You'll Want To Be Sure You Bring A Scarf Or Shawl When Exploring Italy. Here's Why

Whenever you travel to another country, you should always be aware of their traditions and laws. Even if you're traveling from one democratic country to another, it's not a bad idea to do your research and avoid offending the locals. There are simple things you should remember and do when touring any country, such as knowing a bit of the local language, trying the traditional food (and not mocking it), and remembering to treat the locals with respect, according to FoxNoMad.

For those who are planning to travel to Italy, the same rules apply. Italy is a traveler's dream — filled with history, art, and delicious delicacies. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic — over 96 million tourists visited the beautiful state, per Statista. With so many people coming in and out of your country, you would hope they could at least respect your traditions. A major way you can do that is by ensuring to bring a scarf or shawl wherever you go, and we'll explain why.

A requirement at several sites

If you're traveling to Italy, you are may likely visit the Vatican City, home of the Roman Catholic Church, full of beautiful and historic artwork. However, don't show up dressed in just anything, because as a self-governed religious city-state, they have created their own dress code, according to Vatican Tickets and Tours. If you aren't dressed up to code, the guards can prohibit entry and turn you away. 

For example — and this is where the scarf or shawl come in handy — your shoulders must always be covered. It can get pretty hot in Italy during the summer, so wanting to wear a tank top or strapless dress is understandable. Luckily, any type of scarf will do as long as it covers your shoulders, so we suggest obtaining something of thin material to avoid getting overheated. Your knees also need to be hidden, and to do this you can wrap your scarf or shawl around your waist to act as a long skirt. When traveling to the Vatican, it's recommended to basically dress as if you're attending church. And not only does the Vatican have this dress code requirement, but several churches throughout Italy, per Vatican Tours.

Other things to remember

There are other parts of the dress code tourists should be sure to remember, according to Vatican Tickets and Tours. You are allowed to show your tattoos, however, any tattoo that may be deemed as offensive towards the Catholic faith will not be accepted. It's also common for tourists to wear a baseball cap or sun hat when on vacation, but these things should be put away before you enter the Vatican. 

If you've traveled hours to get to the Vatican City and don't have either a scarf or shawl, there are luckily plenty of stores nearby where you can purchase something to cover up appropriately. We'd also like to note that there are certain items you cannot bring into the Vatican, such as large umbrellas, video cameras, banners, laser pointers, microphones, and obviously neither knives or scissors. If you do have any of these items, they will need to be held in the cloakroom during your visit.