The Italian government has grave concerns over the Vatican’s handling of money and its non-compliance with the European Union’s safeguards against money laundering. As of December 31, 2012 the Bank of Italy is no longer allowed to operate inside the Vatican walls. It is easy to forget that the Vatican is independent of Italy when the city of Rome has engulfed the area on all sides. Many times this has proved to be an advantage for the Holy See, although this is not the case currently.
What does this mean for travelers? Tourists will need to pay for cash for visits to the Vatican Museum, the cafeteria and for any purchases at the gift shops within Vatican City. The change has brought about a great hassle as unknowing tourist wait in the long lines only to be turned away to find cash. I suggest all travelers make sure to have enough cash to cover entrance fees and any intended purchases. ATMs are located on just about every street corner in Rome. Prices are currently 16 euro/adult and 8 euro/student.
What does this mean for the Vatican? Obviously, these are huge sources of revenue and in the current economic situation any loss in income will have a greater impact. I have a feeling that the order for compliance is about to be taken more seriously and once the EU standard safeguards are in place tourists can expect things to return to normal.
The original article can be found here.
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Copyright 2012 Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel
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