On July 16, the newspapers reported the following news: VATICAN CITY – With temperatures soaring, tempers are flaring as the Vatican's dress police turn back tourists in shorts and bare shoulders trying to get into St. Peter's Basilica. Vendors are doing a brisk business selling paper pants and shirts - turning St. Peter's Square into an open-air changing room.
Enforcement of the Vatican dress code turns into a battle each summer, but the verbal skirmishes were heightened this July because Rome was in the grips of a relentless heat wave. For weeks, temperatures had reached into the 90s, (Fahrenheit), and the thousands of tourists trudging the streets seemed dressed more for a day at the beach - shorts, miniskirts, tank tops for both men and women. At the Vatican, authorities have erected signs showing no one can enter the basilica with bare legs and bare shoulders. Guards – neatly dressed in shirts and ties – patrol the entrances. Showing true entrepreneurial spirit, vendors have popped up at various points around the vast square, keeping one step ahead of the police.