types of popes hats

Types of Pope’s Hats: A Comprehensive Guide

At HeadWearTrends.Com, we pride ourselves on providing our readers with accurate and detailed information about all kinds of hats, including the iconic headwear worn by popes throughout history. In this article, we will explore the various types of pope’s hats, their meanings and symbolism, and their evolution over time. Whether you are a devout Catholic, a history buff, or simply curious about fashion, this guide is for you.

What is Pope’s Hat? 

Pope’s hats, also known as papal tiaras, miters, and zucchetti, are among the most recognizable and revered head coverings in the world. They are worn by the Bishop of Rome, the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church, during official ceremonies, masses, and audiences. Each hat has a distinct shape, color, and decoration that reflects the pope’s status, personality, and message. Some hats are worn only on special occasions, while others are part of the pope’s everyday attire. In this guide, we will examine the six main types of pope’s hats and their variations.

 6 Types of Pope’s Hats

1. The Tiara

The Tiara

The tiara, or triregno in Latin, is the most elaborate and ornate of all pope’s hats. It is a triple crown made of gold, jewels, and white silk, and is adorned with three diadems or circlets, representing the pope’s threefold office as Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, and Pastor of the Universal Church. The tiara symbolizes the pope’s temporal, spiritual, and ecclesiastical authority, and is associated with grandeur, majesty, and power. The tiara is rarely worn by modern popes, who prefer a simpler and more humble style.

2. The Miter

The Miter

The miter is a tall, pointed hat made of white linen or silk, with two flaps or lappets hanging down from the back. It is worn by bishops, cardinals, and popes during liturgical ceremonies, and signifies their rank and dignity. The miter is usually embroidered or decorated with gold or silver threads, and features images of saints, angels, or other religious motifs. The miter’s shape and color vary depending on the liturgical season, the rank of the wearer, and the occasion. The pope’s miter is distinguished by its wide and elaborate lappets, which can be folded or spread out.

3. The Zucchetto

 The Zucchetto

The zucchetto, or skullcap, is a small round hat made of silk or wool, and worn by clerics of different ranks, including the pope. It covers the crown of the head and the top of the forehead, and is usually black, white, or red, depending on the wearer’s position. The pope’s zucchetto is white, with a gold cord around its base, and is sometimes embroidered with his coat of arms or the keys of Peter. The zucchetto is a sign of humility, obedience, and service, and is worn during private and public appearances.

4. The Biretta

The Biretta

The biretta is a square or diamond-shaped hat with three or four peaks, and a tassel on top. It is worn by clerics of different ranks, including cardinals and bishops, during liturgical ceremonies and academic processions. Depending on the occasion, the biretta is usually black, red, or violet and plain or adorned with a pom-pom, a silk cord, or a button. The pope’s biretta is white, with three gold tassels, and is worn by him and his assistants during certain parts of the Mass.

5. The Camauro

The Camauro

The camauro is a round, red hat made of wool or velvet, with a white ermine border and a long tassel hanging from the top. It was worn by popes and other high-ranking clerics in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and is still occasionally worn by Pope Benedict XVI during winter months. The camauro is associated with warmth, comfort, and leisure, and is often depicted in portraits of popes from the past.

6. The Saturno

The Saturno

The saturno is a wide-brimmed hat made of black felt or beaver fur, with a high crown and a flat top. It is worn by clerics of different ranks, including the pope, during outdoor ceremonies and processions, and is designed to shield the wearer from the sun and rain. The saturno is named after the planet Saturn, which was associated with melancholy and sobriety in astrology. The pope’s saturno is black, and decorated with a gold cord or a red pom-pom.


The six types of pope’s hats that we have described in this guide are rich in history, symbolism, and meaning. They reflect the complex and evolving role of the pope in the Catholic Church and in the world, and testify to the power and beauty of religious art and tradition. Whether you admire the tiara’s splendor, the miter’s elegance, the zucchetto’s simplicity, the biretta’s versatility, the camauro’s nostalgia, or the saturno’s practicality, you will appreciate the diversity and creativity of human expression. We hope that this guide has helped you understand and appreciate the types of pope’s hats, and that you have enjoyed learning about their fascinating features and stories.

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