Vatican City Overview

By | January 23, 2021
Official language Italian, Latin
Capital Vatican City
Form of government Absolute monarchy
Area 0.4 km²
Residents 800
Currency Euro
Time zone UTC +1 (CET)
License plate V
Internet TLD .va
Telephone area code 003906 (Source: ALLCITYCODES)


The Vatican City (Stato della Citt¨¤ del Vaticano) is located in the western part of the Italian capital Rome and is the smallest country in the world with an area of ​​0.4 km². It is the rest of the former Papal States on Italian soil, which received full sovereignty in 1929 through the Lateran treaties with the Italian government. See Vatican country abbreviation.

The Vatican is located on the west bank of the Tiber River on a hill (Mons Vaticanus). The center of the country is the Peterskirche, the funeral church of the Apostle Peter and the second largest church in the world. On its north side are the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Palace, in which the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church, resides. The state territory also includes the Vatican Museums and Gardens, the Governor’s Palace and the Pontifical Academy. The Vatican has its own radio station (Radio Vaticano), post office, telegraph office, train station and print shop. Outside the delimited territory west of the Tiber, other buildings in and around Rome belong to the Vatican. These include, for example, the churches of San Giovanni in Laterano, San Paolo fuori le mura and the summer residence of the Pope (Castel Gandolfo),


The Vatican has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. The average July values ​​are around 25 °C, in January an average of 7 °C is measured. The annual rainfall is around 750 mm.


The Vatican as the official seat of the Pope is the spiritual and administrative center of the Roman Catholic Church. Accordingly, the population is largely made up of clergymen. The approximately 550 citizens (total population: approx. 700) are cardinals, prelates, members of the Swiss Guard (who are citizens during their service) and around 50 lay people. Citizenship of the Vatican City is granted “on demand” for a limited period of time and is carried in addition to regular citizenship. According to COUNTRYAAH, the majority of the 3,000 or so employees of the Vatican do not live on the territory of the country and do not have citizenship.

The social and health care of the population is very well developed. The official languages ​​are Latin (for official statements), Italian and French.

Vatican City Overview

Political system

The Vatican City has been a sovereign, independent state since 1929, which is subordinate to the Holy See, the highest authority of the world Catholic Church. The Basic Law, which came into force in 2001, applies. The head of state is the Pope (Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Francis since March 2013), the holder of the highest legislative, executive and judicial power. The Pope is elected for life by the College of Cardinals (includes all cardinals who have not yet reached the age of 80). The Cardinal Secretary of State (Pietro Parolin since October 2013) is the permanent representative of the Pope with the secular leadership of the Vatican State. In the absence of the Pope, the College of Cardinals takes over the papal powers.The legislative power lies with the Pontifical Commission (unless the Pope does not withhold the decision), which is appointed by the Pope every five years. Executive power is exercised by the Vatican City Governorate.

The Vatican City does not have its own army. The Swiss Guard is used for security services in the Vatican.


The Vatican City is a wealthy state. In 1929 he received a sum of around 1.75 billion lire from Italy as compensation for the dissolution of the Papal States, which was invested profitably and today brings high annual distributions. The state owns real estate, shares in foreign companies and share capital. Further government revenue is generated from the sale of stamps, telephone cards and coins and from tourism (sale of religious items, entrance fees). Donations also make up a significant proportion of government revenue.

The Vatican City is connected to the Italian rail network and has its own train station.

The currency is the euro.