Vatican Cracks Down on Scantily Clad Tourists

Posted Jul 30th 2010 11:06 AMUpdated Jul 30th 2010 11:18 AM


Visitors to the Vatican have long been required to dress modestly, but apparently some of the standards have gotten lax. Now officials in the Holy City are saying enough is enough.

The Vatican's Swiss Guards this week began telling visitors wearing items such as tank tops, short skirts and shorts to wear more appropriate attire or face a ban, according to the UK's Daily Mail.

The warning applies not only to those going inside St. Peter's Basilica but also outside in St. Peter's Square.

The official Vatican visitor dress code says women must wear skirts that cover their knees or pants, men can not wear shorts, and sleeveless tops are banned for either gender.

The newspaper says the guards are pulling aside those they deem too skimpily clad including men in shorts and women with bare shoulders or short skirts, with a warning to cover up.

Some visitors have responded by buying shawls from vendors or heading to shops in search of pants.

But at least one visitor says she is shocked by the Vatican's hypocrisy.

"Given all the scandals the Church has been involved in, what right can it have to be preaching about the morality of a sleeveless dress?" Maria, an Italian tourist, tells the Daily Mail.

Photo, Randy OHC, flickr
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I second that these standards have been in place and enforced for a long time. The thing that always makes me chuckle is that while modest dress and covered arms and legs may be required to get in to see the Vatican art collections, a lot of the subjects in the art are naked or mostly naked! I'm all for showing respect when visiting religious locations, but does anyone else find it a little funny that modest dress is necessary to view nudes ?

July 31 2010 at 1:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Modest dress code is absolutely nothing new for visiting the Vatican or any other churches of any denomination in Italy and Europe. I've been visiting there since 1951.

It's sad when you need to keep reminding people of a certain propriety when entering a house of worship of any denomination.

July 30 2010 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply