CITY

Discovering Vatican City, the world's smallest sovereign state

Vatican City, officially the Vatican City State, is a landlocked city-state on the Italian peninsula, the world's smallest sovereign state by population (869 according to a 2019 census).

The Vatican is what remains of the ancient Papal State, a portion of Italian territory over which, for centuries, the authority of the Pope reigned supreme. The real problems began with the birth of the Kingdom of Italy and the Pontiff's loss of temporal power. Today, only a tiny part of the State that once was remains.

Always a place of intrigue and mysteries but also a place of preservation of a great deal of Christian art, Vatican City still remains one of the most visited places in the world, and not only by Catholics or Christians, but tourists from all over the globe.

Getty Images
The beauty of Vatican City
Vatican City, officially the Vatican City State, is a landlocked city-state on the Italian peninsula, the world's smallest sovereign state by population (869 according to a 2019 census). The Vatican is what remains of the ancient Papal State, a portion of Italian territory over which, for centuries, the authority of the Pope reigned supreme. The real problems began with the birth of the Kingdom of Italy and the Pontiff's loss of temporal power. Today, only a tiny part of the State that once was remains. Always a place of intrigue and mysteries but also a place of preservation of a great deal of Christian art, Vatican City still remains one of the most visited places in the world, and not only by Catholics or Christians, but tourists from all over the globe.
Di Stefan Bauer, http://www.ferras.at - Opera propria, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w
There is no permanent citizenship for Vatican City
The fact that the Vatican has no hospitals within its walls means that there are no delivery rooms either, and therefore no one can actually be 'born' within the City. Citizenship is granted on a nominal basis for those who work in a certain speficia area in the service of the Holy See. Citizenship is extended to spouses, parents and other relatives living together. Once the appointment ceases, citizenship is removed.
Di sconosciuto - L'illustrazione Italiana, Pubblico dominio, https://it.wikipedia.org/w/index.p
The Vatican has its own currency
Vatican City has its own currency, the Vatican euro, which is one of the few commemorative euro coins issued by an EU member state. In addition, Vatican City also issues its own postage stamps, which are highly sought after by collectors all over the world.
Getty Images
How the Vatican State is organized
The city-state was formally constituted on 7 June 1929 through the so-called Lateran Pacts, which were signed on 11 February by Duce Benito Mussolini and Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri, the representatives of the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See. In fact, Vatican City is an enclave within the territory of the Italian Republic, right in the middle of the city of Rome. A regime of absolute monarchy is in force in the State, with the Pope holding both temporal and spiritual power of Catholicism. The official language is Italian, while Latin is the official language of the Holy See.
Getty Images
The amount of art in the Vatican is boundless
Inside the Vatican, once a huge Papal State, are preserved some of the finest examples of Christian art of any era. The Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's masterpiece, adorns the ceiling of the Apostolic Palace, and is recognised as one of the greatest and most beautiful works of art in the world. The Vatican Museums are also some of the most visited museums in the world.
Getty Images
Only "state" to be a world heritage site
The Vatican holds a curious record, namely being the only state in the entire world to have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Holy See's other extraterritorial properties in the historic centre of Rome.
Art galleries private collections
25/05/2024
Informativa ai sensi della Direttiva 2009/136/CE: questo sito utilizza solo cookie tecnici necessari alla navigazione da parte dell'utente in assenza dei quali il sito non potrebbe funzionare correttamente.