What is the smallest independent country in the world?
Also known as the Holy See, Vatican City is the world’s smallest independent country. It is home to one official citizen, the presiding Pope. This walled country fits within the boundaries of Italy’s capital city of Rome. It is the global center of the Catholic Church and houses some of the richest artworks of the world. Vatican City derives the bulk of its income from contributions by members of the Roman Catholic Church. There are more than 1 billion members around the world. The rest of the Vatican’s economic activity comes from the sale of postage stamps, tourist trade in memorabilia and admission fees to its many museums.
Vatican City, a city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy, is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s home to the Pope and a trove of iconic art and architecture. Its Vatican Museums house ancient Roman sculptures such as the famed “Laocoön and His Sons” as well as Renaissance frescoes in the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling.
Capital: Vatican City
Area: 44 ha
President: Giuseppe Bertello
Official languages: Italian, French, Latin, German