The Vatican City in Rome is the world’s center of Catholicism, Christian religion that traces its history from I century AD and embraces today more than 1.4 billion people all around the world.
Having been of a great influence for centuries, the power of the Vatican City became fully legalized as an independent state only in 1929 with the Lateran Treaty. Vatican's influence, location and meaning to the world makes it a historical phenomenon, unique and unprecedented in many ways. By visiting this Catholic “kingdom” tourists not only visit the smallest country in the world, which is enclaved into a city of another country, but get in touch with a spiritual place full of art, Catholic traditions and centuries of history behind it.
In addition, the Vatican City in Rome is not only a religious center. Together with the biggest Basilica in the world, the famous St. Peter's Square and the Vatican Museums it has become a colossal masterpiece in itself. With its long and diverse background Vatican has always been focused on art and today this place is a concentration of the biggest collections of the best works of art ever. It goes without saying that the Vatican City State is one of the top landmarks in Rome every tourist should absolutely explore.
26 art galleries that have been collected since 1506 and are situated in the Vatican City State today are called the Vatican Museums. These museums are of exceptional beauty with art being everywhere from the floor to the ceiling. The Vatican Museums are also known as the place of Michelangelo’s legendary masterpiece - the Sistine Chapel, which is considered one of the greatest works of all time.
St. Peter’s Basilica - the biggest church in the world - is situated nearby the Vatican Museums. You will definitely want to enter it and enjoy the beauty inside. After that, you can’t miss going up the ladder that leads you to the roof of the St. Peter’s Church and gives you a breathtaking panoramic view on Rome. Then after descending from the Vatican’s “heaven” you can explore the spacious St. Peter’s Square and marvel at the magnificent fountains and the gigantic colonnades that surround it.
Castel Sant’Angelo with its famous bridge also belong to the Vatican. This place is almost 2000 years old, it witnessed different times and played dozen roles, it served as a sanctuary, as a fortress, as a shelter and what not. Today it has become a very interesting museum with lots to tell you about its rich history. Castel Sant'Angelo is situated only 15 minutes away from St. Peter’s Basilica on foot and you absolutely shouldn't miss it. The ancient bridge that unites Castel Sant'Angelo with Rome is also one of the most famous beautiful and romantic.
Going by underground choose Red Line A and get out at either Cipro or Ottaviano station. In fact, Cipro is the closest, but then the way from this station to the Vatican City is going to be a bit curvy. The route from Ottaviano station takes almost as much time (only slightly more), but what you would need to do is to go straight along a big road and then turn right. The latter makes it harder to get lost in case if you are prone to it.
By bus: № 32, 81, 982, 492, 990
No, because actually there is no customs area or passport checks that mark the line between Rome and the Vatican. For a person who is not intending to reach any particular place in Rome the Vatican would seem just another Roman district.
But when you want to enter the Vatican museums you will need to enter the door In Vaile Vaticano. This place is usually marked with a very long queue, so you can’t miss it.
Castel Gandolfo Papal Palace is his usual summer residence from July to September. In winter he resides at the Apostolic Palace, which is the official residence and is located in Vatican City.
There are 2 ways for summer. The first one is to go 25 miles from Rome to Pope’s residence at Castel Gandolfo. You can see him at noon on Sunday, just a show up. The second opportunity is visiting the more formal appearance on Wednesday, when the Pope blesses crowds from a balcony.
In winter he gives a speech in the Aula Paola VI Auditorium next to the square. It’s possible to see him from a distance or to take a free ticket a day before, i.e. on Tuesday.