Vatican City Tourism
A World of Treasures

I invite you to Vatican City Tourism, visited by millions of visitors, that not only come to Italy and Rome, but also to visit this World’s smallest country, as state within a city with only 0.44 square km in size.

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica

This is the number one attraction in the Vatican. This impressive basilica is the first thing you see when arriving. It was built between the 16th and the 18th centuries where it is considered that St Peter is buried.

The work of famous artists begins before you enter the church: in the portico are an equestrian statue of Constantine by Bernini and fragments of a mosaic by Giotto above the main doorway. The huge church of 185 meters long by 46 meters tall rises to a dome 119 meters above and can accommodate a congregation of more than 60,000.

Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel

It was built by Pope Sixtus IV between 1473 and 1484, it is rectangular hall, which is the Pope's domestic chapel, also used for services and special occasions. After the death of a Pope, the conclave to elect his successor is held here.

The renowned frescoes are the works of Michelangelo covering the ceiling and walls. The lateral walls are covered by Bible images against the background of Umbrian and Tuscan sceneries, painted by the most famous artists of the era.

Vatican City Tourism

Piazza San Pietro

Piazza San Pietro

This is the large piazza in front of the basilica was built by Bernini between 1656 and 1667 to provide a space where people from all over the world could gather. It is filled to capacity on Easter Sunday and other special occasions.

In the center there is the Egyptian obelisk brought from Heliopolis by Caligula in AD 39. It was moved here in 1586, an enormous task for those days as it weighs 350 tons.

But the most impressive sight is the façade of the Basilica itself, from whose central balcony the Pope delivers his blessings and announces beatifications and canonizations. This is one of the top Vatican City Tourism spots.

Vatican Palace

It was commissioned as the Vatican’s papal apartments by Pope Julius II and later by Pope Leo X. It is covered by frescoes by Raphael.

Part of the scenes were painted by students or other great artists, after Raphael’s death. It was completed between 1508 and 1511, these works and those in the Sistine Chapel represent the supreme achievement of Renaissance painting.


It contains 16 rooms of priceless art from the Middle Ages, arranged in chronological order. It includes Byzantine, Sienese, Umbrian and Tuscan paintings.

There is a piece of art by Filippo Lippi, the Coronation of the Virgin by Pinturicchio, and a Madonna by Perugino. A room is devoted to tapestries by Raphael; his Madonna of Foligno; and his last painting, the famous 1517 Transfiguration.

Vatican Gardens

Vatican Gardens

It was first created in the 13th century for Pope Nicholas II, meant as a space for quiet reflection. With time the landscaped gardens, grassy gardens and orchards have grown to cover almost half of the tiny city-state and compares to the most beautiful gardens in Italy and the world.

Planted among others are several rare trees, including an Australian silk-oak, as well as many trees that were brought as gifts by official visitors. Perhaps the most significant of these trees is the olive tree, which was presented by the State of Israel to symbolize peaceful relations with the head of the Catholic Church. Tours in the garden must be arranged in advance through the Vatican Museum.

Vatican Necropolis

Besides the papal grottoes where former Popes have been buried in private chapels, there are extensive excavated even deeper in the earth below, revealing burial grounds from as early as the 1st century BCE. The deepest of the three levels contains a pagan burial site, and the next level up contains both pagan and Christian graves, as well as ruins including stone crypts and arches dating through the 5th century.


Vatican Library

The value of its contents makes the Vatican Library the richest in the world, with over 25,000 medieval hand-written books, and 80,000 manuscripts that have been collected since the library's founding in 1450. And that's just the old books; it doesn't count all the books it contains that were printed since the end of the 15th century.

Flag of Vatican

Flag of Vatican

It was adopted on June 7, 1929, the year Pope Pius XI signed the Treaty with Italy, creating a new independent state governed by the Holy See. The Vatican flag is modeled on the flag of the earlier Papal States. The Vatican also refer to it, interchangeably, as flag of the Holy See.

For more information visit Vatican City Tourism Official Website

images for vatican city tourism

basilica by eugene pivoparov
sistine by antoine taveneaux
piazza by till niermann
palace by mikhail malykh
pinacoteca by xiquinosilva
gardens by gugganij
necropolis by blue439
library n/a

all courtesy of wikimedia commons

Map of the State of the Vatican

Map of the State of the Vatican

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