The smallest country in the world is the Vatican. Just like San Marino, it is enclaved in Italy or more specifically enclaved in Rome. This small state is the heart of Catholicism and have a symbolic and powerful influence despite its small size. Moreover, the Vatican is the home of the Pope and around 800 other people many of them are nuns and priests.
I visited the Vatican back in 2010 with my family as part of a trip to Rome. It was an interesting visit as I discovered more about the history of the country and Christianity. On this article, I give you 5 reasons why you should visit The Vatican!
1- Home of the Pope
Just as small as it is, The Vatican has a very rich history. It is an area where historical events took place and just recently the new election of Pope Francis. The country is home of the Pope since the 14th century and is one of the top reasons to visit the Holy City, either for pilgrimage or for leisure. There are various occasions to spot the Pope around if the trip is planned in advance.
2- Saint-Peter’s Basilica
This impressive building is probably one of the most beautiful religious site I have ever seen alongside the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. I felt a strong energy coming from the walls of this place, a perfect temperature inside to hide from August’s burning sun and an exceptional sound of peace and calm. Sadly, I did not like all the tourists around but what can I do, I was one of them enjoying this fantastic place for free. Indeed, entrance is free to anyone. The main restrictions are the clothes, you must dress properly! There is also the Saint-Peter’s Square interesting by it’s structure.
3- Sistine Chapel
This is the main location where Cardinals choose a new Pope and it is also an impressive artwork dated back from 1473. My friend says there is a spectacular piece of art by Michelangelo “The Creation of Adam”. The following quote summarises everything!
Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving.
– Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Rome 1787
4- The Panoramic View
An amazing view can be seen from Monte Mario where there is a large scenic panorama of the Vatican City and beyond to the Italian neighbour.
5- The People
Apart from the millions of tourists coming to Vatican every year, you might be lucky to notice some of the “locals”. The country is mainly composed of nuns, priests, cardinals,..etc. I have also noticed some guards with a colourful uniform just like they were going to perform in a circus… But those are the Swiss Guards! They are there to protect the Pope, they are also the smallest and the oldest standing army in the world.
Apart from these 5 reasons why visit the Vatican, I would also like to add few points: avoid eating in the area around as prices are very high, stay respectful to the people of The Vatican and their religious habits and make sure you take a blessing with you back home after your Holy visit!