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Vatican City

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Vatican City, officially State of the Vatican City, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. At approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and with a population of around 800, it is the smallest independent state in the world by both population and area.

Vatican City should not to be confused with the Holy See, which existed long before the foundation of the state of the Vatican City. The two entities even have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, only issues diplomatic and service passports; the state of Vatican City issues normal passports. In both cases the number of passports issued is extremely limited.

The Vatican City, one of the European microstates, is situated on the Vatican Hill in the west-central part of Rome, several hundred metres west of the Tiber river. Its borders (3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) in total, all within Italy) closely follow the city wall constructed to protect the Pope from outside attack. The situation is more complex at the famous St. Peter's Square in front of St. Peter's Basilica, where the correct border is just outside the ellipse formed by Bernini's colonnade, but where police jurisdiction has been entrusted to Italy. The Vatican City is the smallest sovereign state in the world at 0.44 square kilometres (44 ha/110 acres).

The Vatican climate is the same as Rome's; a temperate, Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters from September to mid-May and hot, dry summers from May to August. There are some local features, principally mists and dews, caused by the anomalous bulk of St Peter's Basilica, the elevation, the fountains and the size of the large paved square.

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