How big is the Vatican City?

Are you thinking of visiting Rome and the Vatican City but you don’t really know much about it yet? Wondering just how large the residence city of the Pope must be? Don’t fret, we’ll go over that today.

Located in Rome, the Vatican City is the seat of the Pope, with Pope Francis as the current Pope in charge. The Vatican wasn’t always the home of the Popes – it used to be the Lateran Palace on the opposite side of Rome for thousands of years beforehand. The Vatican is ruled by the Pope as the absolute monarch, meaning he rules directly with no real limitations or other parties holding him back.

As for the Vatican City itself, it’s the smallest country in the world, both in terms of population and overall area. The total area of the Vatican is 0.49 km2 (49 hectares). In 2023, the population estimate was at 764 people, which is effectively a small village.

The Vatican City is located in an area formerly known as Ager Vaticanus, in the times of Ancient Rome. Later, it became a part of the Borgo rione. The Vatican City as an independent microstate and enclave as we know it today only came to be in 1929, under the Lateran Treaty. As such, though it may feel like it has been the home of the Popes since the dawn of time, your grandparents likely remember the time of its independent infancy.


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