What To Buy In The Vatican City

what to buy in vatican city
Melissa
Melissa
Updated

There’s a lot to know about Vatican City. Like for one, despite being the smallest country in the world, visitors cannot officially document their trip in their passports as it is just not a thing. However, you can take a little ‘Vatican City’ home with you and share it with your family and friends through some of these unique Holy items. We have our usual sacred items such as the rosary, bible, and prayer books, but the Vatican City also has Holy water bottles, engraved marble tablets, and even Pope Francis’s favorite socks. All of which, one can buy and bring home. Of course, these are not limited to religious items so you better get exploring. Marvel at the beauty of the seat of the Catholic Church and explore our list below of what to buy in the Vatican City.

1. Mary-shaped holy-water bottles

Virgin Mary bottle
Source: Photo by Flickr user Neil Cummings used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Bless your home and buy yourself some holy water bottles. These unique holy-water bottles are usually molded plastic bottles in the shape of the Virgin Mary, after the ‘Lady of Lourdes’ apparitions in the 1850s. It is also said that the water comes from a spring cleared by Bernadette Soubirous in the Grotto of Massabielle.

2. Engraved marble tablets

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

When in Vatican City, be sure to bring home an engraved marble tablet with you. These tablets have been uniquely engraved with Italian sayings such as “In Vino Veritas”, “Ciao Core”, and the likes. It is not limited to religious sayings as you can also have a tablet customized with your own words or phrases for a little extra Euros, but generally, the ancient script in this tablet makes it a wonderful souvenir. These marble tablets cost more or less than 15 EUR. Be sure to bring a bag with you to carry them.

3. Pope Francis’ favorite socks

Gammarelli
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lawrence L used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

If you’re looking to buy your dad, brother, boyfriend, father-in-law, husband, uncle or guy friend something unique and personal, then you might want to consider taking home a pair of Pope Francis’ favorite socks! Yes, there’s a store in Gammarelli, which sells all kinds of religious attire including the personal favorite socks of the Pope. In case you’re not sure or you forget what the socks look like, you could always just ask the store for “Pope Francis socks” and they’re sure to know what you’re talking about.

4. Vatican-inspired jewelry

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Thinking of buying something for the ladies? Maybe they’re into jewelry. In Vatican city, there are numerous shops along the streets selling handmade yet original unique pieces of jewelry. There’s a whole stretch of shops that it’s going to be hard to miss. The best part about this jewelry is that it feels like you’re taking a little architectural history with you. Some are even inspired by the “Square Colosseum” Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana and the Palazzetto dello Sport in Flaminio.

5. Mesmerizing time-keeping objects

Globe
Source: Pexels

Didn’t think you’d find any charms and trinkets in the Vatican? There are actually plenty of vintage shops and stores that sell time-keeping objects: astrolabs, telescopes, globes and hourglasses for those looking for a fancier kind-of souvenir. If you’re lucky, you get to talk to the owners or the people who run the shop who usually have a story or two to tell about these items. These items are perfect for your creative and curious friends.

6. Artistic ceramics and glass works

Ceramics
Source: Pexels

There are shops in Vatican City that create the most artistic items made from ceramic and glass. Sometimes, you’ll find some artists working on national projects that involve restoring windows, marbles, and other items in the shop - and that’s how you know they’re of good quality. If you’d like to get something memorable yet practical (you can use at home), we suggest you choose from their wide range of glasses, dishes, bowls, vases, mugs, and other items to take home.

7. Italian meats and cheeses

Cheese
Source: Pexels

Italy is quite popular for its cuisine and there’s no other place to get your meat and cheese than from the city itself. You can stock up on some fresh Italian meats and cheeses and eat them back home. This is perfect for sharing with family and friends too. And if you’re worried about it spoiling, most of your food purchases will be placed in vacuum packs. There’s no way we’re letting our favorite meat and cheese go to waste.

8. Quality leather goods from the Pantheon

Jackets Leather Clothing
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Italy is known for its quality leather goods. Every spot you see, you’ll find at least a shop or two selling something leather. The same goes for the Vatican. You’ll definitely find shops selling leather goods from the Pantheon. It’s classic, sure to last long, worth its price, and feels ancient at the same time. Whether you’re looking for a bag, belt, wallet, or a pair of shoes, there’s always a shop in the Vatican that has what you’re looking for.

9. Postcards with the Vatican stamps

Vatican stamp type PO3
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rick Stambaugh

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Despite being the smallest country in the world, Vatican City has the best postal office. The Universal Postal Union has even called them “one of the best postal systems in the world" with more than hundreds of letters coming in every day. Since you can’t write to the Vatican City while you are there, take home some of their vintage postcards instead. They even come with the Vatican stamps.

10. Vatican books

Bible
Source: Unsplash

Since you’re in the Vatican city, you might as well stop by the bookstores and check for their bibles and literature on Popes, Vatican City, and Roman Catholicism. There’s something about bringing home the actual book/bible from the seat of the Catholic Church. It makes it more special and unique. If you’re up for it, you can even choose to have it blessed by a priest nearby.

Carry a piece of the Vatican with you

Since you can’t have your passport stamped (it’s a “Vatican City” thing), make your trip to the seat of the Catholic Church a little more memorable and bring home the “Vatican City” with you. From real postcards with the Vatican stamps, engraved marble tablets and even to Pope Francis’s favorite socks, there’s plenty of choices of souvenirs that your family and friends will surely love.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Melissa is a 20-something-year-old storyteller from Manila. She's been to Europe and Asia but still dreams of going around her home, the Philippines. When she's not traveling, you can find her in...Read more

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