What to Wear to the Vatican
A few tips for a Papal-approved outfit.
Dressing for a religious site can be tricky, especially if the site is just one of many stops on a full itinerary. When visiting Vatican City, it’s important to remember that the Sistine Chapel isn’t just a tourist attraction—it’s a Roman Catholic Church. And though wearing your Sunday best for a day of touring Rome doesn’t make sense, there is a way to be comfortable and respectful.
Since a dress code is enforced when visiting Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican museums, and the Audience there are a few things to keep in mind: shoulders must be covered, shorts are not permitted, any dress or skirt falling above the knee is not allowed.
The outfit: Start with culottes—they’re a lightweight and roomy trend for the spring and summer months. Pair the pants with a breezy top and comfortable flats. For cooler days, bring along a trench. Or if the day happens to be scorching hot, a sleeveless top will do, just remember to bring a pashmina or scarf to cover your shoulders upon entry.