The Vatican is the home of the Catholic Church and is part of the State of Vatican City which is in fact the smallest independent state in the world consisting of only 44 hectares or 107 acres. Vatican city is surrounded by Italy’s capital Rome. The head of state is the Pope who is also the head of the Catholic Church. The Basilica of Saint Peter is the huge domed church which sits in front of St Peter’s Square. This magnificent and huge basilica dates back to 1506. The church is open to the public and is home to many of the Pope’s masses. St Peter’s Square in the foreground of the Basilica dates back to the mid 1600’s and attracts tens of thousands if not hundred’s of thousands to the Popes outdoor ceremonies.
Official Site http://www.vatican.va/
Map showing the Vatican State