| area=0.44 sq km
| population=821 (July 2007 est.)
, [[Italian_phrasebook|Italian]] (official)
| religion=Roman Catholic (100% and official)
| electricity=230V/50Hz (European or Italian plug)
Perhaps the '''Vatican''' needs no introduction. As the centre of the
Roman Catholic Church, the '''Vatican City''' state - along with the surrounding Italian districts of '''Borgo''', '''Prati''' and the area around the '''Monte Mario''' - is filled with more history and artwork than most cities in the world.
'''Vatican City''' ([[Italian phrasebook|Italian]]: ''Stato della Città del Vaticano'') is an
'''independent country ''', the latest incarnation of the old Papal States and the temporal seat of the Pope, head of the worldwide Catholic Church; entirely surrounded by the city of [[Rome ]], in [[Italy]], the Vatican is also the world's smallest state. Outside Vatican City itself, thirteen buildings in Rome and one at Castel Gandolfo (the Pope's summer residence) also enjoy extraterritorial rights. On March 13, 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected Pontiff and thus ruler of the Vatican, taking the name ''Francis''.
'''Borgo'' ' is the fourteenth ''rione'' (ward) of Rome and is also the closest to the Vatican. Despite its historical, cultural and artistical importance, parts of it were razed in the 1930s in order to build the grandiose (and, arguably, ugly) ''via della Conciliazione''. What remains today of the neighbourhood is located in the area between the Tiber, via della Conciliazione, Vatican City, Castel Sant'Angelo and piazza del Risorgimento.
The ward itself can be divided as follows: ''Borgo S. Spirito'' is the area between via di Porta Cavalleggeri, the Tiber river and via della Conciliazione; ''Borgo Pio'' lies between said boulevard and the Leonine Walls; ''Borgo Vittorio'' is located on the other side of the walls, while the adjacent ''Borgo Angelico'' border with piazza del Risorgimento (in the Prati district); ''Borgo Sant'Angelo'' lies between Castel Sant'Angelo to the West and via della Conciliazione to the South. The main streets in the ward are also called ''borghi'' (and not ''vie'' as in the rest of the city).
'''Prati''' is the twenty-second, and last, ''rione'' of the city. An elegant district laid out in the late 19th century, it was designed to house (along with the Esquilino neighbourhood and the area around piazza della Repubblica) the civil servants of the newly-established Kingdom of Italy. Unlike the Esquilino
, which housed the less wealthy among the State employees , Prati was home to the city's rising burgeoisie. Its most important squares are the now recently renovated piazza Cavour and piazza del Risorgimento (near the Vatican Museums) , while the main boulevard is the via Cola di Rienzo - also one of Rome's most famous shopping streets.
The neighbourhood was built during a time of tensions between the Pope and the Italian state and therefore, city planners designed its street layout in such a way to make impossible for anyone to see St. Peter's dome from its wide and carefully planned streets. The district hosts, among the other things, a Waldensian church (on piazza Cavour).
The Vatican sits on a low hill between 19 m and 75 m above sea level. With a boundary only 3.2 km around, the enclosed land area is smaller than some shopping malls; however, the buildings are far more historic and architecturally interesting. Note that, when talking about the country's terrain, most of it
's part of the Vatican gardens.
Although not a member of either the [[EU|European Union]] or the [[EEA|European Economic Area]], the Vatican maintains an open border with Italy and is treated as part of the Schengen Area.
It's easy to get to the Vatican by taxi, bus, Metro (the adjacent Prati district is served by line '''A'''), tram or by foot from Rome (the closest neighbourhood on the other side of the Tiber being [[Rome/Old Rome|the area around piazza Navona]]). A beautiful experience can be get to St. Peter's by walking from piazza Venezia, along via del Plebiscito, corso Vittorio Emanuele II and then via della Conciliazione (or, if you want, from Termini walking along via Nazionale) in one of the closest approximation to the Washingtonian "National Mall" or the Parisian "Voie Imperiale" that Rome has to offer you (the other is via dei Fori Imperiali). Take Metro line A to the "Ottaviano - S. Pietro - Musei Vaticani" for the Museums and St. Peter's or tram #19 to ''piazza del Risorgimento''.
