how one dresses for church.

I don't quite understand the concept that the less one wears, the more comfortable one is, anyway.

I'm surprised that one would have to remind a man to take his hat off in church. I guess I shouldn't be after all those years I struggled with high school kids to take their hats off in class.
Pegontheroad is offline  

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