10 Interesting Facts About Vatican City

Here are 10 interesting facts about Vatican City:

10. Even if you’re not Christian, most people understand that Vatican City is heavily associated with the Catholic Church. This is the residence of the Pope, who sits at the head of the Catholic Church. Interestingly, Catholic Popes haven’t always resided in the Vatican. Popes have historically lived in other locations throughout Italy, including Assisi, Perugia, Tivoli, and Ferentino.

9. The Pope is the monarch of Vatican City. As Roman Life points out, he has total judicial, executive and legislative control over the state. Currently, the Pope is the only absolute monarch left on the continent.

8. Situated in the Italian capital of Rome, Vatican City is officially the smallest country in the world. But this doesn’t mean that it’s the least-crowded. Even though only approximately 1000 people were living there in 2017, the Vatican attracts more than five million visitors a year.

7. Technically, Vatican City doesn’t have an official national sport the way other countries do. However, if they did, it would be the same sport that is beloved by the majority of Italians, soccer. The Vatican football team is marked by the official colours of yellow, blue, and white. According to Grayline Rome, these colours are also seen on other employees of Vatican City, including postal workers and police officers.

6. Vatican City may not have many of the usual things that most independent nations have, but they do have their army. Known as the Pontifical Swiss Guard, the army is one of the smallest in the world. There are only 135 people in the guard, which was established in 1506 to protect the Pope. Swiss Guards are easily recognizable at the Vatican due to their Renaissance-era uniform. All Swiss guards are also male, Catholic, have been trained by the Swiss military.

5. For those who are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of Catholicism, priests are always male. Similarly, the Pope is always male as well. So it may come as a shock to learn that, according to legend, there was once a female Pope. Pope Joan concealed her identity and went by the name John. She was discovered after giving birth in a lane way near the Colosseum and as such was put to death.

4. High-ranking officials within the Catholic Church, such as the Pope, are forbidden from marrying. Children are certainly not permitted for men of the cloth. However, several sources appear to indicate that some Popes throughout history have also been dads. Pope Borgia, otherwise known as Alexander 6, was one such man. When he was still a cardinal, he fathered three sons and one daughter. After becoming Pope, he had one more child with a mistress.

3. It makes sense that the laws of Vatican City directly correlate with the laws and traditions of the Catholic Church. Because of this, divorce is not permitted. Along with the Philippines, Vatican City is one of the only countries on the planet that does not have any laws regarding divorce.

2. You might think that a religious and sacred state would have incredibly low crime rates, but Vatican City has the highest crime rate on record. Don’t fear though as it’s relatively easy to stay safe in Vatican City. The area is only prone to minor crimes, such as pick-pocketing.

1. You might think that the official language of Vatican City was Italian, considering the territory is located in the Italian capital. However, the official language is Latin. Vatican City is the only location in the whole world where you’ll find an ATM in Latin.

This was all for Vatican City. Do let us know in the comments section if you found these facts interesting!