Travel

Vatican City – the smallest country in the world

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After completing mechanical engineering at McMaster University, Canada, four of my roommates and I went on a month long Euro-trip covering Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands and Germany. Since we all wanted to have a real backpacking experience, we booked best possible hostels, apartments and rental cars to cover as much of Europe as we possibly could.

After relaxing on sunny beaches of Barcelona, Spain, we travelled through Italy. Besides enjoying delicious pizzas, pastas and countless plates of tiramisu, we drove across Italy and explored Rome, Pisa, Florence, Cinque Terre and Lake Como.

We visited the beautiful Vatican City on our first day in Rome. Besides the gorgeous chapels and art galleries, my first surprise was that the Vatican City is a country, surrounded by Rome, Italy. In fact, it is the smallest country in the world with a population of around 1000 people. Luckily, we took a guided tour that helped us skip the longest lines and gave us an informative tour of the city.

The Vatican City is a true paradise for an art lover. The astonishing ceilings of Sistine Chapel, the hallways and galleries of Vatican museums, and the beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica cannot be descried in words. There is just so much art in one place that at times it seems overwhelming to observe and absorb.

If you are fascinated by the history and ancient architectures, you have to visit Rome once in your lifetime. It seems like you can’t walk more than a few meters without coming across something of historical significance.

While were in Rome, we also took a walking tour of the city that started from Roman Forum and took us through Coliseum. At the Roman Forum, each scattered stone remain has its unique story to share. Our guide showed us pictures of the current Roman Forum and compared the remains with illustrations of what the Forum might have looked like in ancient times. From the illustrations, we can clearly visualize how the Forum must have been a significant part of day to day lives of ancient Romans. Did you know that this 250 meters x 170 meters site took over 100 years to excavate?18

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