With 109 acres (44 hectares) within its walls, the Vatican is easily
traveled by foot; however, most of this area is inaccessible to tourists. The most popular areas open to tourists are the St. Peter's basilica and the Vatican Museums.
If you're heading up Monte Mario, wear comfortable shoes - it's quite a climb!
===St. Peter's Basilica===
left|''Dome of St. Peter's basilica in Vatican City'']]
The centre of the Catholic world, this magnificent basilica with its dome (designed by Michelangelo) has an awe-inspiring interior. This place is huge, but everything is in such proportion that the scale escapes you. To give you a comparison, you can fit the [[Manhattan/Lower Manhattan|Statue of Liberty]], statue and pedestal (height from ground of pedestal to torch: 93m), underneath the dome (interior height of 120m from floor to top of dome) with room to spare.
[[Image:St. Peter's.JPG|thumb|right|250px|Baldacchino and the dome, St. Peter's basilica]]
Aside from going inside, you can take an elevator up to the roof and then make a long climb up 323 steps to the '''top of the dome''' for a spectacular view. It costs
€7 for the elevator ( €5 to climb the stairs) and allow an hour to go up and down. During the climb and before reaching the very top, you will find yourself standing on the inside of the dome, looking down into the basilica itself. Be warned that there are a lot of stairs so it is not for the faint at heart (literally or figuratively) nor the claustrophobic as the very last section of the ascent is through a little more than shoulder-width spiral staircase. Instead of leaving out the doors you came in, go down into the crypt to see the tomb of Pope John Paul II, the crypt leaves out the front.
Note: a strict dress code is enforced (as in many other places of worship), so have your shoulders covered, wear trousers or a not-too-short dress, and men must take your hats off (which is the custom in churches in Europe. You might be required to check bags at the entrance. Photos are allowed to be taken inside, but not with a flash. The lack of light will probably cause your pictures not to turn out very well, so you may want to buy a few postcards to keep as souvenirs.
The basilica is open Apr-Sep
09:00-19:00 daily and Oct-Mar 09:00-18:00; closed W mornings for papal audiences.
Daily masses M-Sa 08:30, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, and 17:00, and Su and holidays at 08:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:10, 13:00, 16:00, and 17:30.
Free 90 minute tours leave daily from the Tourist Information at 2:15PM, many days also at 3PM. Telephone: 06-6988-1662. €5 audio-guides can be rented from the checkroom.
Tours are the only way to see the '''Vatican Gardens''', €12, book at least a day in advance by calling 06-6988-4676, Tu,Th, & Sa at 10:00, depart from tour desk and finish in St. Peter's square. To tour the '''Necropolis''' and
'''Saint's Tomb''', call the excavations office at least a week in advance at 06-6988-5318,
for 2-hour tour, office open M-Sa 09:00-17:00.
If you want to '''see the Pope''', you can either see a usual blessing from his apartment at '''noon on Sunday''', just show up (however, in the summer he gives it from his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, 40 km/25 mi from Rome) or you can go to the more formal '''Wednesday''' appearance. The pope arrives in the popemobile at 10:30 to bless crowds from a balcony or platform, except in winter, when he speaks in the ''Aula Paolo VI'' auditorium next to the square. You can easily watch from a distance or get a free ticket, which you must get on the Tuesday before. There are a number of ways:
The fountains were designed by two different architects, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The '''obelisk''' in the middle of the square was transported from Egypt to Rome in 37
A. D. by the Emperor Caligula to mark the spine of a circus eventually completed by Nero. The so-called Circus of Nero was parallel to and to the south of the east-west axis of the current basilica. It was in this circus that St. Peter was crucified in the first official persecutions of Christians undertaken by Nero beginning in 64 A. D. and continuing until his death in 67 A. D. The original location of the obelisk is marked with a plaque located near the sacristy on the south side of the basilica, where it remained until it was moved in 1586 A. D. by Pope Sixtus V to its present location.
