Tuesday, January 28, 2014
An independent, sovereign state, in virtue of the Lateran Treaty of 1929, the Vatican City is governed by the Pope, the only absolute Monarch in Europe
There are about 500 inhabitants between employees of the Vatican state and ecclesiastics. The city has its own post offices, banks, shops and a radio station which broadcasts all over the world in over 20 languages, a publishing house and a daily paper: L’Osservatore Romano.
Halfway through the IX century, Pope Leo IV had surrounded the Vatican hill, to the right of the Tiber, with solid walls and 24 towers to protect the basilica, erected at the orders of Constantine on the tomb of St. Peter, from Saracen raids: it is the Leonine City which is the exact perimeter of the present Vatican City.
The Pontifical Swiss Guard is responsible for the supervision, safety and protection of the Pope.
The fastest way of getting there is on the A line of the metropolitan for Ottaviano, particularly convenient for the Vatican museums. There is a regular shuttle service for St. Peter’s.