Vatican City (/ / (listen); officially Vatican City State, Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano) (also sometimes referred to as the Vatican) is the smallest country in the world by size, at 0.49 km² and by population. It is also one of the world's three city-states.
Vatican City State
Stato della Città del Vaticano
|Anthem: Inno e Marcia Pontificale (Italian)|
Pontifical Anthem and March
|Official languages||Italian[note 1]|
absolute monarchy; elective monarchy; elective theocracy.
|Independence from the Kingdom of Italy|
|11 February 1929|
|44 ha (110 acres) (250th)|
• 2023 estimate
|1,777/km2 (4,602.4/sq mi) (6th)|
|Currency||Euro (€)b (EUR)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
• Summer (DST)
|Driving side||right[note 2]|
|ISO 3166 code||VA|
Its territory is completely surrounded by Italy and it is only one of three countries in the world that are enclaves of another country (the others being San Marino, also in Italy, and Lesotho in southern Africa). Also, it is the only country in the world that is an enclave of a city, as all of the land around it is part of Rome, the capital of Italy. The Vatican City is a city-state, because all its territory is urban and built-up.
The Vatican City is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and its government, the Holy See. Its head of state is the Pope which is, religiously speaking, the Bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church. The current Pope, Pope Francis, former cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected on 13 March 2013.
The Vatican City is also important for its culture and art. The Vatican's masterpieces are very well known in the world: St. Peter's Square, St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and the Apostolic Palace, where the Pope lives. There are also hundreds of other sculptures and pictures.
The Pope used to rule the Papal States, which included most of Italy. Catholic popes had generally tried to stop Italy from becoming one country because they feared they would lose their control of at least one of the Papal States.[source?] In 1861 Italy was unified under the King of Savoy, but Rome and Latium remained unconquered. On September 20, 1870 Italian troops invaded. Rome became capital of the new kingdom.
The Pope claimed he was a prisoner of the Italian state and excommunicated all the people who helped invade the Papal state. This stopped Catholics from taking part in public life under Catholic government.
In 1929 Benito Mussolini, decided to sign an agreement with Pope Pius XI, called the Lateran Treaty, which gave the territory of the Vatican to the Pope. Another treaty gave the Vatican money each year to compensate for the lost territories.
Politics and Government change
The government structure is a theocracy (a country run by religion) with the Pope being the highest authority. The pope is elected by the College of Cardinals which can lead the Roman Catholic Church and the city-state itself. The Pope also holds the title of "Bishop of Rome".
The Pope is the head of state of the Vatican and holds the office until death or resignation. As head of state, the pope's title is officially "the Sovereign". The government and legislature is the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.
Vatican City has a population of 764. The citizens of the Vatican include the Pope, all the cardinals, all the nuncios (who is the equivalent of an ambassador) and other diplomats, all the Swiss Guards, and other important people. Also, there are 372 Vatican citizens who live in other countries, including cardinals and nuncios. Vatican citizenship cannot be passed to children and spouses; and, except for the Pope and cardinals, Vatican citizenship is lost when the term of office comes to an end, for the Swiss Guards, nuncios and diplomats, and other people working for the Vatican.
St. Peter's square seen from the basilica.
The basilica, in early morning
- "Internet portal of Vatican City State". Vatican City State. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- Gerhard Robbers, Encyclopedia of World Constitutions (Infobase Publishing 2006), p. 1009 ISBN 978-0-81606078-8
- Nick Megoran, "Theocracy" in International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, vol. 11, Elsevier 2009, p.226| Quote:elective theocracy (although its representatives would be unlikely to accept that label) ISBN 978-0-08-044911-1
- ITU-T assigned code 379 to Vatican City. However, Vatican City is included in the Italian telephone numbering plan and uses the Italian country code 39, followed by 06 (for Rome) and 698.
- www.vatican.va Holy See Press Office — General Information. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
- "Stato della Città del Vaticano" is the name used in the text of the state's Fundamental Law and in the state's official website Archived 2013-12-04 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Vatican City State - Homepage". Archived from the original on 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
- "Popolazione". www.vaticanstate.va. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
- In accordance with paragraph 2 of the Legge sulle fonti del diritto of 7 June 1929, all laws and regulations of the state are published in the Italian language Supplemento per le leggi e disposizioni dello Stato della Città del Vaticano attached to the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. The text of the first seven items published in that supplement is given here. Archived 2010-12-27 at the Wayback Machine While the state itself uses only Italian, many other languages are used by institutions situated within the state, such as the Holy See, the Pontifical Swiss Guard, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
The Holy See uses Latin as an official language and French as a diplomatic language; in addition, its Secretariat of State uses English, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The Swiss Guard, in which commands on parade are given in German, also uses French and Italian in all its official ceremonies.
- Visitors and tourists are not permitted to drive inside the Vatican without specific permission, which is normally granted only to those who have business with some office in the Vatican.