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Strictness of Dress Code for Churches and Basilicas

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Lexington, Kentucky
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Strictness of Dress Code for Churches and Basilicas

I know that the dress code for churches is typically no knees, no shoulders, however from what I have read, it seems that the strictness varies from place to place. I have also found many variable comments about the SAME churches on different sites. I have never traveled to Europe before, but I definitely want to make sure I pack appropriately. Many of my skirts come either right to the top of my knees, or end at the middle of my knee (though they are by no means short or skimpy... I am actually a medical student in Kentucky, and these skirts are appropriate to wear in the clinic, which is pretty conservative). Would these be alright in some churches? If I were to need to cover more, I was also wondering if thick tights would do the trick? I have a pair of navy tights that match many of my skirts... they are quite dark and cover my legs well. They would be very easy to throw on to enter a church and then take back off upon exiting. Would this typically be considered "covering" my legs when paired with a skirt that goes right to the top of my knees? I would prefer to NOT wear pants, as I know it can be miserable walking around all day in the heat and humidity without the appropriate attire. Skirts are MUCH more comfortable. I appreciate any and all feedback, because I really want to be as prepared as possible (while packing as lightly as possible)

Watertown, MA
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1. Re: Strictness of Dress Code for Churches and Basilicas

Your skirt length sounds fine, no need top bring tights.

Florence Italy
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2. Re: Strictness of Dress Code for Churches and Basilicas

Oh, thanks for your forethought on this, jkkret2. No need to bring tights: but do make sure you have something to cover your shoulders, as bare arms are a definite no-no. Dress codes are very strictly enforced at the Duomo, Santa Croce, and Santa Maria Novella ... and everywhere else, depending upon who's on duty.

Lexington, Kentucky
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3. Re: Strictness of Dress Code for Churches and Basilicas

Thank y'all so much for the helpful responses!! I was also wondering... does it ever matter if my shoes are open or closed toed? I have some ballet flats that I will bring, anyway, but I typically prefer wearing strappy leather sandals in the summer (not junky plastic flip flops).

Watertown, MA
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4. Re: Strictness of Dress Code for Churches and Basilicas

open or closed toe is fine, just make sure they are extra comfy and can handle cobblestones.

Montepulciano, Italy
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5. Re: Strictness of Dress Code for Churches and Basilicas

By pure accident, I walked into Santa Maria Novella yesterday in a sleeveless top and it was only when I got inside and felt slightly chilly that I remembered to wrap my shawl around my shoulders, the guy on the door certainly didn't say anything. I didn't go inside either Il Duomo or Santa Croce but at the Branacci Chapel, the steward there was more concerned about "no flash" than "no flesh". People often ask "what's everyone wearing in Florence at the moment?", to which the simple answer is "very little". I've never seen so many half naked under 25s away from the beach.

Florence, Italy
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6. Re: Strictness of Dress Code for Churches and Basilicas

Artviva's right - a bit depends on who's "minding the store". I was in Santa Maria Novella this morning and saw some women who'd been given those disposable ponchos things because they were in shorts, while others looked like they were on their way to the beach! Apparently the poncho girls entered while there was a fundamentalist at the gate! ;o)

I always tell folks to just use common sense. If it's ok for the poolside, it's not ok for the city. Summer in Florence can be very hot, but there are ways, and ways to dress for the heat. That said, the monumental churches are prepared and will give you a throw-away poncho if need be.

7. Re: Strictness of Dress Code for Churches and Basilicas

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Removed on: 06 October 2012, 22:16