Vatican Basic Info

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

The Vatican is a city-state located in the center of Rome. Although the Vatican is a state, you don’t need a passport, special permit, or even a ticket to stroll onto the beautiful large square in front of St. Peter’s Cathedral. The entire area of the Vatican is 44 hectares, and when you’re in the square, it feels like it’s half the size of the country itself.

Although the history of the Vatican dates back to the 4th century AD, it didn’t gain independence until 1929. The Vatican has only a few hundred inhabitants, mostly staff dedicated to serving the Catholic Church’s leaders. An interesting fact is that nobody is born in the Vatican because there simply isn’t a hospital there.

The Vatican is governed by the Pope, similar to a monarch, during his lifetime. The Pope is appointed by the College of Cardinals from among several candidates.

Before the advent of Christianity and during the first century AD, the Vatican was considered a sacred place until the Emperor Caligula built a circus there, which was continued by Nero. Later, in that same circus, Saint Peter was crucified, after whom the square and the basilica are named. The basilica was built in 326 AD as Constantine’s basilica.

Where is Vatican and How to get from the city Centre?

If you’re staying in one of the hotels in the center of Rome, then you should just walk to Vatican.


For example, if you’re staying near Piazza Navona, it will take you about 20 minutes to walk to the Vatican.


You can reach the Vatican by walking through the old part of Rome. After crossing the bridge over the Tiber, you’ll enter a large avenue leading to St. Peter’s Square. Columns of people will serve as a sufficient guide on where to go. The square and the basilica themselves look grandiose. During the season, a long line winds around the square, formed by visitors to St. Peter’s Basilica. Entry is free, but security checks and verification prevent entry without prior examination, leading to queues.

The Vatican is located in the heart of the city, surrounded by numerous small streets full of restaurants and bistros where it’s hard to find a free spot, especially in the season.

The vast majority of tourists visiting Rome have a visit to the Vatican on their wish list. So, if you want to avoid the crowds and have certain moments and photos just for yourself, it’s necessary to arrive either early in the morning or simply stay in one of the hotels near the Vatican and enjoy this beautiful ambiance.

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