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Woman warns others about strict Italy dress code after wearing summer dress

Ella Scott

Published 
| Last updated 

Woman warns others about strict Italy dress code after wearing summer dress

Featured Image Credit: X/@nancy__jiang / Getty/Westend61

A holidaymaker believed she was ‘dress-coded’ and ‘shamed’ by an Italian security guard while exploring Venice.

After recently returning from the City of Water, journalist Nancy Jiang has recounted the moment her outfit almost barred her from entering St. Mark’s Basilica Cathedral.

After arriving in the Italian city on a temporary solo travel trip - her friend was getting the next morning flight from Paris - Nancy decided to seize the opportunity and get some sightseeing under her belt.

In an essay for The Sun, the native New Yorker revealed that she had initially been ‘excited’ for her first day in the city.

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The traveller claimed she arrived at St. Mark's Square to find that everyone was 'covered up'. Credit: Getty/Westend61
The traveller claimed she arrived at St. Mark's Square to find that everyone was 'covered up'. Credit: Getty/Westend61

She referred to the trip as her moment to channel Julia Roberts in 2010’s Eat Pray Love.

“My first activity of the day was a visit to St. Mark's Basilica, a cathedral dedicated to Saint Mark the Evangelist, which boasted spoils from the Crusades,” she explained.

Opting to wear a white linen strapless dress for the occasion, Nancy said that once she arrived at St. Mark’s Square, she was shocked to see everyone ‘so covered up’.

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She continued: “As I stepped on the grounds of the tourist-packed St. Mark's Square, I found myself wondering why everyone seemed to be so covered up when it was a sweltering near-90 degrees out.

“It took me far too long to realise the mistake I had made.”

The traveller said that after checking out her entry ticket, she realised she’d completely missed the rules for dressing.

She has since warned others about the strict dress code. Credit: X/@nancy__jiang
She has since warned others about the strict dress code. Credit: X/@nancy__jiang
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“I pulled up my mobile ticket and saw the dress code warning, which confirmed my suspicion that I was not, at the moment, dressed appropriately for the Basilica,” she explained.

“Venice was a small island but my hotel was still a good 30-minute walk away, with only 15 minutes left to spare on my entry time.”

Thinking on her feet, Nancy decided to purchase a T-shirt emblazoned with ‘Venezia’ and threw it over her dress.

However, she claims that despite covering her ‘distracting shoulders, seductive collarbones, and provocative knees’, she was still subjected to misogyny.

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Nancy told the publication: “One look from the security guard at the front of the line and I immediately felt like I was walking around with a giant Scarlet Letter on the front of my cheap shirt.

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“The man stopped me and mumbled something in Italian. I didn't need Google Translate to know he was saying a few choice words about my character and/or taste in fashion.

“He jutted out his chin in my direction, prompting me to share an incredulous look with the 2,000 other fellow Americans (sic) in line. ‘He can't be serious?’, I thought.”

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The woman continued to say that while being scrutinised, she pulled down the hem of her mini-dress.

Eventually, the man apparently relented and gave a ‘very dramatic sigh’ before letting her into St. Mark's Basilica.

Writing about feeling ‘victorious’, the solo traveller said: “With yet another dramatic sigh, he waved the white flag and I cheered, triumphant in my victory against... well, I'm not exactly sure.

“Misogyny? Outdated customs that I paid seven euros to be subjected to?”

Topics: Real Life, Travel, Fashion

Ella Scott
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