Vatican City Topography

The Vatican City State occupies an area of ​​44 ha. that is, of 440,000 square meters. 55,000 of which are occupied by the Apostolic Palace alone with its twenty courtyards (25,000 square meters), in the westernmost part of the city, a few hundred meters to the right of the Tiber. The very small territory has the approximate shape of a trapezoid, with a maximum width from O. to E., up to the entrance of St. Peter’s Square, of m. 1045. The ground is hilly (ancient Vatican Hill) and rises from 19 meters above sea level to a maximum of 77.50 meters. in the gardens and then descend to 56.50 m. along the walls of NO.

Almost a third of the area is covered with buildings, especially gathered in the eastern part, and more than a third if we also take into account the large courtyards, streets and squares (of S. Pietro, the Roman Protomartyrs, S. Marta and of the Piazzale del Forno).

The territorial distribution of buildings and functions makes it possible to distinguish: 1. St. Peter’s Basilica with the adjoining areas (sacristy and rectory); 2. Apostolic Palace; 3. Palazzo del Governorato with related services (railway station, radio station, courts, school of mosaic); 4. Prati del Belvedere (formerly) with the parish church, printing house, barracks (Swiss and gendarmes), power station, mechanical workshop, etc.; 5. Vatican Gardens (delimited by Viale Vaticano-Stradone dei Giardini-Walls of Leo IV).

According to ZIPCODESEXPLORER, the borders of the state are clearly marked by strong walls built in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, with the exception of St. Peter’s Square, where the border is not consolidated by any material obstacle, but only marked by a list of travertine on the ground that unites ( exterior) the two arms of the Berninian colonnade. Police functions on the square are normally attributed to the authorities of the Italian state.

Still under the territorial aspect, the Vatican State presents a characteristic originality in the number and breadth (relative to its size) of the external areas, which are connected to it within the Italian territory in a regime of extra-territoriality and with exemption from tax and expropriation for public utility. They are: 1. Basilica, Lateran Palace, Scala Santa ; 2. Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore with annexed buildings ; 3. Basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura with annexed buildings ; 4. Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere ; 5. Palazzo della Dataria ; 6. Palazzo della Cancelleria ; 7. Propaganda Fide Palace (Piazza di Spagna); 8. Palace of San Callisto in Trastevere ; 9. Palazzo dei Convertendi ; 10. Palace S. Office and adjacencies ; 11. Palace of the Vicariate ; 12. Villa Gabrielli (Gianicolo); 13. Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo (with Villa and Palazzetto Cybo and Villa Barberini).

The total area of ​​these areas is estimated at about 70 hectares, of which forty are for the Pontifical Villas alone. By extension it follows the Villa Gabrielli (seminar of Propaganda Fide and other institutes) of 14 hectares: the closest to the territory of the state.

The population, at the time of the creation of the new state, was 532 residents, Over 250 non-citizen residents. It subsequently increased, passing to 639 (plus 259 non-citizens) at 31 December 1930 and 1025 at the census of 31 December 1932. At 31 December 1936 it was 746 citizens (547 males and 199 females) and 210 residents (60 males and 150 females) altogether 956 people of 14 different nationalities. The highest quotas are given by Italians: 569 citizens and 197 residents; from Swiss: 112 citizens and 3 residents; born in the Vatican, 26. The priests are 94, the religious 37, the laity 615. Of these, 324 are married (male and female) and 250 soldiers (Swiss and gendarmes). There are 15 Eritreans (moretti) students of the Ethiopian College.

The movement of the marital status is shown in the following table:

The relatively high number of marriages depends on the fact that they are often contracted in the Vatican even between foreign citizens. The state language is Italian, while that for the official documents of the Holy See remains Latin.

The communications of the state with the outside are forced, due to its isolation, to take place in transit through the Italian territory. From the San Pietro station a short section of railway track (completed in 1932) enters the “city”, which is equipped with a monumental station, but the movement of people and things takes place largely by ordinary route, especially with motor vehicles. The railway has so far served only for the almost daily transport of materials and goods. The state has its own postal and telegraphic services, a radio transmitting and receiving station and is part of the Universal Postal and Telegraphic Unions, despite having special tariff agreements with the Kingdom of Italy. The Holy See has affirmed its right to build an airport and to keep its own aircraft,

For supplies, Vatican citizenship depends, in fact, almost entirely from the outside world. Not only food and industrial items, but also drinking water and gas-electricity come from outside. Only electricity is produced by an internal power station. An annona service works not only for Vatican citizens but also for all people who live in buildings that enjoy exemption from tax and extraterritoriality.

The Vatican State is also a perfect example of a patrimonial state, in that all the immovable properties included in it fall together under the sovereignty and property of the Holy See. On the other hand, the territory is not differentiated by a substantial variety of functions, because it, like every institution found there, is used for services which converge to a single purpose of a public nature.

Vatican City Topography