Going Places Educational Travel Blog - 19 Interesting Facts About the World's Smallest Country
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February 16, 2017

19 Interesting Facts About the World's Smallest Country

1. Vatican City is the smallest country in the world – roughly 100 acres encircled by a 2-mile border within Italy.
2. Vatican City is only 1/8 the size of New York City’s Central Park.
3. Vatican City is less than 100 years old. Benito Mussolini signed Vatican City into existence in 1929.
4. As of 2016, Vatican City has a population of only 840.
5. 100% of the population is Catholic.

6. You can’t be born a citizen of Vatican City. You can only be made a citizen by appointment to work and if you lose your Vatican Citizenship, you automatically become Italian.
7. Vatican City has the highest crime rate in the world.
8. Vatican City is the only entire country designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

9. Vatican City has its own flag, postage stamp and national anthem.
10. Vatican City has a national football (soccer) team. 

11. The Vatican Museums are over 9 miles long consisting of 1400 rooms, chapels and galleries.
12. If you spent just one minute looking at each individual artwork, it would take you roughly 4 years to see them all.
13. New popes are elected inside the Sistine Chapel.
14. Pope Francis is the 266th and current pope and sovereign of Vatican City.

15. There's no photography or video allowed in the Sistine Chapel and visitors are asked to be silent.
16. Michelangelo wanted nothing to do with painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel because he considered himself to be a sculptor, not a painter.
17. St. Peter’s Basilica contains the only piece of work that was ever signed by Michelangelo – the sculpture Pieta.

18. St. Peter’s Basilica is located inside Vatican City, and is the biggest church ever constructed.
19. The basilica was built purposely atop St. Peter’s bones. St. Peter was crucified and buried directly under where the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica now stands.

Check out one of our many tours that visits Vatican City here.

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