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Vatican City (/ˈvætɪkən/ ), officially the Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano; Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae), is a landlocked sovereign country, city-state, microstate, and enclave within Rome, Italy. It became independent from Italy in 1929 with the Lateran Treaty, and it is a distinct territory under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See, itself a sovereign entity under international law, which maintains the city-state's temporal power and governance, diplomatic, and spiritual independence. The Vatican is also a metonym for the pope, Holy See, and Roman Curia.

With an area of 49 hectares (121 acres) and as of 2023 a population of about 764, it is the smallest state in the world both by area and by population. As governed by the Holy See, Vatican City State is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state ruled by the Pope, who is the bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various origins. After the Avignon Papacy (1309–1377) the popes have mainly resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere. (Full article...)

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The Lateran Treaty is one of the Lateran Pacts of 1929 or Lateran Accords, agreements made in 1929 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See, and ratified June 7, 1929, ending the "Roman Question". Italy was then under a Fascist government; the succeeding Italian governments have all upheld the treaty.

The pacts consisted of two documents, with four annexes:[1]

  • A political treaty recognising the full sovereignty of the Holy See in the State of Vatican City, which was thereby established, a document accompanied by the annexes:
    • A plan of the territory of the Vatican City State
    • A list and plans of the buildings with extraterritorial privilege and exemption from expropriation and taxes
    • A list and plans of the buildings with exemption from expropriation and taxes
    • A financial convention agreed on as a definitive settlement of the claims of the Holy See following the loss of its territories and property
  • A concordat regulating relations between the Catholic Church and the Italian state

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Credit: Chris Greenberg

Popemobile (Italian: Papamobile) is an informal name for the specially designed motor vehicles used by the pope during outdoor public appearances without having to employ the antiquated and often impractical sedia gestatoria.

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A 360 panorama of Rome taken from the top of St Peter's Basilica.

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