Fun facts about Vatican City

17 Virtuous Facts About Vatican City

Looking to boost your local knowledge of this unique little country? Take a look at these interesting facts about Vatican City!

1. What exactly is The Vatican City?

Vatican City, also known as ‘Holy See’, is a landlocked city-state in Europe.  It is bordered solely, and entirely, by the city of Rome in Italy.

2. It’s hard to get to!

Although this wonderful country isn’t accessible by air or water, you can still head for the coordinates of 41.9033° N, 12.4533° E to find yourself in Vatican City.

3. There are no country hills or pastures here.

The terrain here is entirely urban.

Flag of the Vatican City
The Vatican City Flag

4. It’s absolutely tiny!

The total land area of Vatican City is 0.2 square miles (0.4 square kilometers)……that’s around 2.5% of the size of the Isles of Scilly!

That also makes it the smallest country in the world!

5. Its population is small, but its visitor numbers are huge.

Vatican City’s population was just 825 in 2019…that’s around 40% of the population of the Isles of Scilly!

Vatican City attracts more than 5 million visitors each year, meaning that this tiny country is often very crowded!

6. Vatican City has interesting passport regulations.

There is currently no name for Vatican City nationals, nor is there a hospital within the country for them to be born in. In fact, nationality (and therefore passports) are only given to those who work and reside in Vatican City, and thus taken away should they move elsewhere!

7. It’s a country and a capital.

As a city-state, Vatican City is a capital in itself.

8. The weather is often nice.

Residents here enjoy a temperate climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

9. It’s a UNESCO oddity.

Vatican City is the only country in the world to be classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety!

Vatican City from above

10. It’s not the Italians that guard the Vatican.

Despite being surrounded by Italy, Vatican City has been guarded by the Swiss Guards since 1506, which is comprised solely of Swiss citizens! All Swiss Guards must be unmarried, aged between 19-30 and at least 5ft 8.5in!

11. What do people speak in Vatican City?

The official language of Vatican City is Italian.

12. What can you spend here?

As a member of the European Union, Euro is the official currency here.

Vatican City

13. Life expectancy is very healthy.

The average life span here is 78 years.

14. Tune in to Vatican FM!

Vatican City actually has its own radio station which broadcasts in 20 languages throughout the world!

15. There are some unique tellers out here.

The only ATMs in the world to have Latin as a selectable language are in Vatican City!

Vatican State Clock Tower

16. Vatican City’s industry is also pretty unique.

Due to its tiny stature and location, Vatican City doesn’t grow any vegetables or fruits, nor does it rear any livestock.

Its industry consists of printing, medals, production of coins, postage stamps and worldwide banking and financial activities.

Vatican City doesn’t export anything.

17. Share the wealth!

As an extra revenue stream, Italians have the option of donating 8% of their yearly tax bill to Vatican City!

Vatican Basilica
The Vatican State Basilica

FAQs about Vatican City

Why is Vatican City classed as a country?

It’s all to do with the Pope - it’s an independent unit built for the figurehead to have complete authority.

Is the Vatican City safe?

Bizarrely, Vatican City has the highest crime rates, on average, on the planet. That’s because there are so few residents - statistically, everyone’s a victim of crime! Petty theft is a common problem here, as with other major cities.

How small is Vatican City, really?

It’s said to be over 100 times smaller than Manhattan - incredible to think!

Do you know any interesting facts about Vatican City? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on June 5, 2024. Suggest an edit