Guide to Vatican City

The Vatican City is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and is the smallest country in the world.

Vatican City

Only having a small population of about 1000 people. It is famous for its attractions including the Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, as well as the Vatican Museums. But where is the Vatican City located? First, let’s have a look at how Vatican City came to place.

History of Vatican City

Back in the day, modern day Italy was divided, with the Papal States, which was run by the popes, covering a large portion of Italy including Rome. The Kingdom of Italy, wanting Rome for their capital city, conquered the Papal States, resulting in the Pope to hide within the Vatican walls. The pope both refused to acknowledge the Kingdom of Italy as a country as well as grumbling on how he was confined within the Vatican Walls by the Kingdom of Italy. The country decided to wait until the Pope cracked, and accepted Italy as a country, and finally stepping out of the Vatican walls. However, this lasted sixty years, with multiple Popes accepting this self-imposed captivity. Finally, the Prime Minister of Italy proposed an agreement in 1929. The Vatican City was to become its own country, led by the Pope, with the bonus of money given by Italy. The pope agreed that Italy was its own country, and that Vatican City would be neutral to any country disagreements or war.

Where is the Vatican City?

The Vatican City is surrounded by Rome, located on the north west area of the city. Measuring roughly forty-four hectares of land, the Vatican City is a small dot inside the capital. You may enter the country through either the north entrance at the Vatican Museums, or instead, the East entrance at St. Peter’s Basilica. It takes around 30 minutes to walk between these two entrances.

Top Attractions in Vatican City

  • Vatican Museums

    Vatican Museums

    A museum bursting with assortments of art, ethno-anthropology, and archaeology that has been gathered by the popes over decades. Wander the halls for hours as you see incredible pieces such as famous classical sculptures as well as masterpieces from the Renaissance era.

  • Sistine Chapel

    Sistine Chapel

    After seeing all the artworks in the museums, head over to the Sistine Chapel. The chapel is located within the Pope’s home, the Apostolic Palace, and can only be entered through the museums. Discover the architecture, history and artwork of this incredibly significant landmark. Make sure to look up to see the famous Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.

  • Raphael’s Rooms

    Raphael’s Rooms

    There are four Raphael Rooms that form a suite of reception rooms within the Palace of the Vatican. They are well worth the visit for their famous frescos, painted by Raphael as well as famous painters Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. These incredible paintings are well worth the visit, as the detail and beauty in each section of the rooms are awe-inspiring.

  • St Peter’s Basilica

    St Peter’s Basilica

    Italy’s largest, richest, and holiest basilica constructed in 1626 after over a hundred years of construction. Learn about the history behind this momentous building, with famous architects and artists contributing to its marvellous finish. Make sure to bring your camera, as there are countless photo opportunities for you.

Related article: Top Things to do in Vatican City.

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