You can’t go to Rome without visiting the smallest country in the world – Vatican City!
It’s located right in the city of Rome so getting to it is quite easy and you can walk among this country in just a day. It can’t get any smaller than that!
The major attraction of Vatican City is St. Peter’s Basilica which is how you can identify the ‘country’ from anywhere in Rome. VC is the holiest place for Catholics worldwide because the pope lives here along with all the top shots of the Roman Catholic religion.
St. Peter’s is built is upon the crucifixion site of St. Peter himself. Once inside the basilica you can actually visit his tomb which is located beneath the church with special permission (request is required months in advance). The Basilica is heavily guarded with Swiss Guards – they must have the funniest uniforms known to guards in the world! They resemble jester suits and it makes me wonder why in the world all those colors are required.
You actually do have to pass through a pseudo immigration where you are checked. The line up to get into Vatican City can be very long at times and touts are EVERYWHERE from the moment you step into line. Many people are hanging around to give you tours in every language under the sun. Then again, this place is probably one of the biggest tourist attraction in the world which will require a tour, especially if you are not Catholic.
I have to say my favorite part of going to Vatican City wasn’t the city itself, but the Angel Bridge which is adjacent to the ‘country’. It is featured in the movie Angels and Demons (which was heavily referenced by Maria throughout our entire trip in Rome) and is a bridge that goes over the Treste river with beautiful angel statues which make you feel like you are in Romantic Rome.