The home of the Catholic Pope
Though technically a separate state to Italy, the Vatican City is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions, with Catholics making the pilgrimage each year to hear a service from the Pope himself. For such a popular place, Vatican City is quite small. The city's walls comprise of just 44 hectares and a population of 800, making it the smallest independent state in the world.
Despite its minute size, in terms of history and things to see, the Vatican packs a punch. It is after all the centre of Catholicism and the temporal seat of the Pope. It is also home to the famous St Peter's Basilica. Consecrated in 1626, the Basilica is one Rome's most famous buildings. Its dome in particular, reaching 136.57 metres from the floor to the top, is tall enough to house the Statue of Liberty and was designed by Michelangelo. During you're visit, Don&t miss taking the elevator to the roof of the Basilica where you can then climb 323 steps to the top of the dome to admire the view.
Another highlight within Vatican City is the Vatican Museum. Considered to be one of the greatest art galleries in the world, the Vatican Museum's most famous art work is found within the Raphael Rooms where you&ll find the magnificent Sistine Chapel and its intricately painted Renaissance ceiling by Michelangelo. The ceiling features nine stories from the book of Genesis, the most famous of which depicts the Hand of God giving life to Adam.
While technically it is considered separate from Italy, the Vatican is easily visited and uses the same currency. The official language of the city however is Latin, although Italian and English are widely spoken. For a comprehensive view of the city, consider taking part in a tour.
Address: Vatican City, Roma, Italy