The Vatican City

To go to Vatican City in Rome is to be immersed in the centuries-old legacy of Catholic tradition; granted sovereignty through the Lateran Treaty, the place is home to the Pope and some of his clergy. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Saint Peter’s Basilica is the place for many Catholic pilgrimages; the tomb of the apostle Saint Peter, as tradition has it. Saint Peter was the first pope as well, although he did not hold that title, and as a result, succeeding popes were buried here too. Just in front of it is Saint Peter’s Square, which was designed to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of faithful wanting to receive the Pope’s blessing and hear Mass.

Check out photos of Vatican City here!

Another place to visit on your Rome breaks is Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, which is 17 centuries old; after years of prejudice against Christianity, Emperor Constantine had it built in memory of Saint Paul the Apostle, who was beheaded under Nero’s reign. A treasury of rarities, the most valuable is the prison-chain securing Saint Paul to a Roman guard; spot the tombstones and sarcophaguses as well.

Don’t forget the scrolls; the Vatican Library has archives dating from the 4th century. The Vatican Museums have much to boast of as well; its Gregorian Egyptian display contains artefacts from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Syria-Palestine. Heads up at the Sistine Chapel, with Michelangelo’s depiction of Genesis, while Giotto, Raphael, and da Vinci show off at at the Vatican Pinacoteca. Yes, we know you’re in awe. But please, close your mouth.

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