We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 posts
12 reviews
Save Topic
Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

Sorry for the nerdy question, but this is our first time to Rome. We arrive Sept. 1 and understand it will still be quite warm. Are nice shorts in dark colors acceptable, or will we look too "American"?

Many thanks.

Rome, Italy
Destination Expert
for
Level Contributor
713 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

you'll look american for sure, but what's wrong with that?

september is quite warm, and on occasions it can get really hot, but generally speaking, men do not wear shorts. the only ones doing it are the tourists.

having said that, there is nothing that we (romans) consider unacceptable about it. it's just a different way of dressing.

what we do consider unacceptable and really irritating is, for example, when tourists decide to cool down the heat by putting their feet in the fountains.

just unbelievable.

San Clemente...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
11,503 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

Hi,

SPQR is correct about the shorts. However, when you are in a touristy area such as around the Forum and it's really hot then you are going to see alot of shorts and mostly tourists. You can get away with shorts at most tourist places except for St Peter's Basilica. They will make you cover up your legs. What alot of people do is carry some athletic pants in their backpack then just put them on for the visit to the church. You should wear shorts(khaki or any color) which come to your knee or just below the knee. If you are wearing the longer shorts, then you will be safe in most locations. Stay away from the athletic short shorts, if you wear those then you will look German or Scandanavian and not American.

For any high end restaurants, then you would want long pants during the day. Shorts are fine for the other casual restaurants. At night, then definitely wear long pants.

During the day, be comfortable and wear shorts. It gets really hot with all that stone around.

Cheers!!

New York
Level Contributor
1,809 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

Spqr,

They really do that? Put their feet in the fountains?

I mean, it's not like Italy just won the World Cup, Then you could just jump righ in and go for a swim!

I agree the feet in the fountain si pretty tacky!

Rome, Italy
Destination Expert
for
Level Contributor
713 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

sasharoon,

i get your point that during the world cup many people crossd the line. however, one night of madness every twenty years is one thing; seeing every day people use four hundred years old monuments as their own private bathroom is quite another.

it's not irritating because it's tacky, but because it's disrespectful to the history of the monument and to those that call that place home.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
190 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

Shorts will be fine for most places, but make sure to bring something to cover up your knees when you're in the churches. Some of the churches (especially St. Peter's) are picky about making sure that shoulders and knees are covered. To cover the knees for women -- carrying a sarong/wrap skirt along in your bag will do the trick. For men -- consider those pants that have zip-on portions so that shorts can be converted to long pants.

Have a great trip!! :o)

New York, New York
Level Contributor
813 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

You will look "american" no matter what because italians have a flare for dress and clothes that I have not seen elsewhere. You have to be comfortable but if possible opt for a skirt and short sleeved top or capris. It was what most people wore when I was there and a liitle more in keeping with the trend. Your knees are covered for churches and you can go out if necessary. Remember though this is your trip, and you should not be uncomfortable.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
390 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

We just returned from Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice) 2 weeks ago. I obsessed over what to wear from shorts, gym shoes, to my son's bathing suits. Trust me I have posts here and on Fodors to prove it. At any rate, lots and lots and lots and lots of people wore shorts (it was extremely hot with no air in most restaurants), gym shoes and I only saw a Russian tourist with a speedo on.

There were tons of American tourists--I'd estimate about 85-90% American. No matter what you wear you'll look American. My nicest outfit looked liked rags in Italy and I dressed pretty well the whole trip. The only tourists in my mind that stood out were the ones that wore T-shirts that had sayings on them. They looked vulgar to me and I am used to them. I left my gym shoes at home after being warned that "I'd look American". That was my biggest mistake----I should have included them in my luggage as a back-up on some days.

You will really enjoy Rome--it was our favorite place---

Seattle
Level Contributor
336 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

Does anyone have suggestions for a type of long pant for my hubby to wear to dinner? I imagine he will wear "long" shorts during the day, but when we go to a nicer type restaurant for dinner, what type of fabric travels well? He has a pair of the light-weight bottom zip-off pants, but they seem awfully casual, bordering "dorky". Linen? Dockers seem heavy. . . what to do.

New York
Level Contributor
1,809 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

SPQR,

Seriously I'm with you. I think it is very disrepespectful to put your feet in a fountain.

And I loved the pictures of the Italians celebrating in the Trevi Fountain It only fueled my Anita Eckberg fantasy(to jump in myself)

Chicago
Level Contributor
369 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Is wearing shorts acceptable in Rome?

I would have said never wear shorts, until I was there last year. I would say Italian men under 30 are now wearing them quite regularly. Whatever makes you comfortable, they're gonna know you're a tourist. Dress nice than you think and you get better service everywhere.

Carl Hag.