Vatican City — Shopping and Leisure
Vatican City is supported financially by Peter’s Pence contributions from Roman Catholics across the globe. Profits from souvenirs, publications, and stamps sold here go to the Church, as do museum admission fees. While far from a shopping destination in its own right, the city-state offers a wide selection of mementoes and religious souvenirs that aren’t found elsewhere.
Souvenir shops and stalls where bartering isn’t unheard of are dotted among the colonnades outside the basilica. The gift shops within the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica are a step up from these stalls, selling high quality gear at prices to match. Among the religious articles readily available are crucifixes and crosses, angels, and nativity sets. Religious artworks such as paintings, ceramics, mosaics, and busts of Popes are also popular. There is also the Vatican Bookstore where bibles and literature on Popes, Vatican City, and Roman Catholicism, among other things, can be found, as well as a pharmacy.
Making for unique souvenirs are the empty, Mary-shaped Holy water bottles which are available from the basilica’s gift shop. You can fill them with Holy water at the basilica. Many visitors pay a visit to the Vatican post office, next to the Information Office, to send postcards home using Vatican stamps.
Goods here must be paid for in euro, with many visitors holding on to any spare Vatican euro coins as a keepsake of their visit.