10 interesting facts you may not know about the Vatican city
One of the main attractions of Italy is the Vatican City. Tourists in large numbers, irrespective of their faith visit the place for its charm and ethnicity. It is where the pope resides.
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. As unique as it is, we bring to you some of the most interesting facts about the Vatican City.
-The 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.
--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.
-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 stamps its own coins. The €1 coin which has a portrait of the present Pope is in high demand with collectors.
-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.
One of the main attractions in Italy is the Vatican City.