Today I would like to continue presenting a topic I have talked about in a previous article. As you might imagine, there are many interesting things to know about the Vatican, so let’s continue with our journey and talk a little bit more about this unique place.
The Vatican is rich in art
In fact, the Vatican has one of the most extensive art collections in the world. It may be hard to believe, but the Vatican Museum has more than 1400 rooms. The collection was started in the 16th century, and has since then grown to become one of the the richest in of the World; it displays artwork from classical antiquity to modern masterpieces.
The Vatican has its own security body, called the Swiss Guards. These guards are employed by the Catholic Church and have the role of protecting the Pope, as well as guarding Vatican City. Having been in the service of the Pope since 1506, the Swiss Guards have had a very long history. You may recognize them from their characteristic blue, red, and orange uniform.
St. Peter’s Basilica: a Church rich in history
One of the things to know about the Vatican, is that St. Peter’s Basilica is the World’s largest Catholic Church, covering an area of 5.7 acres. Additionally, you might find it interesting that the first Pope, St. Peter, is buried at precisely the same point where the baldacchino is found at the centre of altar.
The Papal Audience
If you are visiting the Vatican on a Wednesday, you may be able to attend a Papal Audience. When the Pope is in residence, he gives visitors the Papal Blessing, as well as short readings and teachings. The main language used is Italian, but the Pope will also usually address visitors in other languages, such as English or Spanish, according to the nationality of the pilgrims who attend the Papal Audience. This is definitely one of the things to know about the Vatican before planning your visit.
Things to know about the Vatican in recent times – Environmental Commitment
Under the guidance of Pope Benedict XVI, several efforts were made to turn the Vatican into a “green state”. For example, thousands of solar panels have been installed around the Vatican City and the popular Pope-mobile was substituted with an electric car.
Today I have presented only a few of the many interesting things to know about the Vatican. This is a state unique in the world, rich in history and culture. Have you already been there? Did you enjoy the visit? Let me know in the comments below.
If you are planning to travel to Italy and visit the Vatican, you can request a FREE QUOTE from the Private Tour of the Vatican page.