Tourists headed to the Vatican's museums and shops now need cash for tickets and souvenirs. Credit and debit cards no longer are accepted.
The Bank of Italy decided to block electronic payments, effective Jan. 1, due to concerns that the tiny city-state has not fully complied with stringent European Union safeguards against money laundering. This means that Italian banks no longer are authorized to operate within the Vatican.
All ATM machines are being removed, and cash is needed at the ticket booths for admission to the Vatican's museums and guided tours. Souvenir shops will accept euros, dollars but no cards.
The ability to buy tours online using credit or debit cards will end on Jan. 15.
Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.