Vatican City Discovery Guide

Overview

Known as the smallest country in the world, the Vatican City is located in a walled enclave situated within the premised of the city of Rome in Italy. The Vatican City is a sovereign city-state with a total population of only 900 inhabitants living in a land that spreads over an area of only 44 hectares. Built on top of Vatican Hill on the right side of the Tiber River in 1929, the Vatican City is perhaps the most important country for those following the Roman Catholic faith, and the most sacred place of Christiandom. The city-state is ruled by the Pope, also known as the Bishop of Rome and the Holy See.

Because it is located within the country of Italy, the city-state of the Vatican City is a country that experiences a temperate climate which is characterized by mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summer months. Unlike any country in the world, however, the Vatican City is a country that does not have what anyone would consider as a commercial economy. In fact, the prime source of funding that is keeping the country of the Vatican City to thrive is the donations it receives from the faithful of the Catholicism which is turned over by the Roman Catholic Dioceses situated all over the world. A portion of the funds that propels the country comes from the sales of tickets to the different tourist attractions which are visited by thousands of tourists each year.

If you are planning to visit the Vatican City, do not expect to find an accommodation within the country. Instead, travelers visiting the Vatican City book their accommodations in the city of Rome, which is just a stone’s throw away from the Vatican City. Since it is a very small country, the best way to get around here is by foot. One thing that you must remember when visiting the Vatican City is that they follow a strict dress code here. Many of the top tourist attractions and destinations in the Vatican City can only be entered if travelers are dressed appropriately. The Swiss Guards that patrol the Vatican City would not hesitate to prohibit you entry if they find your outfit is not suitable.

Travelers visiting to the Vatican City must also be aware that majority of the city, for religious reasons, is not open to the general public. However, there are a number of different package tours that travelers wanting to visit this city-state can avail, which can include an audience with His Holiness, the Pope.

What To See at The Vatican
While travelers visiting the Vatican City would find the experience a spiritual one, they are also captivated by the finest masterpieces and artistic monuments found all over the city-state. One of the jewels in this city-state is the St. Peter’s Basilica, which is considered as the largest religious structure in the whole world. Located in the middle of a central piazza composed of a double colonnade, the St. Peter’s Basilica and its surrounding gardens showcase the works of the geniuses of the art world such as Raphael, Michelangelo, Bernini, Maderna and Bramate. Other prime tourists’ attractions in the city-state include St. Peter's Square, the Stanze, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum.
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