Vatican City is the smallest state of the Vatican City, only 0.44 km

Vatican City

The Vatican City is the smallest state in the world recognized by other countries. It is located in the center of Rome. Therefore, it makes sense to rent hotels directly in the capital of Italy to save money and see the sights on a par with the Vatican.

Vatican attractions

Vatican City – home to the most famous art in the world, the sights of this mini-state have great historical and cultural value to the whole world.

The Sistine Chapel is the main attraction of the Vatican. The great Michelangelo is the author of the famous ceiling frescoes. Initially no one intended to turn the Sistine Chapel into a world landmark, Michelangelo was invited only with the hope that he would fail in his work and Raphael and Bramante would once again become the chief painterly geniuses at court. Thanks to a recent restoration, the frescoes have been able to fully restore their former beauty. Since the end of the 15th century, the cardinals have gathered here to elect a new pope.

St. Peter’s Cathedral is the second largest Christian church in the world. During the time of Nero on the site of the cathedral was a circus, where to please the public were thrown the first Christians to the mercy of wild beasts, among them the Apostle Peter. When you see the cathedral for the first time, one wonders not who built it, but how. To fully understand the scale of construction does not help even to climb the dome. Several generations of great Italian masters worked on it: Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, Bramante. If you want to go inside the cathedral, you must be dressed appropriately: it is not allowed in mini-skirts, shorts and necklines.

St. Peter’s Square has long been Rome’s main decoration, even before the official recognition of the Vatican. From the labyrinth of narrow medieval streets you can enter the majestic space around the cathedral.

Vatican Museums

In the Museum of Modern Religious Art, you can see not only famous paintings on religious themes, but also paintings by Chagall, Kandinsky or Monet. The Pope believed that contemporary art was the way to reach the hearts of the faithful. The result was a good collection of European sculpture and painting from Rodin to Dali.

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Pinakothek is the place where the most famous paintings by Raphael (“Transfiguration”, “Annunciation”, “Adoration of the Magi”) are kept, no other museum in the world has such a large collection of the master. The museum building is relatively new, the need to keep the altarpieces separately from the churches only appeared after the Napoleonic invasion.

The Egyptian Museum is a modest collection of artifacts from Ancient Egypt and the Mesopotamia by the standards of the world’s museums, and gigantic by the standards of the Vatican. Mummies, faume portraits, painted sarcophagus lids, funerary masks, and many other interesting things. The museum collection is larger and more interesting than that of the Hermitage.

Vatican Climate:: Temperate. Mild, rainy winters (September to May) with hot, dry summers (May to September).


The Vatican City is a tiny state that can be easily traversed on foot in a couple of hours. The Vatican Gardens are a humble oasis of this tiny country. Every corner of the garden is designed very thoughtfully and with great love, it looks beautiful at any time of the year. There is a lot of vegetation here, not only from Italy, but also donated to the Popes from all over the world.


The Vatican is tiny, its area is less than one square kilometer. But despite its modest size, you won’t notice how you’ll spend a whole day here. The easiest way to get acquainted with the local attractions and to get enough information is to book a tour of the Vatican (it costs about 40 euros).

If you don’t like centralized tours, we suggest enjoying the Sant’Angelo opera. It is also the oldest building in Rome. The Vatican Gardens are sure to please those who like to relax in the fresh air, to spend time in harmony and tranquility. What to bring from the Vatican? Local coins. Euros from the Vatican are the rarest in the EU. Local stamps are also popular with tourists.

Vatican City:: Urban, low hill


You will not be surprised to learn that the main transport of the country is on foot. For obvious reasons there is no airport, but there is a heliport. There is also a railroad, 600 meters long, connected to the railroads of Italy and the railway station.

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Standard of Living

The source of income of the country – donations of Catholics from around the world, the proceeds from the fees to visit museums, the purchase of tourists souvenirs, postage stamps, Vatican euro coins. Vatican citizens serve the Catholic Church, and museums employ Italians.

The Vatican has resources like: : Not found.

Vatican City

The Vatican City is a city-state located on Vatican Hill in the city of Rome. There are no other cities in the Vatican City.

Vatican City

The Vatican City, a city-state, lies on the right bank of the Tiber River and includes the sovereign papal state within Rome, formed to replace the papal state abolished in 1870 during the unification of Italy.

The Vatican City includes St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Cathedral, and the Vatican Gardens, mostly walled. The smallest state in the world (area – 0.44 km², population – about 1000 people) also includes patriarchal basilicas of Santa Maria Maggiore, San Paolo Fuori le Mura and San Giovanni in Laterano, administrative buildings and the papal summer residence in the castle of Castel Gandolfo.

Save on a trip to the Vatican!

Video: Vatican City

Status Quo.

The Vatican is home to about 1,000 residents, half of whom are citizens of the state, with only twenty-five women among them. In addition, there are another 3,000 people serving in the Vatican. Thus the Vatican is the smallest state in the world, but it is also the center of the government of the Catholic Church, to which some one billion people on every continent identify themselves. As such, the Vatican maintains diplomatic relations with about 170 of the 200 countries.

