The Vatican is a world-famous religious and historical complex located in the heart of Rome. The complex includes The Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Gardens. The Vatican is visited by millions of pilgrims and tourists each year as it holds extreme significance to the Christian community worldwide. It is a very significant holy site in the Catholic religion. Most people choose to travel to the Vatican during the summer. Summers are usually very hot especially in Italy, including the Vatican City. People, therefore, prefer wearing the lightest clothes possible. However, since the Vatican is a holy place, there are some regulations regarding the mode of dressing. For this reason, most people usually wonder if footwear such as flip flops that expose the feet are among the types of outfit not allowed in the Vatican.
Can you wear flip flops in the Vatican? Flip flops are considered to be too casual as footwear to enter the Vatican. Even though there is no specific embargo on flip flops, chances are that you may not be allowed to enter the Vatican while wearing them. The rules about what you can wear to the Vatican actually focus more on what you cannot wear. Places like the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Gardens, and St. Peters Basilica prohibit visitors to wear shorts above the knee, lowcut clothing, sleeveless tops, miniskirts, and hats.
The Vatican’s dress code applies to both women and men in equal measure. The rules essentially focus on ensuring that the shoulders and knees of all visitors are covered. There are no specific rules of what to wear when visiting the Vatican. You should dress for comfort while respecting the dressing code about covering your shoulders and knees. Most people prefer wearing a shirt with sleeves. Visitors are not required to dress formally but most men go for a linen shirt.
Having appropriate dressing is very important at the Vatican to avoid being turned away at the entrance. Flip flops are not explicitly banned but I would not recommend them. If you have a decent pair of sandals that do not look too casual, you might be allowed to enter. The enforcement regarding footwear is somewhat uneven and depends on if they notice a transgression or on who happens to be working. You might get away with wearing flip flops but would you want to take the chance? Besides, wearing flip flops to the Vatican may not be as fun as anticipated.
The reasons why it may not be wise to wear flip flops to the Vatican.
The Vatican has expansive floors made of very hard marble. The impressive floors are decorated by beautiful mosaics of historical significance. While they may be wonderful to look at, you might have a totally different experience walking on them with flip flops. The marble floors are very very hard. Walking on them in flip flops will be anything but a wonderful experience. Flip flops have very thin soles that do not provide proper support to your feet. Your feet will, therefore, get tired very quickly. Your experience will be horrible since going to the Vatican involves a lot of walking.
Marble floors are very hard and you will get tired if your feet are not supported by good soles
Toes may be trodden on by crowds
The Vatican receives millions of tourists and pilgrims each year. This is a very large number of visitors considering that Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. This means that the place is usually crowded all year round. The number of visitors is even more during summertime since most people prefer visiting the Vatican during this period. Walking in flip flops in a crowd of many people is far from a pleasant experience. Considering that you will be walking an awfully long distance, the chances of your feet being trodden on are even higher. Your toes will be stepped on by so many people that you will even lose count. You might end up getting a lot of bruises from being stepped on too many times.
Flip flops have loose straps
Since the Vatican is almost always crowded all year round, and more especially in the summer, walking around in flip flops might not be a very good idea. While walking, someone behind you may accidentally step on your flip flops, cutting the straps. You might end up stumbling and hurting yourself, distracting other visitors. To add salt to the wound, your flip flops are totally ruined. You will then be forced to walk around on bare feet which will be uncomfortable. You might end up getting bruises on your feet making your visit unenjoyable. It is, therefore, wiser to get shoes that do not easily come off.
Uneven cobbles on the street
The streets in Vatican City have a lot of cracks and uneven cobbles. It is therefore not advisable to walk in the Vatican with flip flops. Flip flops have thin soles that are not able to deal with the uneven cobbles and cracks. Walking in flip flops puts you at more risk of stumbling than when walking in normal shoes. You might stumble, ending up with injuries. Besides, flip flops provide no protection whatsoever to your toes. You will, therefore, feel a great deal of pain when you stumble compared to a person who stumbles in completely enclosed shoes. Getting injured might end up making your visit unpleasant.
Although there is a chance that you can wear flip flops to the Vatican, I would advise against it. They might end up being very uncomfortable and inconveniencing to both you and the people around you. Casual footwear such decent sandals are accepted in the Vatican. Since touring the Vatican involves a lot of walking on hard marble surfaces, it is advisable to wear shoes with thick soles to avoid tiring your feet. Sneakers and trainers are the best options.