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The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

Weston, Connecticut
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The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

We landed yesterday but I wanted to post this ASAP for people going to Rome soon - We were at the Vatican and St. Peters Wednesday (July 28th) my two college age sons wore long shorts like 80% of the males inside and my husband wore long pants, he was in the MINORITY, I'd estimate that 15%-20% max. of the men were wearing long pants, the rest were WEARING SHORTS.

I wore a halter dress and didn't cover my shoulders until I got into St. Peters - neither did most women.

Our friends were in Rome 2 weeks ago when it was over 100 degrees and ALL the men in their family wore shorts, no one was turned away.

I just wanted to dispel the myth on TA that men in shorts will be denied entrance, my husband was not happy that he wore long pants on a hot summer day in Rome when it wasn't necessary.

There are some myths being perpetrated by TA members that need to be brought to light.

The only people I saw in the "penalty box" denied entrance were men in tank tops and women in very short shorts and tank tops. Most of the shorts being worn did hit or cover the knee, but I did see many older men in shorts that hit just above the knee.

Take this info for what it's worth, but this is how it was when we were there 2 days ago and our friends were there 2 weeks ago.

pittsburgh
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1. Re: The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

Check out this recent article:

ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2010/07…

Donna

Silver Spring...
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2. Re: The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

"I just wanted to dispel the myth on TA that men in shorts will be denied entrance, my husband was not happy that he wore long pants on a hot summer day in Rome when it wasn't necessary."

I've heard over and over on TA that men in shorts COULD be denied entrance, depending on the guard.

Canada
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3. Re: The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

Renee59, I would not say it is a myth, but perhaps they turn a blind eye if the weather is extremely hot. But why take the chance that you will be turned away?

We were there last summer and I did see men in shorts turned away (or told to purchase the paper pants) and women turned away that were wearing tanks or sleeveless tops, yes they did make it basically to the entrance but then they were told to cover up or leave. also once inside the Vatican many that had pashminas or shawls covering bare shoulders took them off, only to be told to cover back up.

I think everyone knows that it all depends on who is at the door and how strict they are. The DE are making people aware that you are going to a place of worship and you should be respectful, if that means you need to cover up, so be it.

Weston, Connecticut
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4. Re: The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

I was referring to a post from a few weeks ago on this site that stated "Men in shorts WILL be denied entrance, period."

That was one of the responses I got to my query about shorts at the Vatican, which was obviously not true, as I saw with my own eyes a few days ago.

United States
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5. Re: The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

I'm glad that some concessions were made for a very hot day but your "truth" is based on a one day experience with extreme weather conditions. If you tried to gain entrance at another time your "truth" may be different.

One of the DEs for Rome posted that the dress code was going to be enforced for the scavi tour underneath St. Peter's. Since she lives in the Vatican and is there every day, I would believe her "truth/myth" over a one day visit.

TAB

Edited: 30 July 2010, 20:07
Weston, Connecticut
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6. Re: The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

"I'm glad that some concessions were made for a very hot day but your "truth" is based on a one day experience with extreme weather conditions. If you tried to gain entrance at another time your "truth" may be different."

Actually, it was based on TWO days, since our friends were there two weeks ago, but I'm sure you're right and the two days we were there were just flukes.

BTW, it wasn't really extremely hot the day we were there, it was only about 86 degrees, which IMO, is pretty cool for Rome in July.

Rome, Italy
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7. Re: The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

The Vatican's rules are not a "myth". But as is everything here in Italy, how they are enforced and when and with who is entirely dependent on the mood of the guards. Some days they'll tell me to cover my shoulders, some days not, sometimes only in the Sistine or the Basilica, sometimes in the Musuems too, sometimes just to get Papal Tickets at the door. The rules are indeed there, some just lucked out that they were lenient (probably due to the intense heat this summer).

Tallahassee, Florida
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8. Re: The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

Renee - obviously the post you are referring to should have read

"Men in shorts MAY BE denied entrance" but I don't think your statement that "There are some myths being perpetrated by TA members that need to be brought to light" is correct either. It is not a myth that if you are improperly dressed (by Vatican standards NOT by TA memers) you may be denied entrance to the Vatican specifically but also to ANY church in Italy.

Obviously some guards are taking pity on tourists in this heat but it doesn't mean that the vast majority of responses on TA with regard to this subject are incorrect.

Montreal
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9. Re: The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

There has been a heat wave on in Rome. The city has issued more than one health warning.

The city has handed out hundreds of thousands of free bottles of mineral water at Termini and other Metro stops.

Does this mean that tourists can *expect* free bottles of mineral water at Termini whenever they think it's hot out? No.

St. Peter's Basilica has relaxed its dress code.

Does this mean that tourists can *expect* St. Peter's Basilica to relax its dress code whenever they think it's hot out? No.

Le Marche, Italy
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10. Re: The truth about the dress code at the Vatican and St. Peters

My teenaged nephew was turned away from St. Peter's Basilica on an extremely hot day in 2003 wearing capri length pants. My sister and brother-in-law didn't go in either, because they didn't want to leave him alone in the piazza. I felt guilty because I had assured them, based on an earlier trip, that he would be allowed in as long as his knees were covered. Being turned away because you're not wearing long pants, in my opinion, is worse than suffering a few hours in long pants.

Since then, I never tell people they'll be allowed in wearing shorts. Every year I read of men being allowed in wearing shorts, and I read of other men being turned away wearing shorts. The only way to guarantee entry is for men to wear long pants.

Note that women are allowed to wear anything that covers the knee; only men are required to wear long pants. Also, I've never seen another church in Rome that doesn't allow shorts that cover the knee, for both sexes.