07 May 2017

The smallest state in the world

In Slovenia we don't have a lot of public holidays and work-off days, 13 all together in the whole year. But if the dates are aligned right, we get short "packages" of free days that nearly equals to holidays. 

We had quite the luck this year as the national holidays of  Day of Uprising Against Occupation on the 27th April and the two Labor days on the 1st and 2nd May happened to be just before and after the week-end. Taking just one day off on Friday we had nearly entire week of holidays that we spend travelling to neighbouring country of Italy.

Visiting northern cities of Venice, Padova, Verona and Vicenza in November last year we choose to visits the capital and its glorious history and some interesting nearby destinations as well. 

You would think that our destination choice was intentional as our last journey was to Italy as well, but it was purely accidental. Our oldest is very much into flags and the names of world's states, their geography etc. The destination was set once he recognised that there is the world's smallest state very near and we had to visit it. 


Vatican is the smallest independent state in the world by its population and by its size. It is called also a city state as it is formed only of a city - the Vatican, and it is the seat of the Pope. It has its own bank, post, radio, newspaper and most interesting for our boys - its own railway station. The world's countries have their embassies there. 

Apart from Saint Peter's church and the square Vatican is formed also of the museums with the famous Sistine chapel painted by renowned Renaissance sculpture and painter Michelangelo, few administrative buildings and in the greater part its gardens. It is entirely surrounded by Italy's capital Rome. 

As Vatican is monument by itself and one of world's most popular pilgrim sites be prepared for long wait to enter the St. Peter's Basilica. Security check-ups even prolong the wait but it's worth the wait especially once you climb the 551 steps to the top of church's cupola where the most amazing views on the whole of Vatican and Rome open up. To climb the round steps (be careful it can get awfully dizzy) and at the top very narrow and inclined steps too was great fun for the boys as well. 

Before the final steps to the top, you can admire the view on the inside of the church with people, small as ants gazing around. And it is a bit scary too. 

As hubby and me both were in the museums and as the wait to the enter the church was tiring we decided not to visit them. My memories of the Sistine chapel are those of airtight crowed and the famous frescoes meters and meters above beryl distinguishable which makes them hard to fully admire. 

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