Vatican City

Italy is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, in the Vatican. The holy city is considered as the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, which is headed by the Pope. This is a unique example of a city serving as the capital of two states. As such, the major religion in surrounding Italy is Roman Catholicism, an Rome alone has over 900 churches.

You won’t need a passport to enter the world’s smallest sovereign state. Surrounded by the city of Rome, Vatican City is little more than St. Peter’s Basilica and the walled headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. Even so, its postage-stamp size belies the monumental impact that the Holy See has had on world history.

For such a small piece of real estate, there is a lot to do in Vatican City. You can stand where St. Peter was martyred, embraced by the columned arms surrounding Bernini’s 17th-century St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro). Enter the Scavi and descend to the subterranean necropolis where Peter’s bones remain. Seek an audience with the Pope, lose track of time and place admiring the world-class artwork in the Vatican Museum, then marvel at Michelangelo’s handiwork at the Sistine Chapel.

With so much to see, Vatican City is a worthy destination, even for those who don’t count themselves among the faithful.

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Latest Vatican City articles

Tourism website: Vatican Tourist Office

Time zone: UTC/GMT +02:00

Currency: EUR – Euro

Official language: Italian with Latin and French as secondary languages

UNESCO World Heritage sites: 2

See more of the papal state in our Vatican photo gallery.

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