Where is the Vatican and Why Should I Go?

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Every Roman Catholic in the world knows where is the Vatican. The heart of the Roman Catholic Church is a city-state in the middle of Rome, Italyinfo-icon

Officially named Vatican City State, the Vatican has a population around 1,000 people and a surface of just 0,44 km2. This is the smallest country in the world. It is an ecclesiastical state, ruled by the Pope. 

Vatican City's history began in 1929 when it was founded by the Lateral Treaty between Italy and the Holy See. It is stated clearly that Vatican City is a new creation and not the legacy of the old Papal State that had power and territories during history. 

Vatican City is here to represent the Roman Catholic Church and to bring peace to its believers.

Many people come to see where is the Vatican. Although just a few people live here, it is visited daily by more than 20,000 people. 5 million people come here every year. They search for peace, tranquility, and serenity. They come for listening to the holy words and the Papal Mass. They also come to see Vatican's museums, which host amazing works of art. 

Vatican City has a special statute and visiting this area is subject to conditions. One of them is referring to clothing. As a sign of respect, the visitors have to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

Learn where is the Vatican and more in the following paragraphs!

Best Time to Visit the Vatican

The entrance to where is the Vatican City is always open.
The entrance to the Vatican City is always open.

Considering where is the Vatican, the weather is not a problem when you plan a journey here. If you want to avoid the crowd and have the Vatican City attractions mostly for yourself, plan your visit in the first three months of the year. 

Every Wednesday, when he is in town, the Pope holds a General Audience in Saint Peter's Square. So in the Vatican, Wednesday seems to be a better day than Sunday, due to the fact that on Sunday the museums are closed.

Read more: Where is San Marino

If you want to participate in a Papal Mass, like Christmas or Easter, you will need to reserve a ticket with several months in advance. 

The tickets are free but mandatory. Even with a ticket, you can still be left out if the place is full.

How to Get Around the Vatican

The Vatican is the smallest country in Europe and you can only visit it on foot.
The Vatican is the smallest country in Europeinfo-icon and you can only visit it on foot.

Vatican City is so small that you can only visit it by foot. Nevertheless, you are not allowed to see everything. 

Saint Peter's Square and the museums are all that the public can attend. 

But there are many entrances in the square, and a Vatican City map can help you avoid the most crowded areas.

What to Do in the Vatican

Sistine Chapel was designed by the pioneers of Renaissance architecture and art.
Sistine Chapel was designed by the pioneers of Renaissance architecture and art.

Many people come to see the Vatican for religious reasons. But there are also many who come to look at artworks that made history. 

In the Vatican, you can see St. Peter’s Basilica designed by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It is the most famous work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. 

The contribution of Michelangelo and the huge Dome are just two of the incredible beauties that you'll find here. 

Speaking of Michelangelo, the Vatican is also the place you need to be in order to see his masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. 

Situated in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, the Sistine Chapel is decorated with works of Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Cosimo Rosselli. The ceiling is Michelangelo's project, which is considered one of the greatest artistic achievements of human civilization.

Read more: Where is Andorra

Michelangelo returned later to do another work in the Sistine Chapel, The Last Judgment, which covers the whole altar wall of the chapel.

If you think of where is the Vatican and who protects the Pope, you will get a little confused. The Vatican has no army; instead, it has the Swiss Guard. Known mostly for its historical and colorful uniform, the Swiss Guard has been guarding the Pope since 1506.

What to Eat in the Vatican

You can get food in the Vatican mostly from the museums, but beware; it's quite expensive!
You can get food in the Vatican mostly from the museums, but beware; it's quite expensive!
     

There are no real places to eat in Vatican City. You can take a coffee or a snack from the museum's cafe, but it will be expensive and crowded. 

It's best to bring something from outside if you think you'll stay for long. But, there are plenty of beautiful places to eat out of the Vatican, meaning in Italy.

Italian food is no mystery: pasta, pizza, gelato (ice cream), Mediterranean cuisine, fish and sea fruits, prosecco, wine, and limoncello, and everything that you could wish for. 

Read more: Check out This Food in Rome!

If you plan to visit the Vatican, put a sandwich and a bottle of water in your bag and feel free to eat like an Italian afterwards!


Vatican City is a unique place. Many people come only to visit the Vatican, despite the fact that surrounding Rome is also an incredible place to be. The masterpiece of Michelangelo and the Renaissance artworks add more beauty to a place already full of charm and serenity. Vatican City is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it really doesn't matter what religion you have or if you have one. Now that you know where is the Vatican, it's time to experience this majestic place!

Monica Radulescu a freelance writer for aSabbatical.com
Travelling is a joy. It's a way to become a better and wiser person. Mountain paths and road trips are my favourites.