Vatican City ATM displays instructions in Latin

Seth Schoen snapped this Vatican City ATM that displays instructions in Latin.

Latin ATM (via Kottke)


  1. With all the illuminated manuscripts in their collections as examples, they chose that font?

    1. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that these ATMs aren’t actually made in the basement of the Sistine Chapel, so the Holy Father doesn’t have a completely free choice of design elements. 

      Which mostly makes me wonder if you could hack an ATM to provide alternative messages.  Somebody should get on that.

      1. If these are in the same place as 10 years ago, you can find these in the Vatican post office.  Sort of on the right front corner of the plaza.  They had Latin then, but I chickened out (I once decided to brave an ATM in Seoul in Korean and ended up with W900,000 in my pocket). 

        1. I had the same problem only once in S. Korea when I lived there, so I quickly learned the numbering system for larger numbers, which is essentially based on multiples of 10,000 (만), so 90 만원  is 90 x 10,000 won =  lots more money than you normally would withdraw at an ATM. And even if you want that much, fortunately they have 5
           만원 (50,000 won) notes now.

      2.  You probably need access to the internals, behind the locks. Although being that a lot of them are from Diebold and the like, the firmware is IP. I know there are various ways to get into soda machines from button combos, but I doubt an ATM would allow root access from outside.

  2. I love the comments about the ugly and most inappropriate font! 

    Good observation Stanislav, Rich and Mongoose!  :)

  3. Marcus 10:25
     facilius est camelum per foramen acus transire quam divitem intrare in regnum Dei

    (y’see it’s the intersection of the holy Roman and moola … ah bene…)

  4. Will it dispense indulgences?
    My favorite ATM of all time is in the basement of The Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus. The machine has options for at least 8 languages, and I think one of them is Swahili.

  5. I used one on the island of St. Martin that had instructions in French, Dutch, English, and Papiamento (a Caribbean creole). It dispensed dollars, francs, or Netherlands Antilles guilders.

    The Vatican City one should dispense denarii and sestertii, as well as euros.

    1. Yeah, ATMs with 4 or 5 languages are pretty common, as are ones that dispense three currencies in some areas (certain regions of Turkey come to mind).

      Edit: and then there countries with lots of official languages like South Africa where some ATMs feature 8 or 10 (or whatever the maximum number of buttons per screen is) languages.

      1.  That was about 10 years ago, and the first one like that that I had seen.  Now that I think about it, my local ATMs have about a dozen languages, in nearly as many scripts.  Only dollars, though.

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