Outline of Vatican City

The location of Vatican City within Europe
An enlargeable map of Vatican City State, including extraterritorial properties of the Holy See bordering Vatican City

The following outline is provided as an overview of and introduction to Vatican City:

Vatican City – an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical[1] state, being the sovereign territory of the Holy See and ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope, the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. The territory of this landlocked sovereign city-state consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800.[2][3] This makes Vatican City the smallest independent state in the world by both area and population.

General reference[edit]

View of Vatican City from the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome

Geography of Vatican City[edit]

An enlargeable map of Vatican City

Geography of Vatican City

Location of Vatican City[edit]

Environment of Vatican City[edit]

A section of the wall in Vatican City, from the outside, behind the Vatican Gardens.
View of the Vatican Gardens from the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. (The Vatican Museums can be seen to the right).

Natural geographic features of Vatican City[edit]

Vatican City is an enclave in an urban area, and lacks the geographic features common to (much larger) countries:

Regions of Vatican City[edit]

  • None
  • Vatican City is inside Rome, which in turn lies within the Lazio region of Italy
  • Vatican City lies next to the Borgo district in Rome.

Ecoregions of Vatican City[edit]

  • None

Administrative divisions of Vatican City[edit]

Demography of Vatican City[edit]

Demographics of Vatican City

Government and politics of Vatican City[edit]

Politics of Vatican City

Branches of the government of Vatican City[edit]

Palace of the Governatorate, Vatican City

Government of Vatican City

Executive branch of the government of Vatican City[edit]

Legislative branch of the government of Vatican City[edit]

Judicial branch of the government of Vatican City[edit]

  • Absolute judicial authority: Pope, currently Pope Francis
    • Supreme Court of Vatican City (Corte di Cassazione)
      • The Cardinal Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura serves ex officio as the President of the Supreme Court of Vatican City (Corte di Cassazione). The two other members of the Supreme Court are also Cardinals of the Apostolic Signatura and are chosen by the Cardinal Prefect on a yearly basis.[12]
    • Appellate Court of Vatican City
    • Tribunal of Vatican City State
    • Under the terms of article 22 the Lateran Treaty,[13] Italy will, at the request of the Holy See, punish individuals for crimes committed within Vatican City and will itself proceed against the person who committed the offence, if that person takes refuge in Italian territory. Persons accused of crimes recognized as such both in Italy and in Vatican City that are committed in Italian territory will be handed over to the Italian authorities if they take refuge in Vatican City or in buildings that under the treaty enjoy immunity.[14][15]

Foreign relations of Vatican City[edit]

International organization membership[edit]

International organization membership of Vatican City Vatican City State is a member of:[16]

Law and order in Vatican City[edit]

Law of Vatican City State

Military in Vatican City[edit]

Vatican City State has no military, but resident within it is the Swiss Guard.

Military in Vatican City

Local government in Vatican City[edit]

  • Being a city-state, the government of Vatican City is also the local government.

History of Vatican City[edit]

History of Vatican City

Culture of Vatican City[edit]

Saint Peter's Square and beyond it Rome, as viewed from the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica.
St. Peter's Basilica from the River Tiber. The iconic dome dominates the skyline of this part of Rome.

Culture of Vatican City

Art in Vatican City[edit]

On the last Sunday of each month, the Vatican Museum is open to the public for free. This is extremely popular and it is common to wait in line for many hours. This image is a panoramic view of one small stretch of the entire queue in April 2007, which continues for some distance in both directions beyond view. In the background is the Vatican City's wall.

Sports in Vatican City[edit]

Economy and infrastructure of Vatican City[edit]

The Vatican Radio building
Euro banknotes

Economy of Vatican City

Education in Vatican City[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "catholic-pages.com". catholic-pages.com. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Holy See (Vatican City)". CIA—The World Factbook. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Vatican City State". Vatican City Government. Archived from the original on 28 November 2007. Retrieved 28 November 2007.
  4. ^ Vatican City State Institutional Portal
  5. ^ International Telecommunication Union Member States
  6. ^ "Stato della Città del Vaticano" is the name used in the state's founding document, the Treaty between the Holy See and Italy Archived 2012-03-09 at the Wayback Machine, article 26.
  7. ^ Cf. The Geography Site, "What do call a person from ?"
  8. ^ "Holy See (Vatican City)". CIA—The World Factbook. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  9. ^ "Internet portal of Vatican City State". Vatican City State. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  10. ^ Gerhard Robbers, Encyclopedia of World Constitutions (Infobase Publishing 2006 ISBN 978-0-81606078-8), p. 1009
  11. ^ Nick Megoran, "Theocracy" in International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, vol. 11, Elsevier 2009 ISBN 978-0-08-044911-1, p.226| Quote:elective theocracy (although its representatives would be unlikely to accept that label)
  12. ^ "Legge che approva l'ordinamento giudiziario dello Stato della Città del Vaticano (Suppl. 12)". Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS) 79. Holy See. 1987.
  13. ^ "INTER SANCTAM SEDEM ET ITALIAE REGNUM CONVENTIONES INITAE DIE 11 FEBRUARII 1929" (in Italian). Vatican.va. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  14. ^ "INTER SANCTAM SEDEM ET ITALIAE REGNUM CONVENTIONES* INITAE DIE 11 FEBRUARII 1929" (in Italian). Vatican.va. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  15. ^ Shea, Alison. "Researching the Law of the Vatican City State". Hauser Global Law School Program. New York University School of Law. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Holy See (Vatican City)". The World Factbook. United States Central Intelligence Agency. July 2, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  17. ^ http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/documentazione/documents/sp_ss_scv/informazione_generale/sp_ss_scv_info-generale_en.html

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Atlas of Vatican City