What to Wear and What NOT to Wear in Churches in Italy

Dressing appropriately is required to enter some churches in Italy. A dress code is strictly enforced in places such as St. Peter’s in the Vatican. Surprised tourists may find themselves stranded waiting for less than flattering “loaners”. Don’t find yourself in the same situation, follow these guidelines on the days you are planning to visit Italian churches.

What NOT to wear St. Peters sign

So what should be avoided?
Basically, don’t dress like a Kardashian when entering churches, these are places of worship and therefore appropriate dress is required:

  • No mini-skirts
  • No exposed midriffs
  • No short shorts
  • No exposed knees
  • No exposed shoulders
  • No tank tops

What to Wear St. Peters Sign

What is considered appropriate when visiting Italian churches?

  • Clothing that covers the shoulders
  • Skirts, shorts, or dresses that go past the knee or pants (jeans OK)
  • Tops that completely cover the midriff area
  • Wearing a shawl to cover up bare shoulders is considered acceptable
  • If you only plan to wear shorts during your trip use a pareo and wear it as a wrap skirt to cover up upon entering churches
  • Men should expect to wear pants to enter most major churches. Also short or long sleeve shirts are fine, NO tank tops.

Not all churches enforce this dress code but it is best to err on the side of caution. Always pack a shawl or cardigan in case you need to conform to dress requirements.

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