Vatican City is the smallest country in the world with the smallest population. It measures 44 hectares ( 110 acres) and has a population of about 1000 people.
St. Peter’s Basilica sits atop a city of the dead, including its namesake’s tomb.
Caligula captured the obelisk that stands in St. Peter’s Square.
For nearly 60 years in the 1800s and 1900s, popes refused to leave the Vatican.
Benito Mussolini signed Vatican City into existence.
The Swiss Guard was hired as a mercenary force.
At several times during the Vatican’s history, popes escaped through a secret passageway.
The majority of Vatican City’s 600 citizens live abroad.
The Vatican Observatory owns a telescope in Arizona.
On the occasion of election of a new pope, believers throng in large numbers to it.
Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. It is unique in itself as it an independent land within a country, one of its kinds in the world.
The city has been used as a shooting location for a number of Hollywood movies.
The Vatican has its own Post office and issues its own stamps. The Vatican mail system is widely used by Romans as in most cases is a lot quicker than Italian mail.
And Also stamps its own coins. The €1 coin which has a portrait of the present Pope is in high demand with collectors.
The Vatican's radio station is located in a tower inside the Vatican Gardens and broadcasts in 20 languages throughout the world.
The Vatican's railway Station was opened in 1930 and is mostly used for freight.
Piazza di San Pietro (St Peter's Square) and the colonnade were designed and built by Bernini (completed in 1667). At 314 meters long and 240 meters wide it is the largest square in Rome. Bernini (with the help of his pupils) designed the 140 statues of saints which decorate the colonnade.
The Vatican City issues its own passports; the Pope, cardinals, members of the Swiss guard and clergy being the recipients.
The Vatican City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the only site to encompass a whole country.
Italians are allowed to donate 8% of their yearly taxes to the Vatican (this is instead of paying it to the Italian Government).
The Vatican museums are over 9 miles (14,5 kilometers) long, and it is said that if you spent only 1 minute admiring each painting it would take you 4 years to complete the circuit!
Citizenship in the Vatican is not guaranteed by birth, but by appointment.