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Vatican City

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The Smallest Country in the World

  • Feb 15, 2010
The Vatican City is the smallest sovereign state in the world with only 900 hundred residents! Independent since 1929 after the stipulation of the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See & the Italian State, the Vatican is completely independent of the Italian State. It has its own police force & a real police service represented by the famous "SWISS GUARDS". The Pope is not only the head of the Apostolic Roman Catholic Church but also has full legislative, executive & judiciary powers here. 

For those of you who have never heard of the Vatican, it lies next to the Italian city of Rome. So, naturally, the tour of this city is right after my Rome city tour. Rome (to me) is a city you either love or hate. For me personally, it's a mixture of feelings. Have you ever had this feeling (perhaps not so much about a place, but...) about another person? Sometimes, you can love a person so much it hurts but at other times you simply feel like throwing in the towel? Yeah, that's Rome. 

Since the screening of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code" & "Angels & Demons", Rome & Vatican City had been "exposed" to the world. It's unlikely that anyone in the western world hasn't caught glimpses of Vatican city in these movies . In any case, if you haven't, here is a video from the Vatican itself for your viewing pleasure.

Now, back to Vatican City. To me to date, this city is mainly represented by the BASILICA OF SAN PIETRO which has a superbly designed building & everything looks great from the outside. I'm sure the inside would have looked great too, had it been adequately lighted! It was dark in there... which incidentally is a characteristic of most European basilicas, churches & cathedrals. To me, a place of worship is one for you to seek the LIGHT. & therefore, I really would much prefer it if it's bright! One needs all the help one could get in this life. So, more lights please?

In the classical period, St. Peter was martyred & buried here at the original site of The BASILICA OF SAN PIETRO, which was then Nero's Circus. Since 324, the emperor Constantine & many after him had the basilica undergone massive renovations & reconstructions & it was only in 1612 after employing mountains of travertine from Tivoli that the present architecture took shape.

I was on a tour so didn't get much time here. If I were to return in future, I'd certainly love to spend an entire day here discovering beyond the basilica itself. I am curious who really live in this place and would love to talk to one of the 900 inhabitants! I also wonder what their passports look like :-)

The Smallest Country in the World

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February 15, 2010
I've discovered that the only way to see a cathedral with all of the lights on is to go to an actual service. Then you can typically see it in all its glory. Nice review,Sharrie. I get to see it first hand next week. I can hardly wait!
February 15, 2010
That's great! Make sure you visit the Sistine Chapel too!!!
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Sharrie ()
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I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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Vatican City, officially the State of the Vatican City, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, the capital city of Italy. At approximately 44 hectares (110 acres) (0.44 km2), and with a population of barely over 800, it is the smallest country in the world by both population and area.

Vatican City is a city-state that came into existence in 1929. It is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main episcopal see of 1.142 billion Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic adherents from around the globe. Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin. The two entities even have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, only issues diplomatic and service passports; the state of Vatican City issues normal passports. In both cases the passports issued are very few.

The Lateran Treaty in 1929, which brought the city-state into existence, spoke of it as a new creation (Preamble and Article III), not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756-1870) that had previously encompassed central Italy. Most of this territory was absorbed into theKingdom of Italy in 1860, and the final portion, namely the city of Rome with a small area close to it, ten years later, in 1870.

Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, ruled by the bishop of Rome—the Pope. The highest state ...

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