Safety Tips in Vatican City

  • Crowd gathered near the museums' entrance
    Crowd gathered near the museums'...
    by Jefie
  • More Tourists, Sigh!
    More Tourists, Sigh!
    by riorich55
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by riorich55

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Vatican City

  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    No matter when you go, it's always crowded!

    by Jefie Written Dec 6, 2014

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    The best advice I received before going to the Vatican (and I got it here on VT, courtesy of VTer goodfish) was to pre-book tickets for my visit to the Vatican. I decided to go on a Thursday, thus avoiding the crowd that gathers on St. Peter's Square to attend the Papal audiences held on Wednesdays, and since we were not traveling during peak season, I thought I'd be able to avoid the worst of it. Well, if it does get any worse, I'd hate to imagine what it's like on busy days because even though we were there fairly early in the morning, the waiting lines to visit the Vatican museums and St. Peter's Basilica were already incredibly long! Even if the timed tickets issued are meant to limit the number of visitors, the museums were so packed that we ended up bumping into people quite a lot, something that is rather unavoidable when you walk with your eyes fixed on the beautifully decorated ceilings of the museums and of the Sistine Chapel. So for those who only have limited time they can dedicate to visiting the Vatican, I strongly recommend booking tickets in advance through the museum's website (booking a guided tour of the museums will also allow you to skip the line to enter St. Peter's Basilica); and for those suffering from severe agoraphobia, I'd simply recommend taking a look at St. Peter's Square and moving on to less crowded attractions.

    Crowd gathered near the museums' entrance

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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Watch your Attire

    by solopes Updated Oct 22, 2014

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    Don't risk to be stopped from entering the Vatican, for exposing too much flesh to the roman sun. A proper attire is mandatory.

    My kids and friends insisted that their pants were so long that it shouldn't be any problem. Wrong!

    They had to cover them with the trousers that, wisely, I advised them to carry in the backpack. A funny detail to entertain the long waiting line to enter.

    Vatican
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Flash

    by solopes Updated Sep 30, 2014

    Don't count with good pictures inside St Peter's cathedral - using flash is forbidden and the light is dimmed. We tried our best, but... I decided to buy a REAL camera (and tripod). Next time, I think, I will do better.

    Vatican Vatican Vatican Vatican
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Snap Those Pictures Quickly

    by riorich55 Written Feb 23, 2013

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    Alright, not technically a warning or danger in the trues sense of the words, but a good suggestion. When you are taking pictures anywhere in Vatican City and especially in the Art Museum, get your shot lined up, and get ready for a quick snap as soon as the person or crowd in front of you gets out of the way.

    Another way to take shots is to have a camera or I guess nowadays a cell phone where you can see the shot you want to take through the screen. I held my camera above my head on some of the shots so that I could take pictures above the heads of the crowd. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But you can try.

    Here are a couple of pictures from our journey through the Art Museum.

    More Tourists, Sigh! I'm # 1 Tired Foot!
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography

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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Bring cash- January 2013

    by GentleSpirit Written Jan 4, 2013

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    Effective January 1, 2013 you will have to pay cash for transactions in Vatican City. Italy's banks have stopped credit card payments due to questions about Vatican compliance with European money laundering regulations.

    In the meanwhile, take CASH, Vatican tickets and souvenirs will be impossible to get otherwise.
    Given the large volume of money involved it is hard to imagine how this condition will last very long.

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  • DanielF's Profile Photo

    Do not think that because the...

    by DanielF Updated Aug 5, 2008

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    Do not think that because the Vatican is a small place you will see it in a couple of hours. There is so much to see (the Basilica, the Museums...) that you can easily spend more than one day there. Therefore, be aware of it if your Rome visit will be too short. This is a picture of the fantastic Bernini's colonnade around Saint Peter Square.

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  • fairy_dust's Profile Photo

    Proper dress and etiquette

    by fairy_dust Updated Aug 18, 2007

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    If you want to enter churches in the Vatican (or anywhere in Rome), you have to cover your knees and shoulders. You don't have to wear super-nice clothes, most of the girls in my group just brought a wrap skirt and/or button-down shirt to cover up, and one guy brought a pair of sweat pants to wear over his shorts. Proper dress is also required for the Vatican museum.

    You can't take pictures in some buildings, such as the Sistine Chapel. This is because the light from the camera flash gradually destroys the paintings. I've heard of security guards taking cameras away from snap-happy tourists who disregarded the rules.

    It is best to stay quiet when visiting religious buildings. Even if you are not religious, many people are and too much noise distracts them from prayer.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Study Abroad

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  • SJTravel's Profile Photo

    Beware of Line Jumpers

    by SJTravel Written Aug 10, 2007

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    They are calculated and slick and they will jump the line without a care. I had people try to jump the line both at the Vatican Museum and at St. Peter's Basillica. You would think because of where we were at, that this would not be a problem, but it was. At the Vatican Museum, it was easier for my group to keep them from cutting in front of us because there were 4 of us. So we just stood in a line and blocked anyone from cutting. However, when I went to St. Peter's there were only 2 of us, and it was much easier to cut. They didn't try to cut until we were closer to where the lines starts separating into the different lines to screen your bags and go through the metal detectors. I figured they didn't think it was worth cutting if they were so far back and also, because everyone is moving in different lines, it is easier to blend in and pretend you aren't cutting. Most of the people cutting were older women, however there were a few couples and some college age guys. The people behind us were trying to let these 2 women who jumped the line know that they were behind us. But the women didn't care that they were being called out. So, I told the women that they were with us and they let them back in line behind us. If you find yourself in front of cutters, help out the people who were originally behind you. But keep a lookout for line jumpers and make sure to stick close to the people in front of you (allowing enough personal space for both you and them). But at some point, you just have to let them cut...if they want it that bad, nothing is going to stop them.

