Vatican City tours

Vatican is the most enigmatic place in Europe, it’s the place of influence, prejudices, mysticism and intrigues, as all of this is written in its previous years.

It’s the place where the history has been made and where world’s influencers made decisions regarding the future of small and big nations. It’s the place that shaped the world that we know today. Vatican is the center of many conspiracy theories and the city-state with so much power that we can easily say it affected shaping and banning grand decisions and ideas throughout the history.

Guided tours visiting Vatican

About Vatican

Today, Vatican is very interesting for tourists. Documentary movies and thrillers were shot and bestselling books were written right here. For anyone who hasn’t visited yet, this is the opportunity for you to, at least for a second, step in the epicenter of power of the Catholic empire.

City-state Vatican is established in 1929, after Lateran treaty signing and after Pope Pius XI formally gave up the remains of the Papal States. The state is sovereign territory and subjected to international law. It is also the smallest country in Europe and we all know it as part of the Rome. It has all elements of a statehood: a flag, coat of arms, postage stamp, bank, court, police, jail, guard, radio station, newspapers, railway station.

Vatican itself has around 1000 inhabitants and 500 people who work here but live outside the city. Head of the Vatican is pope, who is also head of the Roman Catholic church. The name comes from the Roman hill of Monte Vaticano, where is Vatican State located. When you see the map of the city you can get the visual impression regarding its size, as well as the overview of monuments and not-to-miss touristic attractions.

When planning a visit to Vatican, plan an entire day for it. A biggest church in the world, if we count it by the number of people it can fit in, and one of the biggest museums in the world are located here in Vatican. It’s not rare to wait for hours to get in but when you do so and you see the Sistine chapel - you will understand why it was worth it. Sistine chapel is part of the Vatican’s museums.

If you can, try to find the spot on Square of St. Peter from which you can see the four surrounding arcades through one line. Or you can climb dome of basilica of St. Peter- the view you’ll have from there is rather unique. Sending a postcard with a stamp from the only post in Vatican is another idea for new experiences to have while here.

Interesting facts about Vatican

  • Vatican City is the smallest country in the world.
  • Stato della Citta del Vaticano is the Vatican’s official name.
  • Vatican is protected by UNESCO, and so far the only state that is completely protected by this organization.
  • You would need four years to see each exhibit (if taking one minute per exhibit) in Museum of Vatican.
  • There is a telecommunication system, astronomical observatory, radio station, post and the bank. All of the above is owned by state.
  • Vatican imports wood, water, electricity and gas as it doesn’t own these resources.
  • Citizens of Rome prefer to use the post in Vatican rather than Italian ones as it is much faster and safer.
  • One of the largest art collections in the world is exhibited in The Vatican Museums.
  • The largest Catholic church in the world is here - St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Vatican doesn’t have its own military forces and is protected by Italy.
  • Until the 14th century, Popes didn’t live here.
  • The Swiss Guard was hired as a mercenary force and is still here.
  • Several times during the history of this state, popes were escaping through a secret passageway.
  • The majority of Vatican City’s citizens live outside of the state actually.
  • There is no diplomatic passport in Vatican.
  • Pope, Cardinals and members of Swiss guard have passport of Vatican.
  • Literacy rate in Vatican is 100%.
  • In Vatican, Pope has all the power.
  • On the ATMs across the Vatican everything is written in Latin only.

Where is Vatican located

Vatican is located in the heart of Rome, on the territory of 0.44 square kilometers. It is completely surrounded with Rome. It’s often called “state in a state”.

Public transport

As the general territory of the state is very small, it doesn’t have any public transportation. It can actually be crossed in 20 minute or less, given an average speed of walk. There is a heliport and a short railway too, but they are used for special occasions only.

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Photos of Vatican City