Planning a trip to Rome and the Vatican this summer. As hot as it may be make sure you don’t wear shorts to visit the Pope.
Not only is there a dress code, but it is enforced pretty rigidly as well.
It not only prohibits shorts above the knees, but it restricts the kind of shoes and tops you can wear. The Vatican, even though it welcomes hundreds of thousands visitors annually, is seen as a religious as opposed to a tourist site.
Mini-skirts, tank tops, and sleeveless blouses are not allowed. Neither are sandals. Traditional closed in shoes must be worn instead.
Because the summers are so hot in Rome, many forget these rules exist and are denied entry. Most motor coach tour guides will warn people as they are boarding about the restrictions, but those who find their way there on their own need to plan ahead.
Carry a change of clothes in a small backpack if you are going to be wandering about before or after. And this is really a good idea as summers in Rome’s downtown near the major attractions can be very hot.
Remember though that there is a tremendous amount to see in St. Peter’s and the Vatican museum and Sistine Chapel.You could spend an entire day there and still leave feeling you had seen only a fraction of what there is to discover in the museum alone.
There is always someone monitoring the entrance so it should not be viewed as a challenge to see if you can slip by without being caught.
There is no explanation you can give that will convince them to bypass the rule.
At the same time, it is not as though you have to be dressed for a formal occasion. Jeans are allowed and dress is not monitored for quality, but for flesh coverage.
While not as many people do so, the Catacombs on the edge of Rome are another worthwhile visit that will provide you an additional sense of history in the growth of Christianity during the Roman period.
This proved to be a tremendously informative visit and the gardens after the entrance area are quite spectacular.
Rome is a place where you could spend a very long time. So don’t try to do the touristy thing and stay a day or two and leave. It is just a too fascinating of a city with many many sites to see.
It seems that no matter where you go it is a city of antiquities on one side and absolute modernism on the other. the restaurants are everywhere, shopping is outstanding, and considering the huge numbers of annual visitors to Rome each year, the people are extremely friendly.
Take your time, live the experience, and you will return with ever more memories of a truly exceptional vacation.