The Vatican or the State of Vatican City, is the Territorial Support of the Holy See and all the institutions of the Roman Catholic church, landlocked in the Italian city of Rome, is the smallest state in the world with about 900 residents. The famous Pontifical Swiss Guard, responsible for protecting the Pope, also resides there. The Vatican, important archaeological site of the Roman world, located on the hill of the same name, is the seat of the papacy and the Catholic world. The reigning pope is Francesco (Francis), born in Argentina, elected in 2013 after the resignation of Benedict XVI. A humble and friendly Pope, loved by all, who is making significant changes to the Catholic Church. The City of the current Vatican can be considered as the remaining old Papal States. The ancient origin of this territory is a series of land donations. There were a few villas, built around imperial gardens that were property of Agrippina, whose son was the emperor Caligula who had built a private circus ‘Circus Vaticanus’ from which we find to date, only the obelisk. The Vatican is an absolute and elective monarchy: the Pope is elected by a qualified majority at the conclave, and reign in life by principle, but he can also give up. The Holy See also has several buildings outside of the Vatican City with their total area is about double that of the Vatican. We can name all of the Lateran (the basilica, the palace and the Scala Santa), St. Mary Major Basilica, Vatican Radio, the Gregorian University, Castel Gandolfo (the Pope’s summer residence), among others.
If you are visiting the Vatican during your stay in Rome, know that one day is not enough to see everything, but it’s a beginning. So to enjoy the day, try to arrive early to enter the Basilica, instead you will find yourself with a long queue that will take away the wish to enter. The best way to travel is by subway; you have to walk just a few meters and you are there. If you care to see the Pope, Francesco released on Wednesday. Inquire for its calendar. If you like museums, the Vatican counts 11 museums with rich collections of sacred art and profane as well as Etruscan and Egyptian antiquities and works of painters, including Michelangelo.