The Vatican is the smallest state in the world, based in Rome in Italy.
Vatican City (Citta del Vaticano), the papal residence, was built over the tomb of Saint Peter. The Vatican’s position as a sovereign state within a state was guaranteed by the Lateran Treaty of 1929, marked by the building of a new road, the Via Della Conciliazione. This leads from the huge St Peter’s Basilica to Castel Sant’ Angelo, a monument to a far grimmer past.
Inside the Vatican City, we can find 11 Vatican Museums with the restored Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and Vatican Gardens, an enchanted place, a system of large and small gardens, a fountain, a fish pool, and an enclosure for rabbits. They date back to medieval times when vineyards and orchards extended to the north of the Apostolic Palace.
Vatican radio station broadcasts all over the world in 29 languages, it has a television station, a daily newspaper, a post office with Vatican stamps, shops, offices, and a publishing house. All are signposted in a highly sophisticated system of organization.
More than a thousand residents are responsible for the smooth, day-to-day running of this nerve center of official Christianity, with, of course, the Pope at its head, all guarded by the Swiss guard.
The papal guard of hired Swiss soldiers was created in 1505 and may owe its uniform to Michelangelo.
It’s one that’s difficult to miss – baggy trousers, tight wasp-waisted jerkin with wide sleeves, all in midnight-blue and duck-yellow stripes, with the red of underclothing showing, not to mention the white gloves and raffle, feathered iron helmet, halbert, and sword.
The Swiss guard is made up of four officers, 23 NCOs, 70 halberdiers, and 2 drummers, all of whose job is to watch over the sacred figure of the Pontif.
Country: State of the Vatican City (Holy See), Italy Population: 920 inhabitants Area: 0.44 sq km Density: 2273/ Km2 Religions: Roman Catholic Currency: Euro (EUR) = 100 Cents