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Vatican City State

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Vatican Tours
| area=0.44 sq km
| population=821 (July 2007 est.)
| language=Latin (official)<br/>spoken: [[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 statecountry, 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''.[[File:Engelsburg in Rom (16019333364).jpg|thumb|Castel Sant'Angelo]]
'''Borgo''' is the fourteenth ''rione'' (ward) of Rome and is also the closest neighbourhood 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 district is located in the area between the Tiber river, via di Porta Cavalleggeri, Vatican City, Castel Sant'Angelo and piazza del Risorgimento. The ward itself can be divided as follows:
==Get around==
With only 109 acres (44 hectares) within its walls, the Vatican is easily traveled travelled by foot; however, most of this area is inaccessible to tourists. The most popular areas open to tourists are the St. Peter's basilica Basilica and the Vatican Museums.
If you're heading up Monte Mario, wear comfortable shoes - it's quite a climb!
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===Swiss Guard===
[[Image:Swiss Papal Guards.JPG|thumb|right|250px|Swiss Guards]]
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 the '''Saint's Tomb''', call the excavations office at least a week in advance at 06-6988-5318, €10 or email at [email protected] - €13 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 AC.DE. 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 AC.DE. and continuing until his death in 67 AC.DE. 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 AC.DE. 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="" 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 &amp; 6 Jan, 11 Feb, 19 Mar, 4 &amp; 5 Apr, 1 May , 29 Jun, 14 &amp; 15 Aug, 1 Nov, and 8, 25 &amp; 26 Dec" price="€16€17, 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 SaSat, M, the last Su Sun of the momonth it's Free, 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. Always check if there is actually a queue before getting a guide on the street to skip it, many guides will tell you that there is a huge queue ahead even when there is none or a short one. Two hour English tours cost €31 €33 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 []. 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.
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.
If you are into photography, the St. Peter's square is perhaps very a irritating location because of always being full of people, barricades, security and speakers and lights hanging from places. Even on weekdays when it is raining, the area is just very crowded. Do not have high hopes of getting a nice natural picture in the Vatican.
===Vatican Tours===
Guided tours are provided by the Vatican itself for €32. Tours can be booked, 60 days before the requested tour date, here: []. Guided tours are also offered by several other companies.
List of Companies offering Vatican Tours:
EcoArt Travel - Small group Vatican tours offered in the Morning, afternoon and during night openings in summer. Morning tours include breakfast inside the Vatican Museums. View their direct website here: []
* <listing name=" STPETERSBASILICAWHEELCHAIR - Wheelchairs for rent in Rome " alt="" directions="Rome" lat="" long="" address="Via Sebastiano Veniero, 21" phone="+39 3348898387" tollfree="" email="[email protected]" fax="" url=“" hours="Mon-Sat: 08:00 - 17:30, Sun: 10:00 - 16:00" price=“€15">'''Wheelchair Friendly Vatican tours''' for people with reduced mobility or disability, as well rental of wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and more aids equipments.</listing>
* <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>
* <eat name="Pastasciutta" alt="" address="Via Delle Grazie, 5" directions="100m from St. Peter's Basilica square" phone="3336503758" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">6 types of fresh pasta (pasta fresca). Cheap, 4.5-6 eur.</eat>
*<eat name="The Loft" alt="" address="Via Leone IV 34" directions="Metro A Ottaviano stop, 2 blocks up Via Cesare, on corner" phone="3470045169" url="" hours="morning -night" reaasonable priced" lat="" long="">excellent authentic cuisine, owners & staff make one feel at home</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 environments 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="" 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>
* '''Guest House Chester Suites Rome''' – Via Cola di Rienzo, 265 - 00192 Rome, Italy []. Telefono +39 320 655 6797 • Only five rooms with all the services necessary. Private bathroom with hydro massage shower, air conditioning, TV, and wi-fi and breakfast included. Rates: Single N/A; Double €104-€152.
* <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="" 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="Amor Bed &amp; Breakfast" alt="" address="viale Giulio Cesare, 183" directions="" phone="+39 335 5689388" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="" checkin="12:00" checkout="11:00" price="From €80Single €76-95; Double €86-€130 ">A stylish bed &amp; breakfast near the Vatican City.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Atlante Star HotelRome" alt="" address="via Giovanni Via G. Vitelleschi, 34- 00193 Rome, Italy" directions="" phone="+39 06 6873233687 3233" email="" fax="+39 06 6872300" url="" checkin="14:00" checkout="11:00" price="From €120Single €108-€250; Double €143-€265">Four star hotel with rooftop terrace restaurant overlooking St. Peter's. Breakfast and wi-fi included.</sleep>
*<sleep name="B&B Gli Artisti" alt="" address="via degli Scipioni, 53" directions="" phone="+39 3382078356" email="" fax="" url="" 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>
* '''Hotel Pacific Rome''' – Viale Medaglie d'Oro, 51, 00136, Rome, Italy. []. Telephone +39 06 39732085 • Fax +39 06 39732072. This hotel presents single, double, twin and triple rooms with private bath, shower, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and breakfast included. Starting from 55 euros for a single up to 110 for a triple.
* '''Hotel Franklin Feel the Sound Rome''' - Via Rodi 29 - 00195 Rome, Italy []. Telephone +39 06 3903 0165 • Fax +39 06 3975 1652. Bedrooms and decor with music theme, private bath, free wi-fi and breakfast included. Rates: Single €76-95; Double €86-€130.
* '''La Dimora dei Sogni B&B Rome''' - Via Premuda, 3, 00198 Rome, Italy. [] • Telephone +39 333.5882988. Rooms with LCD TV, air conditioning, heating, orthopedic mattresses, desk, chair, mirror, closet, bed linen and towels. Breakfast is included. Also available rooms with private bath. Rates: Double rooms Euros 70, Triple Euros 80.
* <sleep name="Hotel Isa" address="via Cicerone, 39" phone="+39 6 3212610" email="[email protected]" fax="+39 6 3212610" price="€100-400" url=""></sleep>
==Staying SafeStay 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 wary 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 a hot topic in the Roman Catholic Church. While Pope Francis has declared the sexuality in Vatican City sees homosexuality as a sin and no public accommodations are LGBT friendly. Attacks may rarely occur and of itself to police may be a sin, sexual contact with a person of the same sex, outside of marriage, is considered sinfulcomplicit or unsympathetic. This is held against heterosexuals as wellLBGT are encouraged to keep their sexuality private.  The Vatican is conservative in what they want you to wear, so if you visit a church there, make sure your clothing covers as much skin as it can , particularly your legs. Wearing skimpy outfits along with being condemned by people around you will limit what places you can gain entry to.
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. Try to keep your beliefs to yourself and ''avoid debating over them''.  Sleeveless shirts and short pants or skirts are not permitted within the border of the Vatican. This is rarely enforced, but you will be refused entry to the Basilica and museum (or anywhere else with a security check).
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