Vatican City is an extraordinary complex of art treasures and history: in the ensemble of over a thousand rooms that make up the Vatican Palaces, still the residence of the Pope.

Vatican City, following the 'Lateran Pacts' signed between the Holy See and Italy on February 11, 1929, is an independent state under the absolute sovereignty of the Pontiff.

With a population of 900, it is the smallest nation in the world, yet it prints its own stamps, mints its own currency, has a radio station and a railway station, and publishes a prestigious daily newspaper, 'L'Osservatore Romano.' Performing the service of order and Police are the Vigilance Officers (established by Pius VII in 1816) and the Swiss Guard, founded in 1506, which still wears the famous uniforms of the time, designed, according to tradition, even by Michelangelo.

This place, one of the most mysterious in the world, which few people can enter, holds some of the world's most precious art treasures, preserved in the Museums of the Vatican Palaces. Not to mention the 45 kilometers of shelves of the Secret Archives, which collect an immense heritage of historical documents of exceptional importance.

In addition to housing a number of papal dicasteries, the Vatican Apostolic Library - with its invaluable collection of ancient manuscripts - and, above all, the Vatican Museums, which, besides displaying an extraordinary collection of works of art, are themselves a masterpiece of art and architecture, with rooms painted by Raphael and the world-famous Sistine Chapel, with Michelangelo's famous frescoes.