Makeup, TVs, & Heart-Shaped Chocolate: Inside the Vatican’s Hidden Supermarkets

ChurchPOP

When you think of the Vatican, you probably think of men in ecclesiastical vestments, beautiful art, the Swiss guards, and of course the Pope. You probably don’t think of discount TVs, a cosmetic shop, and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Yet you can find all of these things in the Vatican, and more!

Vatican City has around 500 citizens, most of them men (as of 2013 there were about 30 female citizens). Most of the 2,400 people or so who work at the Vatican live outside its walls and are citizens of Italy or other countries. Nonetheless, to serve these people and others who have access, and not available to the general public, the Vatican has a number of stores like you’d expect in any community – just not at the Vatican!

Here’s what you see first when you walk into the Vatican’s supermarket:

ChurchPOP
ChurchPOP

That’s right, you find big screen TVs playing Kung Fu Panda.

Go deeper into the store, and you’ll find a display dedicated to heart-shaped boxes of chocolate:

ChurchPOP
ChurchPOP

This appears to be a permanent display, as Valentine’s Day is 8 months away. There must be enough romance among those who shop at the Vatican to sustain this!

They’ve got a good variety of scented candles:

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And, of course, there’s a great selection of wine:

ChurchPOP
ChurchPOP

There’s also normal food:

ChurchPOP
ChurchPOP

Besides the supermarket, there’s also a gas station with cheap gas, a pharmacy with medicines banned in Italy, and – most surprisingly – a store dedicated solely to selling women’s cosmetics.

Here’s a display inside the cosmetic shop (there’s a lot more than this):

ChurchPOP
ChurchPOP

As much as we associate Vatican City with the power structure of the Church, remember that it’s full of normal people who live relatively normal lives.

What surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments!

[See also: Vatican City vs. the Holy See vs. the Pope? This Video Will Untangle Everything]

[See also: Watch Pope John Paul II Sing “Pater Noster” in St. Peter’s Basilica]

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