Castel dell'Ovo in Naples, fortress & former royal residence

Vatican City, the smallest country in the world St. Peter's Basilica, Swiss Guard and the pope 

Rome, Vatican City/Italy (2018) – The smallest state in Europe and based on a landmass the smallest country in the world has a total area of  0.44 sq km/0.2 sq miles. It has about 800 residents, about half of them hold Vatican citizenship. But none of those were born in the country. Next to the pope mainly priests, nuns, guards and those who are granted residency because of their work or office, like cardinals and diplomats reside within this small state which is totally enclosed by the city of Rome – welcome to Vatican City! The Vatican City was declared independent from the rest of Italy 1929, with the signing of the Lateran Treaty between Pope Pius XI and Mussolini. You don't need to be a Catholic to be impressed with St. Peter's Square, with the two huge colonnades and their 284 columns and the 140 statues on top of it as well as St. Peter's Basilica with its enormous dome. The Vatican's own military and the pope's personal army, the Swiss Guard, protects the pope for more than 500 years. Each of the about 135 soldiers must be Swiss, Catholic, have basic Swiss military training and must have taken the oath of loyalty to the pope. Vatican City has its own Post office, issues its own stamps, has its own Radio station, a railway, issues its own passports, stamps its own coins and "the whole country" is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vatican City also is home to the most visited room in the world: the Sistine Chapel. Up to 20.000 people, a day want to see the chapel and the ceiling fresco "The Last Judgment" by Michelangelo. Just imagine the lines!
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