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| area=0.44 sq km
| population=821 (July 2007 est.)
| religion=Roman Catholic (100% and official)
| electricity=230V/50Hz (European or Italian plug)
Perhaps the '''Vatican''' needs no introduction. As the centre of the
'''Vatican City''' ([[Italian phrasebook|Italian]]: ''Stato della Città del Vaticano'') is an independent
'''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:
With 109 acres (44 hectares) within its walls, the Vatican is easily
If you're heading up Monte Mario, wear comfortable shoes - it's quite a climb!
[[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,
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
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="
[[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
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.
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,
* <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="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="
* <sleep name="Atlante Star Hotel" alt="" address="
*<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>
* '''Hotel Pacific Rome''' – Viale Medaglie d'Oro, 51, 00136, Rome, Italy. [http://www.hotelpacificroma.com/]. 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.
* '''La Dimora dei Sogni B&B Rome''' - Via Premuda, 3, 00198 Rome, Italy. [http://www.dimoravaticano.it/?lang=en] • 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="http://www.hotelisa.net"></sleep>
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'' .