|Area||0.44 sq km (0.17 sq mi)|
|Population||836 (July 2012 est.)|
|National Day||11 February 1929|
About city :
The Vatican City is the smallest internationally recognized independent state. It is a walled enclave within the city of Rome in Italy. It is ruled by the Pope, who is the head of the state and the government. It was founded with the signing of the Lateran Pact between the Holy See and Italy on 11th February, 1929 which was ratified on 7th June.
The Vatican City is located on a highland called the Vatican Hill. The elevation varies between 19 m and 75 m. It lies on the west bank of the River Tiber. This was the site where Roman emperor Caligula had built a private circus where many Christians were martyred. St. Peter was buried to the north of this region. The place is marked by a vast basilica.
A number of offices of the Vatican are located in Rome in surrounding regions. These are known as extra terrestrials. Vatican City has a temperate Mediterranean type of climate with hot dry summer and cool wet winters. Mists and dew are common because of the presence of the huge structure of the St. Peter’s basilica.
How to reach (transport) :
The best way to reach the Vatican City is to walk to it. The boundary between the papal state and Rome in St. Peter’s Square is marked by a simple white line. Visitors are not allowed to drive in the Vatican. So, the most beautiful route to the Vatican is to walk from the Piazza Venezia. Alternatively, you can take the bus to the southern end of the Vatican from where you will have to walk.
You can reach Rome by International airport or by train from other European states and then travel to Vatican City. There is a heliport in Vatican City.
When to visit :
The best time to visit Vatican City is between June and August, though it may be quite warm. Since you will explore the city on foot, you should avoid the wetter months, unless you want to attend specific festivals. You should also know that thousands of people visit the Vatican City and the queues can be very time consuming. Most museums are closed on Sundays and certain holidays. The queues are marginally less in the afternoons.
Culture (Fairs and Festivals) and Traditions :
The Vatican City exists to propagate the ideas of the Catholic Church throughout the world. A cultural delight, it may take you a long time to fully explore the treasures of some of the world's richest collections of art, music, and texts here.
Quite a few festivals are celebrated in the Vatican City. These are :
- The International festival of sacred music and art occurs in autumn and several musical groups participate in it. The performances are geared towards keeping sacred music alive in culture.
- Christmas is another important festival. It opens with a huge midnight mass and is celebrated till 6th January.
- The festival of Easter is also celebrated with prayer and mass.
- Since 2010, the International Catholic Film Festival is being celebrated from 24th June to 26th June. It aims to present the church in a new light.
There are a vast number of things to see in the Vatican City with its beautiful gardens, numerous museums, and unparalleled collection of art. Some of the must-see sights of the Vatican are as follows :
- The vast and majestic St. Peter’s basilica designed by Michelangelo is the most impressive sight of the Vatican. An elevator ride to the top of the dome is a major activity in Vatican. Along with this, you should see the St. Peter’s piazza.
- The Vatican museum is one of the greatest art galleries of the world. The Raphael rooms, the spiral staircase, and the frescos on the Sistine chapel painted by Michelangelo are the most famous sights. In addition, there are a vast number of corridors and other rooms which contain marvelous examples of renaissance art.
- The Vatican City gardens are another beautiful sight of this city state. You can visit them only on a tour. Several orchards are located in these Vatican gardens.
- You can also see the Vatican palaces from the outside. Every Sunday at noon, the pope appears at the window to bless the people.
There are no places to stay in the Vatican City itself, but there are certainly a number of accommodations in the surrounding areas of Rome. Some of the most popular accommodation choices include Hotel Isa and Best Western Spring House in the highest range, Amor bed and breakfast, B&B Flaminia House, Best Vatican, B&B Sistine and many others in the mid range, and Casa Frida, Hotel Colors, Maison Vaticana Rome, etc.
Last Updated : October 24, 2013