Vatican City

The Vatican City, or Holy See, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, is a walled enclave in the Italian city of Rome. It is the world’s smallest fully independent state.


Geography:

The Vatican’s territory includes 10 other buildings in Rome, plus the papal residence.

The Vatican Gardens cover half the City’s area.

Climate:

Mild winters with regular rainfall. 

Hot, dry summers with occasional thunderstorms. 

People & Society:

The Vatican has about 800 permanent inhabitants, including over 100 lay persons. 

Thousands of lay staff are also employed. 

Citizenship can be acquired through long-term residence and holding a position within the City. 

The reigning pope has supreme legislative and judicial powers, and holds office for life. 

Though the Vatican City is officially neutral, papal opinion has a great influence on the world’s 1.1 billion Roman Catholics.

Economy:

Investments and voluntary contributions made by Catholics worldwide (known as Peter’s Pence) are backed up by tourist revenue and the issue of Vatican stamps and coins.

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