St. Mark's in Venice-dress length

All,
We are touring St. Mark's next week in Venice and I had planned to wear a dress for the visit. However, while not a "mini" dress, the skirt does hit me above the knee. My assumption is that will be too short. I do think my dress is "nicer" than jeans and a nice top although, regardless, I will look "nice." Any experience at this particular church with skirts or dresses? Should I play it safe and pack an extra blouse and ditch the dress? Thanks in advance!

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4877 posts

We're you only planning to pack the dress specifically to wear to the church? It's not worth bringing it for that. On the other hand, if you will wear the dress other days, why remove it from your bag? Just wear pants the day you go the church.

Posted by karen
Long Beach, CA, USA
110 posts

Andrea, I meant that in a more metaphorical way. I'll pull it out of the Venice trip and replace it with a top that was scheduled for another day. I am trying to downsize my packing and bring only what I need. I am not sure where I can add the dress with the other activities on the trip but I might be able to. It's not really conducive to hiking or bike riding but we'll see. However, if I can't find another day to allocate it to, it's out. (This packing downsizing has been SO painful for me....)

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3409 posts

Looking "nice" is not the point when it comes to women entering churches in Europe. It is a matter of "decency" and in their infinite wisdom the church Fathers have decreed that to show a lot of leg is not "decent". Make what you will of that.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5771 posts

Specifically it's knees and shoulders that need to be covered, regardless of how "nice" the clothing. Some churches are less strict on this than others. It all depends on the mood of the guard that day.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3351 posts

As Michael mentioned, it varies from day to day or from church to church. This past July inside the church of Santa Maria della Salute I saw a woman who was wearing a bikini bottom and a t-shirt. One way my wife goes around the possibility of being stopped, if she's wearing something showing her shoulders, is by packing a light scarf in her purse. You can find plenty sold in the streets in Italy. She then wraps the scarf around her shoulder. You can do the same with a miniskirt, by wrapping the scarf around your skirt like a Tahitian pareo.

Posted by karen
Long Beach, CA, USA
110 posts

Thanks, Roberto, it is definitely NOT a mini skirt. As I said, the skirt grazes my knees but doesn't cover them. I'll just pull the dress out and replace with jeans and a blouse of some sort. I don't wear tank tops so shoulders are definitely covered. Thanks again, everyone.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3351 posts

If it reaches the knees you are ok. At most you'll have to pull the skirt down a couple of inches. I don't think they care if you show the underwear like those kids wearing baggy pants :).

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2612 posts

You could just wear a lightweight pair of leggings under the skirt if you feel it may be a problem. I wear skirts/dresses all the time while traveling as I think they look/feel better.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4877 posts

Karen, My point was that there is no reason to bring a clothing item to wear only once. I've read that to help in choosing what clothes to pack, you shouldn't bring anything you won't wear at least 3 times. Have a great trip!

Posted by karen
Long Beach, CA, USA
110 posts

Elbows? That I did not know. I'll have to make sure my husband knows not to wear a short sleeved shirt. thanks for the tip.

Posted by Chuck
Holdrege, NE, USA
91 posts

I think Brad meant to say "shoulders" not "elbows"

Posted by Jean
Mill Creek, WA, USA
84 posts

Hi Karen, I've been to St. Mark's a couple of times. I prefer wearing dresses & skirts during the day. Both times there I wore a short-sleeve dress or top with the bottom of my hem near my knee. Those who didn't pass the dress code were given a red "tablecloth" to drape around them, but I didn't see very many of those. I've never heard of the elbow rule and almost everyone would have flunked that one. Enjoy your trip! We LOVE Venice! ....and that's a city where you will appreciate packing 1 light suitcase. : )

Posted by karen
Long Beach, CA, USA
110 posts

Well, elbows ARE offensive so who knows. I am taking no chances. I'll wear long pants and a nice shirt. The space cat leggings are a bit much for the church but they will make an appearance! It will be an awesome trip even with only one day in Venice. We land on Saturday in Munich and have two days of Oktoberfest before heading to Italy. I have practically been fasting to save room for all the fantastic food. Thanks to everyone for all the help!

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7211 posts

St. Marks is one that definitely enforces a dress code. Your elbows, knees, and midriff need to be covered for modesty. You don't have to look nice - in fact flip-flops are fine - as long as you meet the modesty requirement

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8760 posts

Shoulders and knees. Elbows don't enter into it.