Sightseeing Italy. 25 best places to visit

9. The Vatican

While the Vatican — completely separate state, access to its magnificent monument can only be obtained through Rome. Here you will find places such as the Cathedral of St.

Peter and the Piazza San Pietro. Vatican — the spiritual center of the Catholic world, and one of the most popular visited areas of Rome.

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Vatican City, officially Vatican City State or the State of Vatican City, is a walled enclave within the city of Rome. With an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of 842, it is the smallest State in the world by both area and population, but formally it is not sovereign, sovereignty being held by the Holy See, the only entity of public international law that has diplomatic relations with almost every country in the world.

It is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state (a type of theocracy) ruled by the Bishop of Rome – the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the Popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere.

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