Drives On: Right
Phone Code: +379
Capital: Vatican City
National Day: February 11
Internet Domain: .va
Electrical Outlets: Type C, F
Vatican World Heritage Sties: 2
Vatican City is the smallest independently recognized state in the world. It is a walled enclave located within the city of Rome. As one of the biggest 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, the sale of publications, and fees gathered from the museum. The Vatican is a UNESCO world heritage site for its cultural importance.
Airport/s: The Leonardo Da Vinci Airport is the nearest international airport for those who travel to Vatican City.
Visa Required: There are no passport controls to enter Vatican City. If you can enter Italy, you can enter the Vatican. Technically, the Vatican is not part of the Schengen Zone or the EU, but it has an open border with Italy, and Italy is the only way to enter the Vatican.
Driving: In Vatican City, they drive on the right side of the road, but it is highly unlikely that you will ever drive inside the Vatican. The only way the public can drive in the Vatican is if you enter a parking lot near St. Ann’s and are there on official business.
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. The Vatican uses the Italian criminal justice system for the prosecution of all crimes. If you are caught violating the law inside of Vatican City, you will be tried, sentenced and imprisoned as if the crime were committed in Italy.
Electrical Adapters: Vatican City has electrical outlet powered by 230 volts and a frequency of 50 Hertz. Get your electrical adaptors for the Vatican and Italy.
Trivia: Despite being the smallest independent state in the world, Vatican City, it has its own post office, telephone system, radio station, a banking system, and an astronomical observatory.
Fun Facts About 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.
- The country has no natural citizenry and no permanant population. Anyone with a Vatican passport was born in another country and holds dual citizenship. The birth rate of the Vatican is zero.
Vatican City Visa Issues
Vatican City has no formal border controls, immigration, or visas. Everything with respect to borders is done via Italy. If you can enter Italy, you can enter the Vatican. Entering St. Peter’s Square is literally a matter of walking into the square. No one will check your passport no matter where you are from.
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.