Vatican city with St. Peter's Basilica
Vatican city with St. Peter's Basilica

Vatican City is situated in Rome and is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, the home to the Pope and a treasure chest of iconic art and architecture.

Throughout history, in particular, the middle ages, the popes controlled historical Italian Papal States. On 13th May 1871, the newly formed Italian state restricted the pope's authority to the Vatican and Lateran areas of Rome and the rural retreat of Castel Gandolfo. The popes refused to accept the validity of this law until the Concordat of 11th February 1929 gave the Catholic Church special status in Italy and paid an indemnity to the now independent Vatican City.

The museums at the Vatican are home to many ancient Roman sculptures, including the renowned "Laocoön And His Sons” as well as Renaissance frescoes in the Raphael Rooms and the legendary Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling.

The Vatican, seat of the Catholic Church in the heart of Rome, is crammed full of glorious art and some of the world's most beautiful buildings. It is a definite must-see.

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