The state attributes of the Vatican are the white and yellow flag, the coat of arms with the image of Peter’s keys and the tiara (crown) of the Pope, as well as the military force – the Swiss Guards. A hundred Guardsmen dressed in the ceremonial uniform of the 16th century guard the Holy See – the Pope and his palace. Besides the Vatican has its own telephone service, post office and banking system including the Commercial Bank L’Instituto per le Opere di Religione. The Vatican has its own train station, a special garbage disposal service, and a printing house. The Vatican produces nothing; all services, including power supply, are imported. But the Vatican owns its own radio station (Radio Vaticano) and two official publications: Acta Apostolicae Sedis and the daily Osservatore Romano (circulation 70,000 copies) distributed worldwide. The city-state, which pays no taxes, exists from donations, sales of coins and stamps, revenues from trade and manufacturing monopolies, and all kinds of industrial participation. Tourism is another significant source of income, as St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Vatican Museums with their famous works of art attract tourists from all over the world.

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The emergence of the Vatican is linked to the most famous forgery in European history: the so-called Constantine gift, which secured the pope’s supreme authority over Rome and the Western Roman Empire, but turned out to be a simple paper fabricated in the papal curia.

However, this fake deed of gift, composed by papal scholars in 750-760, worked perfectly: even in 1850 the ecclesiastical state of the Holy See included large parts of Central Italy, together with Lazio, Umbria, the Marche and Romagna. Today, the entire Vatican City State, with its medieval walls, can easily be viewed from the dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral.


For almost 2,000 years, not counting short breaks, the Vatican City has been located on the right bank of the Tiber on Vatican Hill. According to tradition, the first bishop of Rome, the Apostle Peter, was buried here and martyred. In the fourth century, under Emperor Constantine the Great, construction of the first church began on this site and a papal residence arose, which over the centuries grew into the Holy See ecclesiastical state – it ceased to exist in 1870. – ten years after the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy. As the Vatican stubbornly resisted its incorporation into the new independent Italian state, on September 20, 1870 Italian troops of the unification movement stormed the Pius Gate and, capturing the city, proclaimed Rome the capital of the Italian kingdom. But it was not until 1929 that Benito Mussolini succeeded in settling relations between the Holy See and the Italian state with the Lateran Accords, by which the Italian state recognized the sovereignty of the pope and the Vatican City as the area of his exclusive authority.

Swiss Guard.

The Papal Lifeguard is made up of a hundred stately Swiss Guard officers, who were first called into service by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century. Even today they are Catholics aged between 19 and 25, citizens of Switzerland, with terms of service ranging from 2 to 20 years. Guardsmen wear traditional Renaissance uniform (Medici papal era) or dark blue uniform for maneuvers.

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The Vatican is an absolutist state. In the hands of the head of state, elected for life, the Pope, sovereign of the Holy See, all power is concentrated: legislative, executive and judicial. He exercises it through a Papal Commission composed of five cardinals, headed by an appointed governor. At present the head of the Vatican is Benedict XVI, elected pope in 2005 by two hundred and sixty-five cardinals. Cardinals have had the sole right to elect a pope since 1049, and only those who have not reached the age of 80 at the moment of election. The official languages of the Vatican are Latin and Italian.

Vatican Museums

Opening hours: in winter 8.45-13.45; in summer until 16.45; last Sunday admission free.

The art collections of the Vatican Museums are considered to be the most important in the world. The entrance from Viale Vaticano leads to the vestibule. Tour of the museums goes in one direction, you can choose any of the four options, differing in length – they are marked with different colors.

Collection of antique sculpture in Vatican Museums is the largest in the world, it began to collect in the Renaissance, and incredibly it increased under popes Clement XIV (1769-1774) and Pius VI (1775-1799), whose names carry the main part of the collection – Pio Clementino Museum. Pius VII added the Chiaramonti Museum and the new Braccio Nuovo Museum to these collections. Most of the exhibits are found in and around Rome, most often Roman copies of Greek originals or Roman art proper.

Among the exhibits of the museums can be distinguished the knowledgeable works of art:
  • Braccio Nuovo: Prima Porta Augustus – created around 19 BC. Prototypical imperial statue, with well-crafted facial features and armor embellishments in relief.
  • Cabinet of Apoxyomenos: A Roman marble copy of the famous statue of “Apoxyomenos” by Lysippus (4th century B.C.). It depicts a victorious athlete cleaning himself with a strigil of the oil he had rubbed on himself before the fight.
  • Cortile Ottagono: In the courtyard is a statue of Apollo of Belvedere This is also a Roman copy of the original from the 4th century BC, attributed to the ancient Greek sculptor Leochar. Winkelman elevated it to a symbolic figure of Antiquity.
  • The sculptural group “Laocoon” is probably the most famous antique work (1st century B.C.). It depicts the desperate struggle of the Trojan priest Laocoon and his sons against snakes – it is the main work of the Hellenistic era.
  • Hall of Muses: The Belvedere torso according to the signature is the work of Apollonius of Athens (1st century B.C.). Because of the anatomical precision of its plastic depiction, Michelangelo used it as a model for the male figures in the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
  • The Rotunda Room: On the mosaic floor of the Thermae of Orticoli in the center of the room is a huge porphyry bowl (13 meters in circumference) from the Golden House of Emperor Nero. The niches contain statues and busts of gods and heroes, including a bust of Zeus from Orticoli, a copy of the original by the ancient Greek sculptor Briaxius (4th century BC); the figure of Dionysus depicts the handsome Antinoas, the favourite of Emperor Hadrian who drowned in the Nile.
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Founded by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839, the Museum of Ancient Egyptian Art (the Gregorian Egyptian Museum) exhibits in ten rooms works of Egyptian art found around Rome, but the main exhibits are trophies from the times of the Empire. The Etruscan Museum, also founded by Gregory XVI, tells about the daily life of the Etruscans and their beliefs, including their ideas about death, embodied in art and culture.

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