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VATICAN CITY: THE WORLD’S SMALLEST AND MOST RELIGIOUS COUNTRY



The world’s smallest state and our second micro-state during our Italy trip, I had effectively seen three new countries in 2 weeks which was great.

There is always a crowd at Vatican City probably because it is one eighth of the size of New York’s Central Park and there is only so much space for religious people, religious figures and tourists.

A mere 800 people live here, pretty much exclusively priests and nuns with the old tongue of Latin being the official language. VC covers 0.17 square miles and is entirely circled by Italy.

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St Peter’s Basilica

When we were there, it was a Sunday so the Sistine Chapel was actually closed but I very much hope to go so that I can write about it.

We did go into St Peter’s Basilica, Italy’s largest and richest basilica. VC is actually the world’s 18th richest per capita so its pure opulence is unsurprising.

The original church was ordered by emperor Constantine on St Peter’s supposed burial site. Once the medieval building fell into disrepair, the work to have the basilica built on top of it began in 1506 and was completed in 1626.

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The current head of state is Pope Francis, a pope with a mixture of conservation and ‘liberal’ views. I wouldn’t consider anyone who doesn’t support homosexuality to be liberal but then again I am not religious so I don’t see the world through that set of teachings.

He has a twitter account and on the 26th November 2017 whilst I was writing this he had over 15 million followers and his last tweet was as follows: ‘Let us look to Jesus today and say to Him in our hearts: ‘Remember me, Lord, now that you are in your Kingdom!’

So there you go, making an old book relevant to the digital generation, luckily he know has those extra characters for those wordier passages.

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When I clicked on the pope’s handle and I was directed to the twitter website, who do you think was nestled besides him in the feed? I think it will not be any surprise to anyone that it was Donald Trump. I have no idea what the logic behind this is, as he is not a papal figure.

When we visited, we could hear the pope’s voice blasting out and you receive a copy of his speech in different languages, when I was there it was Benedict XVI and of course, he spoke in different languages also.

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It is a fascinating thing to hear the Pope speak, and of course, security is always high. It does have one of the world’s highest crime rates, as bag-snatching, shoplifting and pick-pocketing often occur. He delivers his speech at 12pm on a Sunday but at other times you can hear him on the Vatican Radio.

Vatican Radio is beamed out by powerful transmitters to a global Catholic audience. They have been criticised for higher levels of electromagnetic radiation that Italy allows but they have denied it.

VC is well worth a visit, even if you are not a religious person as the buildings are spectacular and the history (good and bad) is so fascinating. Whatever your thoughts on the Pope it is interesting to see the effect he has upon his followers and why Christian people flock to this religious enclave to worship every day of the year.

 



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