During the Middle Ages, the '''bronze ball on top of the obelisk''' was believed to contain the ashes of Julius Caesar. When it was relocated to the present reliquary, the Chigi Star in honour of Pope Alexander VII was added, containing pieces of the True Cross. This is the only obelisk in Rome that never toppled since it was placed in ancient Rome and is the second largest Egyptian obelisk after the Lateran obelisk. This celebrated obelisk nearly shattered while it was being moved. Upon orders of the pope, no one was to speak a word otherwise he would be excommunicated. However, a sailor shouted to water the ropes to prevent them from burning. He was forgiven and in gratitude for saving the day, the palms for Palm Sunday still come from the sailor's home town of Bordighera. The moving of this obelisk was celebrated in engravings during its time to commemorate the Renaissance's recovery and mastery of ancient knowledge.
===The Vatican Museums===
<see name="The Vatican Museums" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_Home.html" hours="M-Sa 09:00-18:00 (last tickets at 16:00). Closed Su except last Su of the mo; when it is free, crowded, and open 09:00-14:00. The museum is closed for holidays on: 1 1 & 6 Jan, 11 Feb, 19 Mar, 4 & 5 Apr, 1 May , 29 Jun, 14 & 15 Aug, 1 Nov, and 8, 25 & 26 Dec" price="
€15, Concessions €8" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">One of the greatest art galleries in the world, the museum is most famous for its spiral staircase, the Raphael Rooms and the exquisitely decorated Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's frescoes. It's organised in such a way that the visitor has to follow a one-way route; do see it! Don't put it off, because it closes before the rest of the museum does!</see>
[[Image:Vatican Museum.JPG|thumb|right|250px|Double Spiral Staircase, exit of Vatican Museum]]
You can get to the Vatican Museums by taking Metro line '''A''' (direction: "Battistini") and getting off at the "Ottaviano - S.Pietro - Musei Vaticani" or "Cipro" stops (10 minutes walk). Bus #49 stops in front of the museum entrance, buses #32, #81 and #982, along with tram line #19, stop on piazza del Risorgimento (5 minutes walk); buses #492 and #990 stop at via Leone IV and via degli Scipioni, respectively (5 minutes walk).
The Museums are, usually, most crowded on
, M, the last
, rainy days, and the days before or after a holiday. Dress code: no short shorts or bare shoulders. Telephone: +39 06 69884947. There are often lengthy queues from the entrance that stretch around the block in the early morning. Non-guided visitors should join the queue that is to the left as you are facing the entrance; the queue on the right is intended for guided group visitors
. Two hour English tours cost
and includes museum admission, and leave at 10:30, 12:00, 14:00 in summer, 10:30 and 11:15 in winter. To reserve, book online [http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do]. Other contact details: for groups [email protected]
, for individuals: [email protected]
, tel. + 39 06 69883145 or +39 06 69884676, fax + 39 06 69873250.
With a booking you skip the queue and enter through the exit, next to entry, to go to the guided tours desk. There are also audio-guides available from the top of the escalator/ramp for €7. Two people to share a single unit plugging in a standard set of earphones.
Accessing the Sistine Chapel requires walking through many other ( spectacular) halls and buildings (including the Raphael's Rooms) and it takes about an hour, but if you are confined to a wheelchair or travelling with a baby pram or stroller you can use the lifts and go straight to the Sistine Chapel. It takes 5-10 minutes unless you stop along the long corridor. Note that although the Museum is quite large, no free map is available - you must bring your own, or purchase a guidebook in the shop for €10 or more.
Also, be aware that it is not allowed to take pictures or to talk loudly in the Sistine Chapel (although everybody flagrantly violates these rules). While one may agree with this policy or not, the visit would be a much more pleasant one without the guards having to yell out ''"Shh!"'' or: "''No foto e no video!"'' every two minutes. The bottom line is: respect the rules and let every visitor enjoy the best of the experience, even if no one else does. If you try to sneak a picture (again, like everyone does), you'll get a bad photograph and a screaming guard as your reward.
