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Greca - Tabarro

In the pictures, you can see clergymen of all ranks in a long coat reaching down below the ankles.

In former times, all clergymen wore such coats. Today, only some bishops and cardinals wear it occasionally. However, the Pope always does wear. His coat is white, whereas that of the clergymen and prelates (bishops, cardinals) is black.

The coat is called greca. It has two rows of three or four buttons. The collar is made of velour or velvet trimming.
Sometimes the term simar is used for the coat, which is not quite correct. A simar (ital.: zimarra) is a robe with a shoulder cape (pellegrina) and an ample cuff with buttons above the elbow (oversleeves).


The pectoral cross (pectorale) is never worn on top of the coat. The press reports saying that the Holy Father took off his pectoral cross after alighting from the plane at his visit to Turkey (28 Nov to 1 Dec 2006) are therefore incorrect.

The Cappotto Ambroisiano is a type of greca worn in Northern Italy (Milan). It only has got one row of buttons which are sometimes covered by a button stay.

The Tabarro (or Tappert, Tapphart, Taphart, Tabard, Daphart, Tabard, Tabardo) is a full-length sleeveless gown worn by the Pope together with a cape covering the shoulders (Pellegrina). The tabarro of the Pope is embroidered with a red and golden cord at its seams. The rest of the clergy wears a black version.











Cappotto Ambrosiano

Full-length coat with a covered, single-row button stayCappotto Ambrosiano




Pope Benedict XVI clad in a tabarro






A cardinal clad in a tabarro