State of the Vatican City, or Vatican City State, is the modern-day
home of the Catholic Church's popes. It is also the world's
smallest independent nation state when it comes to area covered and
population. Located on the Vatican hill in northwestern Rome, it rises
a few hundred meters west of the Tiber River. It is headed by the
Holy See, which is the ecclesiastical seat of the Roman Catholic Church.
Its name was derived from the Latin Mons
Vaticanus, or Vatican Hill. Mons Vaticanus as well as the nearby
Vatican Fields, where St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel,
and the Apostolic Palace are located, dates back way before Christendom.
Many believe that the location of the city has
always been thought of as sacred, even before Christianity arrived
in Italy. Constantine's basilica, the first church built in
326, was constructed on the site of St. Peter's burial site,
and since then, inhabitants have flocked to the area.
Even though it is elevated, the city enjoys the
same climate of Rome: a mild, desirable, Mediterranean climate with
few rainy winters during the months of September until mid-may.
The city is home to many magnificent structures
that every tourist would love to visit. Among them are St. Peter's
Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, The Vatican Library, and the various
Vatican Museums that hold some of the world's greatest historical,
scientific, and cultural pieces.
Strict dress codes are enforced when visiting
this one-of-a-kind city. Most of the residents of the city are male,
with the exception of two orders of nuns. There are also Catholic
clergymen. The various workers in the Vatican, however, are Italians
that live outside the city's walls.