"weekend at the Vatican" Vatican City by brendareed
Vatican City Travel Guide: 1,267 reviews and 3,878 photos
Vatican City is the smallest independent sovereign city-state in the world consisting of only 110 acres. It is landlocked inside Rome, but has its own guards, recruited from Switzerland (Swiss guards), for the protection of its head of state, the Pope. It has not militia and is protected by the Italian military. The Vatican has its own euro coin, post office, pharmacy, internet (.va), newspaper, radio station, bank (with an ATM with Latin instructions!) and stamps; revenue comes from the popular Vatican museums and publication sales. The Vatican, because of its size, has no airport (although there is a heliport) or highway system. I found it interesting that the Vatican does have a train station, however it is not open to the public and is generally used for freight.
The Vatican is one of the most popular destinations in Rome so it is interesting to understand that it isn’t “in” Rome, but you are actually entering another country when you walk into St. Peter’s Square. In the Vatican Museum near the bookstore and double helix staircase is a wonderful wooden model of Vatican City. It is pretty detailed and gives you a good idea of smallest of the city (how many cities can get a detailed model on a table top model?).
While the Vatican Museum has an admission fee, other popular parts of the Vatican are free to the public – St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square. There are also guided tours of the gardens for an admission fee.
Of course, for those interested, most Wednesdays are papal audiences where the faithful (and others curious) can hopefully see or meet the Pope.
Like most visitors to Rome, we spent a day at the Vatican, viewing its extensive art collection and enjoying the history of this famous albeit tiny country.
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