Vatican City is the smallest independently recognized state in the world It is a walled enclave located within Rome, the capital city of Italy. As one of the major tourist destinations in Italy, there are over 4 million tourists who travel to Vatican City annually. The entire area measures only at 44 hectares and has a population count of 842. The Bishop of Rome – the Pope – is the ecclesiastical and sacerdotal-monarchial leader of the Vatican.
The Vatican is the main episcopal see of the Roman Catholic religion, which has over 1.2 billion adherents worldwide. The Vatican City, however, did not come into existence until during 1929. Despite being a small state, there are several notable attractions within the walled enclave itself such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel.
The economy of Vatican City is obtained through sales of postage stamps and mementos from tourists, sale of publications, and fees gathered from the museum. The Vatican is a UNESCO world heritage site for its cultural importance.
Official Language: Italian and Latin are the official languages of the Vatican City.
Wi-Fi Availability: Wi-Fi access in public spots is rather limited in Vatican City, as it is with the rest of Italy. There are several services that enable you to connect via a wireless network, though.
Airport/s: The Leonardo Da Vinci Airport is the nearest international airport for those who travel to Vatican City.
Visa Required: Citizens from the USA, Canada, Australia and most European nations do not require visa to travel to Vatican City, only a valid passport is required. The length of stay varies for each of these countries, though (mostly up to 90 days). Holders of the Schengen visa can also enter Vatican City.
Driving: In the Vatican City, they drive on the right side of the road.
International Driver’s License Accepted? No. You cannot use your domestic or international driver’s license to drive in the Vatican City. Only honored guests or officials are allowed to do so.
Crime: Crime rate is pretty low within the Vatican City and mostly involved petty crimes such as purse snatching or pickpocketing. Tourists who are exploring the St. Peter’s Square are advised to be cautious because this is where most of the crimes are committed.
Electrical Adapters: Vatican City has electrical outlet powered by 230 volts and a frequency of 50 Hertz. Meanwhile, they use C, F or L plug types.
Trivia: Despite being the smallest independent state in the world, Vatican City, it has its own post office, telephone system, radio station, banking system, and an astronomical observatory.
Fun Facts About The Vatican City
- It is the smallest country in the world which is only 1/8th of the size of Central Park in New York.
- The art collection in the Vatican Museums is one of the largest in the world. In fact, if you lay down the art pieces in the museum it can cover four times the size of the Vatican walls.
- St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is the largest Roman Catholic church in the world.
- The people who make up the population of Vatican are mostly from the Apostolic Palace: cardinals, Swiss Guards, members of the clergy, nuns and the pope.
Travel to Vatican City: Attractions
St Peter’s Basilica – There is probably no bigger attraction than the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It is a Late Renaissance church that features a Renaissance and Baroque architecture. It is located within the St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.
Sistine Chapel – This is another popular church in the Vatican. This chapel is located within the Apostolic Palace, which is also the official residence of the Pope. It also serves as a museum.
St. Peter’s Square – Apart from the St. Peter’s Basilica, this massive plaza offers several things for the tourists. It also serves as the papal enclave within the city of Rome.
Vatican Museums – As the name implies, this is a complex of museums within the Vatican City. Pope Julius II was the one who founded the museums.