Dress Code for the Vatican

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Jul 31st, 2014, 11:34 AM
  #1
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Dress Code for the Vatican

I have been reading about the dress code for the Vatican.

Men - no shorts. shirt with short sleeves. t shirt?

Women - shorts below the knee - dress with short sleeves.

Can someone confirm? Thank you so much.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 11:37 AM
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Rather than taking opinions from a travel board it's best to go to the Vatican web site for direction:

http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/z-In..._Consigli.html

Required clothing

Access to Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens and Saint Peter's Basilica is permitted only to visitors dressed appropriately (no sleeveless blouses, no miniskirts, no shorts, no hats allowed).
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Jul 31st, 2014, 11:38 AM
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Excellent. Thank you, Adrienne.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 11:48 AM
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It's always fun to watch tourists in shorts or women sans head covering try to get into St Paul's - I've seen some who put pieces of clothing over their heads and even on one occasion try to put a jacket over their legs.

Many are turned away so good to know the exact rules, which IME are strictly enforced, unlike today in many Italian churches.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 12:07 PM
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The used to have this dumb rule that you had to have a head covering in church for women, when I was little. So yes, you can get around it by pinning a Kleenex to your head which was actually what some girls did in a pinch. I think it's really stupid and very sexist, it's the same reasoning as Islam, that women's hair is a vanity and provocative and women, of course, are the source of all evil.

But they don't have that rule any more, so why would you see tourists putting clothing over their heads? Even that quote from the website doesn't say women need head coverings.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 12:15 PM
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And there are no shortage of photos of the dress code signs you will see at the Vatican. http://travel.stackexchange.com/ques...atican-in-rome
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Jul 31st, 2014, 12:30 PM
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Pal - are you sure women have to cover their heads in St. Paul's? I went into St. Paul's and there was no one monitoring head covering. I could not find any dress code on their web site.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 12:34 PM
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Christina: If you're old enough, you'll remember that hats were worn for any moderately dressy occasion, not just for church. It wasn't some kind of penalty.

I recently saw a picture from the mid-seventies of a reunion of my girls' school. Everybody was wearing hats.

I especially remember one wonderful black wide-brimmed hat I wore to church in the mid-60's. By that time, it wasn't customary to wear hats much--just for dressy occasions, so the only place I could ever wear that hat was to church. I loved wearing it. Nowadays I don't find most hats at all attractive, so I don't wear them.

My cousin collected vintage designer clothing--Balenciaga, Oleg Cassini, Dior. After she died, her daughters and I were looking at some of the things she hadn't donated to museums.

There was one fabulous black velvet minimalist hat that had a wonderful small face veil--pretty much just to go over the eyes. I loved it, but even though her daughter had pressed me to take it, I didn't think I'd ever have a chance to wear it. I regret not taking it and somehow finding an occasion to wear it.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 12:38 PM
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adriewnne - it has been several year since I was in the Vatican so may not be the case any longer - I thought it funny that men could not wear hats and women had to. But now I do not know and assume they've relaxed that.

Your link says just no hats - does not mention women covering heads but it was at one time.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 12:45 PM
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Pal - It's St. Peter's in Vatican city, not St. Paul's (I thought you were referring to St. Paul's in London). Vatican II was in the mid 1960s and that is when Catholic churches stopped requiring women to wear head coverings.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 12:55 PM
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Women may wear hats/head coverings in Catholic churches.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 01:39 PM
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Well I must have been mistaken in my memories! I must have been thinking about bare shoulders - gals trying to cover their bare shoulders with anything in their purse - scarves, etc - bare shoulders - why is that a sin?
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Jul 31st, 2014, 02:09 PM
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The English language web page for the Vatican Museums has an imprecise translation of the Italian word, "pantoloncini". It really is used to refer to short shorts. Longer shorts are called "pantaloni corti". In fact, shorts below the knee are acceptable at the Vatican Museums.

At St. Peter's Basilica, in theory, the rules for men are stricter than the rules for women, as you can see in the photo on the page whose link was provided by greg. The icon of the properly dressed man has long trousers, while the woman has shorts or a skirt below the knees. The "long trousers" rule isn't always enforced, but you can't count on that. My adolescent nephew was turned away wearing calf-length "clam diggers", which meant that his parents didn't get to go into St. Peter's either.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 02:20 PM
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<< bare shoulders - why is that a sin? >>

It's not a sin; it's not acceptable dress code in Italian Catholic churches (I'm not sure about the other Italian churches as I've only been in one).
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Jul 31st, 2014, 03:42 PM
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We bought paper pants for dear son who had on shorts--30 years ago==to get in the Sistine Chapel. It ain't new--and it does have something to do with respect for a religious/holy building, whether you agree with it or not.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 05:02 PM
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Women are no longer required to cover their heads in catholic churches - even St Peter's.

But they are very strict about covering knees, shuolders and bosom - not just for adults but even for adult size kids. Little kids - 10 and under - can get away with shorts - but it's really better if everyone complies.

And men - I don;t care if you LIVE wearing a baseball cap -you do NOT wear one in church.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 05:12 PM
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St Louis Cardinals baseball caps are fine in Catholic churches.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 05:46 PM
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<< St Louis Cardinals baseball caps are fine in Catholic churches. >>

Yikes! More sartorial advice from cold!

Actually, the Cardinals caps are only appropriate when worn with white shorts and purple bum packs.

That was quite an amusing comment, cold!
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Jul 31st, 2014, 05:59 PM
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To a few of us perhaps Adrienne. I'm waiting for IMDonehere to mention the shortstop at the Vatican entrance.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 06:13 PM
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I love the dialog between you and IDH! It's tops!
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