Church dress codes in Europe

bbagnall

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
My husband and I are taking the 7 night Med Cruise to Italy in June! We are visiting the Barcelona Cathedral and Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Vatican in Rome, and the Cathedral in Monaco.

I have found that to visit the Vatican and the Barcelona Cathedral you must have your shoulders covered and bottoms must cover over the knees. However, I have found conflicting dress code info about Monaco and the Sagrada Familia.

Please help! My husband is already balking at having to wear pants in Rome because of the weather. He has also vetoed all other manner of pants: linen, zip off, etc...
 

pixiedustedme

Planning is half the fun
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
My husband and I are taking the 7 night Med Cruise to Italy in June! We are visiting the Barcelona Cathedral and Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Vatican in Rome, and the Cathedral in Monaco.

I have found that to visit the Vatican and the Barcelona Cathedral you must have your shoulders covered and bottoms must cover over the knees. However, I have found conflicting dress code info about Monaco and the Sagrada Familia.

Please help! My husband is already balking at having to wear pants in Rome because of the weather. He has also vetoed all other manner of pants: linen, zip off, etc...
It's pretty rigid for him to refuse to wear zip-offs just to show respect for a church, when he can take the bottoms off right afterwards. There are also very thin and breathable athletic pants that he could wear.
 

tlprice

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
I would definitely dress properly. La Sagrada Familia was inconsistent. I saw some people get called out for what they were wearing and some people wearing some really questionable things that weren't called out. It seemed to vary on who was paying attention. The Vatican is much more consistent and strict on dress code.
 
  • bbagnall

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2011
    LOL, he also refuses athletic pants. He's wearing pants in Rome. I just didn't know if he had to wear pants in Monaco also.
     

    tlprice

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 5, 2014
    LOL, he also refuses athletic pants. He's wearing pants in Rome. I just didn't know if he had to wear pants in Monaco also.
    I'm pretty sure if he wants to go into the casino he has to wear nice pants. We didn't go into the cathedral or casino, but what I've read from other people, it seems that Monaco is pretty strict. I personally thought Monaco was not worth the visit and it was HOT (in mid June). I wouldn't go back.
     

    bbagnall

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2011
    I'm pretty sure if he wants to go into the casino he has to wear nice pants. We didn't go into the cathedral or casino, but what I've read from other people, it seems that Monaco is pretty strict. I personally thought Monaco was not worth the visit and it was HOT (in mid June). I wouldn't go back.
    Hmmm, I have been hearing that a lot lately; makes me think about going somewhere else.
     
  • starry_solo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 19, 2010
    I seem to recall that most, if not all, churches in Europe required pants for men, skirts for women, no bare shoulders for either.
     

    Anna Chassereau

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2016
    Are you able to cover your shoulders up with a pashmina or wrap of some kind? Just thinking I'll have something in my purse to put over my shoulders while inside but will be able to take off when we leave.
     

    sunmoon620

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2009
    Knees and shoulders covered is the norm. Some people just don't care, I've seen a lot in places where it was not seriously enforced. However, knees and shoulders covered is the accepted form of respect. On hot days I made sure I had a shawl to drape over my shoulders and wore capri pants and/or a maxi skirt. My husband always wears golf pants when it is hot, so it was not an issues. Our experiences have been in Paris, London, Ireland, Spain and Italy.
     

    KDG

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2016
    I seem to recall that most, if not all, churches in Europe required pants for men, skirts for women, no bare shoulders for either.
    I have visited many European cathedrals including Notre Dame and St. Marks in Venice (though not the Vatican). I wore long shorts or capris that went past my knees and carried a light sweater or scarf to drape over my shoulders when I went inside.

    A skirt is not necessary, but would be cooler than pants or capris for sure. The men in my group also wore nice shorts and polo shirts and had no issues.
     
  • Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    I have visited many European cathedrals including Notre Dame and St. Marks in Venice (though not the Vatican). I wore long shorts or capris that went past my knees and carried a light sweater or scarf to drape over my shoulders when I went inside.

    A skirt is not necessary, but would be cooler than pants or capris for sure. The men in my group also wore nice shorts and polo shirts and had no issues.
    This. As long as the knees are covered, they are not picky about skirt or pants.

    As to the question about pashminas, those are fine - the larger sites usually had women outside selling shawls or pashminas that I saw unprepared people buying to wrap around their shoulders and/or use as a wrap skirt. Just make sure you keep them on in the church. I saw more than a few people at St. Peter's be approached by security and told to put their shawl/jacket/whatever back over their shoulders - they clearly thought they could drop it once inside.
     