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  • Clothing in the Vatican

    by kayleigh06 Updated Jul 24, 2007

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    When entering the Vatican you will be required to wear clothes that cover the body, like your legs & shoulders & central body. If you dont wear the correct clothing you will be turned away from the main entrance. You have to wear full length trousers, and a t-shirt that covers at least your shoulders. You will not be allowed past the guards unless you have the correct amount of clothing on.

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  • msbrandysue's Profile Photo

    Basilica Coverings!

    by msbrandysue Updated Jun 19, 2007

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    To enter most of the churches in Italy...especially the Basilica, ladies, you MUST have your shoulders covered. Since I went in June it was very warm so I carried around a jean jacket. A shawl is probably more helpful because it is not as heavy. Some of the basilicas will have ugly, plastic blue shawls for you to wear but NOT St. Peters so PLEASE bring something!!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • Up to the Cuppola

    by kayleigh06 Updated Apr 11, 2007

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    When you have seen the top of the basillica you will have the choice of going up to the top of the cupola or back down to the basillica. If you choose to go up into the cupola I would suggest you don't go up there if you are claustrophobic as the walls start to tilt and are very narrow with really really steep steps.

    This could also be very dangerous for people with thier children, or if with people who are frail. Also if you get so far there isn't no turning back as the passages are so narrow you won't be able to turn back because of all the people behind you.

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  • Rhondaj's Profile Photo

    Dress Code

    by Rhondaj Written Apr 7, 2007

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    To go inside St. Peter's Basilica you must be dressed properly. Shoulders covered. No bellies hanging out. Really long shorts and capris are okay. If you insist on wearing short shorts you can always pick up a pair of paper pants to cover your legs at a nearby concession stand. We saw one lady rip open her paper shopping bag to drape over her shoulders because they weren't going to let her in.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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  • Rhondaj's Profile Photo

    Vatican Museum Lines

    by Rhondaj Written Apr 7, 2007

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    The apartment we stayed in was directly opposite the museum, so I had a good view of the waxing and waning line for the museum. Some folks even lined up on days the museum would not be opening...that was funny to watch.
    The lines would start between 6:30 and 7:00am, even though the museum didn't open until about 9 (usually they opened the doors a little before official opening time). Now the museum doesn't open until 10 am, I sure hope people aren't lining up too early! It didn't seem to make sense in lining up way before opening hours. The worst time to get there seemed to be at opening and for the next few hours after opening. The lines seemed least to us mid-day. 1-3pm. But the lines fluctuated on and off all day...

    Oh, good news. No dress code (well, don't show up in a bathingsuit). BUT if you're going on through to St. Peter's Basilica you'd better be dressed right.

    waiting to get in museum line for museum
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    FAKE HANDBAGS

    by DAO Updated Mar 21, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness



    Want a fantastic present from Rome. Want a story to tell all your friends when you get home? Well a big fat FINE for breaking Italian Law and buying fake designer bags and the like is not my idea of a good time. The guys you see selling them are usually exploited African men who get very little out of it. The Police target the BUYERS as you can pay the fine, they can’t. And then there is the rain. A lot of these ‘Gucci’ leather items are of poor quality and bizarre stitching. Get it wet and it may just fall apart. I do not like the prices the top name designers charge, but you are not doing yourself or anyone else any favours if you buy it. It’s a crime. Don’t ruin your holiday by giving the Police your hard earned spending money!

    YOU CANNOT HIDE FROM DAO !
    Related to:
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • fdrich29's Profile Photo

    Getting seperated from your party in the museum

    by fdrich29 Written Nov 4, 2006

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    The Vatican Museum is emense and filled with waves of people. There is a structured fluidity one experiences when touring the museum as you gravitate towards the Sistene Chapel. With so many people, twists, turns, rooms etc it is very easy to get lost or seperated from your dear ones, as was the case with my wife and I while here on our honeymoon. We lost each other in the Map Hall, which is fairly early on in the tour. I explained my situation to four different groups of Carabinieri as I made my way through the museum, worried for my wife, who not only can not speak Italian, is Deaf as well and can not hear anything short of a gunshot. Each time I explained my case I was told the same thing, that she was probably at the end waiting for me. I scoffed each time, thinking my new bride would do no such thing and is probably searching wearily for me. My worrying got the better of me and I missed much of the detail of the museum, although I did push it aside when I got to the Sistene Chapel and took in as much of it as I could. When it was all said and done, and I had finished the touring the museum I cracked a smile as I saw my wife sitting along with a host of others who had been seperated from their groups and were waiting to reunite, just as the Carabinieri had said.
    So in closing if you are seperated from your party plan on meeting at the end of the museum and enjoy all the spendor this grand place has to offer.

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Vatican City Warnings and Dangers

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