* <see name="Castel Sant'Angelo" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.castelsantangelo.com/info.asp" hours="09:00-19.00, last entry at 18:30, closed Ms" price="€8.5, with reductions. Roma Pass accepted" lat="" long="" email="" fax=""> Perhaps the most fascinating building in Rome. The core of the structure began life as the mausoleum of the Emperor Hadrian, built between 135 and 139 AD. Subsequent strongholds were built on top of the mausoleum during the Middle Ages and were in turn incorporated into a residence and castle by the Popes. The building was used as a prison until 1870, but now houses a museum. Opera buffs will be exhilarated to visit the balcony from which Tosca leaps to her death; film buffs will recognise as a setting from ''Angels and Demons''.</see>
* <see name="Palazzo di Giustizia" alt="Palace of Justice" address="piazza Cavour" directions="buses #87 and #130; Metro line A, "Lepanto" stop" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Designed by architect Guglielmo Calderini and built from 1889 to 1911 in order to house the ''Corte di Cassazione'' (the Italian equivalent of the Supreme Court), this imposing neo-Renaissance palace underwent extensive restoration in 1970, when its foundations nearly sunk into the alluvial terrain. The adjoining piazza Cavour was laid out by architect Nicodemo Severi in 1885, and a sculpture by Stefano Galletti celebrating Count Camillo Benso di Cavour (the ''éminence grise'' behind the Italian Unification) lies at the centre of the gardens.
Following the construction of an underground parking lot between 2006 and 2012 , the square has been recently refurbished.
While guidebooks do their best to provide an aid for viewing the collections inside the Vatican, a guided tour is a far better way to make sure you get the most out of your visit.
Guided tours are provided by the Vatican itself for €32. Tours can be booked, 60 days before the requested tour date, here: [http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do?action=booking&codiceTipoVisita=10&step=2]. Guided tours are also offered by several other companies.
* <eat name="Old Bridge" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Located across the street from the Leonine walls, near the Vatican Museums. Very cheap</eat>
Coffee (''caffè'') in the morning, mineral water for lunch - either ''gassata''/''frizzante'' (sparkling) or ''liscia'' (plain mineral water) - and try to find rosé wine in the evening: it goes very well with all Italian dishes, and keeps one and one's company fresh and summery. Care and solid experience is advised when arriving from colder climates, to absorb the many new, ever so pleasant,
enviroments and tastes, and the delicates of balancing wine and water, with creamy sauces and vinegars.
* <sleep name="Casa Frida" alt="" address="via Angelo Emo, 97" phone="+39 339 2768290" url="http://www.casafrida.it/" checkin="" checkout="" price="From €70 per room" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]
" fax="">Holiday House next to the Vatican and the Metro Line A.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Excel St. Peter Hotel" alt="" address="via Catone, 34" directions="" phone="+39 06 39735082" lat="" long="" tollfree="" email="" fax="+39 6 39754358" url="http://www.excelstpeter.it/" checkin="" checkout="" price="Singles €32, double €39">With single, twin, double, triple and quadruple rooms. All with private bath, shower, internet access, TV and telephone.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Oasi Verde a San Pietro" alt="" address=" Via Ormisda 10/a - Roma 00165" directions="" phone="+39 06.39388499" lat="" long="" tollfree="" email="[email protected]
" fax="" url="http://www.oasiverdeasanpietro.it/" checkin="" checkout="" price="Double bedrooms min 50€ max 110€">L'Oasi Verde a San Pietro B&B offers rooms in Rome, a 15-minute walk from Saint Peter’s Square. It features a garden and free Wi-Fi throughout.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Vatican Station
Rome" alt="" address="via Vito Artale, 6" directions="" phone="+ 39 6 45664168" url="http://www.vaticanstation.com/" checkin="12:00" checkout="10:00" price="From €50" lat="" long="" to="to" the="the" metro="Metro" stop="stop" of="of" line="Line" email="[email protected]
" fax="">Fast Internet Wi-fi and Breakfast included. In addition to its proximity to the Metro A (300 m), also very close to the bus stop (50 m) where it is possible to take several bus lines (
, 991, 999
). All the rooms
of the Bed and Breakfast
are air conditioned, paved in marble, have a comfortable bed queen-size with latex mattress and a separate private bathroom equipped with: big shower, hairdryer, towels and soap set
=== Mid range ===
* <sleep name="Amor Bed & Breakfast" alt="" address="viale Giulio Cesare, 183" directions="" phone="+39 335 5689388" email="[email protected]
