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 ...