    Rob1872

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2015
    I saw more than a few people at St. Peter's be approached by security and told to put their shawl/jacket/whatever back over their shoulders - they clearly thought they could drop it once inside.
    See, clearly that was the tourist's fault. They should have told security, "I'm a DCL guest, and since I've paid so much for my cruise, I don't have to do anything I don't want to do. If I want to wear swimsuits and flip-flops while either touring a famous cathedral or dining in a MDR (or Palo), I'm entitled to do so." I'm sure that security would have realized the error of their ways. :rotfl2:
     

    fredandkell

    I'd rather be cruising
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2013
    Last summer, in Sagrada Familia we all wore what we wanted (which included shorts with exposed knees for the whole family. It was HOT). In Monaco, we had not planned to go to the Cathedral, but since our tour didn't give us time to see the car museum, we decided to do that instead, and they refused us entry because of my shorts. (They did not care about kids' shorts, or if they did, they didn't mention it because we were already turning away based on my shorts). Honestly I thought all of Monaco and Monte Carlo kind of sucked, and we were not alone in that assessment (see my trip report in signature). Given the choice again I would not go there on an excursion.

    Vatican is very strict, as you know, although some men were allowed in with shorts as long as they covered the knee (my husband and son wore the "zip-off bottom" pants like Boy Scouts have). Daughter and I wore capri-length leggings with long t-shirts over them with no problem. Pisa Cathedral has a dress code, but if what you're wearing doesn't adhere to it, they give you a paper-dress that you can wear over your current outfit. (I had on capris and a t-shirt there, no problems. They seemed to focus on shoulders more than anything.)
     

    fredandkell

    I'd rather be cruising
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2013
    Hmmm, I have been hearing that a lot lately; makes me think about going somewhere else.
    Seriously. Think about somewhere else. I had read that a lot on the DCL boards but DH really wanted to see the Monte Carlo area, so we ended up booking the tour (and it was the most expensive one we took, btw) and at the end, he was like, "Wow, I wish we had listened to those people on the DIS Boards."
     

    imbelle

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2003
    I'm going on the 6 day Med cruise and I plan on taking a few Tahitian pareaus to use as pool/beach wraps and for emergency church coverings. They're very lightweight and packable.
     

    Little c Travel

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2012
    It is not only the highlight cathedrals that enforce the dress codes but also the smaller ones that you might happen upon that I actually prefer to explore.

    Also, not that you are trying to hide that you are a tourist, however shorts, baseball hats, golf shirts, and tennis shoes will give you away from a mile. Designer jeans, fitted slacks, button up shirts, nicer shoes are the norm in most of Europe year round. Ireland is the exception. Anything goes there except in the churches. We always do our best to dress similarly to the locals.
     

    PollyannaMom

    I was a click-clack champ!!
    Joined
    May 16, 2006
    It is not only the highlight cathedrals that enforce the dress codes but also the smaller ones that you might happen upon that I actually prefer to explore.

    Also, not that you are trying to hide that you are a tourist, however shorts, baseball hats, golf shirts, and tennis shoes will give you away from a mile. Designer jeans, fitted slacks, button up shirts, nicer shoes are the norm in most of Europe year round. Ireland is the exception. Anything goes there except in the churches. We always do our best to dress similarly to the locals.
    I get not wanting to look glaringly like a tourist, but I think I'd draw the line at doing all that walking in dress shoes.
     

    tink1970

    DCL Platinum
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2012
    I get not wanting to look glaringly like a tourist, but I think I'd draw the line at doing all that walking in dress shoes.
    I have been all over Europe in my hush puppies ballet flats and mistaken for a local in almost every city. They are practical, comfortable and classic, but not, per se, dress shoes.

    @bbagnall -I agree with PP, The Vatican is strict, La Sagrada inconsistent and the casinos in Monaco the strictest yet, dress code wise. I think for ladies it's fairly easy to wear a lightweight skirt/sundress with a scarf (or sundress with sleeves). Men, yes, knees covered. If your DH doesn't want to dress "fancy" then maybe rethink the casinos in Monaco. These little details aside, have a great cruise!
     

    bbagnall

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2011
    Look at all the world experience, amazing and thanks for your insight! I'm going to do dresses or capris and carry a pashmina in my bag. DH will wear pants in Rome and at the Barcelona Cathedral. I'll put the ball in his court for the other places with the caveat that he might be turned away. We are not going to the casino so we don't have to worry about that. I found a tour that will go to Nice and Eze with short stops in Monaco and Monte Carlo; I hope I can get enough people to join with me though. I wonder if Disney spends so much time in Monaco and Monte Carlo just because they think people want to shop at high end places....I get it, but I spent all my money on the cruise and airfare, no money left in the bank for Prada!!!!
     

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