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> Latest News > 6 Things You May Not Know about Vatican City

6 Things You May Not Know about Vatican City

date Mon, 07/03/2016 - 17:12

tag Papal Audience at Vatican City, Rome, Shortlists,

Did you know...

...that there was so much to know about the smallest country in the world?

This week, we added loads of amazing new experiences in Rome to Attraction Tickets Direct. It was an obvious choice, as Rome is the number 1 city in the world for excursions and attractions which, as you all know, means plenty of opportunities to add happiness to your holiday! Vatican City is sure to be hugely popular with our customers so here are a few fun facts about the country (yep, country!) before you go…

1. It’s the smallest country in the world

 

Vatican City

Image credit: communio.stblogs.org

Vatican City is a city-state enclaved within the boundaries of Rome and boasts the prestigious title of the smallest state on Earth by area and by population. With less than 600 people, all of which are members of the Catholic Church or Swiss Guard, being granted official citizenship of The Vatican, it’s a really unique thing to call this tiny country home.

2. You can see the Pope every Wednesday morning

 

Papal address

 

You might think seeing the Pope make a papal address while you’re visiting the Vatican City would be a lucky coincidence, but actually it’s very easy to catch the Pope addressing the crowds within the city’s walls! Every Wednesday morning when the Pope is in Rome, he addresses the crowds in a few different languages, including English, with small readings and teachings taken from the catholic church. The address is finished with a prayer, which the Pope asks for the audience’s participation in. To book tickets and secure a place for this incredible once-in-a-lifetime event, click here.

3. It has the largest Catholic Church in the world

 

St Peter's Basilica

 

Unsurprisingly, the largest Catholic Church in the world can be found in the Vatican City. St Peter’s Basilica is considered one of the holiest Catholic shrines on the planet and is widely acknowledged by Christians to be the burial site of St Peter, one of Christ’s Apostles and the first Pope of the Catholic Church. His tomb is supposedly below the high altar of the Basilica, which is why the church is held in such high regard by Christians all over the world. Make sure you do this incredible building justice with a tour of the basilica which also includes skip the line entry to the Vatican museum.

4. You can use the only Latin ATM in the world

 

 

Latin ATM Vatican

 

It might be worth taking a few euros out in Vatican City, just for the novelty of using the only Latin-speaking ATM in the world! Attached to the Vatican Bank, the machine was translated into Latin by the Vatican’s Latinist in an attempt to keep the language alive for the city’s residents.

5. 7,000 LED lights illuminate the Sistine Chapel

 

 

Sistine Chapel

 

You might be surprised to hear that the Vatican are happy to embrace some new technology – particularly when it helps to reveal the incredible beauty of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in all its glory. Michelangelo’s masterpiece had never been perceived in such clarity as it can now be seen in every day, thanks to 7,000 LED lights which illuminate every tiny detail on the ceiling of the chapel.

 

6. Most of the art in St Peter’s is not painted

 

St Peter's basilica

 

As mosaic is known to remain vibrant longer than painting, the majority of St Peter’s basilica is decorated in pain-stakingly detailed mosaic, despite appearances! The mosaic designs are made up of tiny pieces of coloured glass which are so intricately placed that, to the naked eye, the frescoes could have been painted by hand. Look closely, and the real craftsman ship that went into the basilica will be truly revealed. 

To book tickets to one of the most incredible cities on Earth or just to find out more about the tickets we offer for Rome, head to our Rome destination pages

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