" fax="" url="http://www.amor-bed-breakfast.com" checkin="12:00" checkout="11:00" price="
">A stylish bed & breakfast near the Vatican City.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Atlante Star Hotel" alt="" address="
via Giovanni Vitelleschi, 34" directions="" phone="+39 06 6873233" email="" fax="" url="http:// www.atlantestarhotel.com" checkin=" 14:00" checkout=" 11:00" price=" From €120">Four star hotel with rooftop terrace restaurant overlooking St. Peter's.</sleep>
*<sleep name="B&B Gli Artisti" alt="" address="via degli Scipioni, 53" directions="" phone="+39 3382078356" email="" fax="" url="http://www.bbgliartisti.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="From €64">Three colourful rooms are rented out in this B&B, a little less than a kilometre from the main entrance to the Vatican.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Best Vatican" alt="" address="via degli Scipioni 135" directions="" phone="+39 3358714840" url="http://www.bestbb.it" checkin="" checkout="" price="From €120/person" lat="" long="">New, modern B&B. Private bathrooms, LCD TVs with DVD players. </sleep>
* <sleep name="Domus Quiritum B&B" alt="" address="via Duilio, 7" directions="500 m from St. Peter's square, next to the "Lepanto" Metro stop" phone="+39 338 2996291 " email="[email protected]
" fax="" url="http://www.domusquiritum.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="€80/140">Lovely and Friendly B&B.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Leone B&B" alt="" address="via Leone IV, 109" directions="Less than 2 blocks from the "Ottaviano" Metro stop" email="[email protected]
" phone="+39 338 6112656" fax="+39 6 3203663" checkin="" checkout="" price="€70/90" url=" http://www.leonebb.it/?lingua=gb">Located one block from the entrance to Vatican City, this independent bed and breakfast is clean and cozy. Free breakfast.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Mocenigo Vatican Suites" alt="" address="via Mocenigo, 16" directions="" phone="+39 3383823606" email="[email protected]
" fax="" url="http://www.mocenigovaticansuites.com" checkin="14:00" checkout="10:00" price="From €75">Opened in February 2009, this seven room guest house is only 100 m from the main entrance to the Vatican Museums.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Papa Vista Relais" alt="" address="via Tunisi, 3" directions="" phone="+39 6 65420553" email="" fax= "" url="http://www.relaispapavista.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="From €80">Recently opened guesthouse fairly close to the Vatican's main entrance, near the Metro station Cipro.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Residenza dei Gracchi" alt="" address="via dei Gracchi, 84" directions="" phone="+39 6 320 8226" lat="" long="" tollfree="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.residenzadeigracchi.it/" checkin="" checkout="" price="Double room from €80-180">Cosy guest house with single, double and family rooms. All with Wi-Fi, flat TV, private bath, shower, air conditioning and cleaning services.</sleep>
* <sleep name="St. Peter's Six Temporary Room" alt="" address="via della Conciliazione, 15" directions="100 m from St. Peter's square" phone="+39 6 68809883" email="[email protected]
" fax="" url="http://www.stpetersix.it" checkin="" checkout="" price="€80/190">comfortable and friendly guest house.</sleep>
=== Splurge ===
* <sleep name="B&B Maison Candia" alt="" address="via Candia, 20" directions="" phone="+39 6 39745693" lat="" long="" tollfree="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.maisoncandia.it/english/" checkin="" checkout="" price="">A luxury guest house near the Vatican Museums.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Hotel Isa" address="via Cicerone, 39" phone="+39 6 3212610" email="[email protected]
" fax="+39 6 3212610" price="€100-400" url="http://www.hotelisa.net"></sleep>
Staying Safe==Although there is little crime in the Vatican, pickpockets and scammers from the surrounding city do sneak in so be careful how you hold your money on you and be weary of a deal that seems too good to be true (especially since many items these people bring are cheap and possibly dangerous product rip-offs that are '''illegal to buy'''). Possession of these illegal rip-offs or stolen products may earn you a fine. Homosexuality, although legal, is considered a sin by the Roman Catholic Church and the people there may not be open to you showing your affection in public or private.
Respect and reverence to the Roman Catholic Church and its practices and doctrine is encouraged. Those who aren't Catholic and are openly declaring it by blatantly attacking the Church's views and beliefs might be treated as less than an equal
, or at less looked down on. Try to keep your beliefs to yourself and '' don't get in a debate over them'' .