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Vatican City:
Geography

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Vatican City Page


Background
Definition
Popes in their secular role ruled portions of the Italian peninsula for more than a thousand years until the mid 19th century, when many of the Papal States were seized by the newly united Kingdom of Italy. In 1870, the pope's holdings were further circumscribed when Rome itself was annexed. Disputes between a series of "prisoner" popes and Italy were resolved in 1929 by three Lateran Treaties, which established the independent state of Vatican City and granted Roman Catholicism special status in Italy. In 1984, a concordat between the Holy See and Italy modified certain of the earlier treaty provisions, including the primacy of Roman Catholicism as the Italian state religion. Present concerns of the Holy See include religious freedom, international development, the environment, the Middle East, China, the decline of religion in Europe, terrorism, interreligious dialogue and reconciliation, and the application of church doctrine in an era of rapid change and globalization. About one billion people worldwide profess the Catholic faith.
Location
Definition
Southern Europe, an enclave of Rome (Italy)
Geographic coordinates
Definition
41 54 N, 12 27 E
Map references
Definition
Europe
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 0.44 sq km
land: 0.44 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
about 0.7 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 3.2 km
border countries: Italy 3.2 km
Coastline
Definition
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
Definition
none (landlocked)
Climate
Definition
temperate; mild, rainy winters (September to May) with hot, dry summers (May to September)
Terrain
Definition
urban; low hill
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: unnamed location 19 m
highest point: unnamed location 75 m
Natural resources
Definition
none
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (urban area) (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
0 sq km
Natural hazards
Definition
NA
Environment - current issues
Definition
NA
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Climate Change
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution, Environmental Modification
Geography - note
Definition
landlocked; enclave in Rome, Italy; world's smallest state; beyond the territorial boundary of Vatican City, the Lateran Treaty of 1929 grants the Holy See extraterritorial authority over 23 sites in Rome and five outside of Rome, including the Pontifical Palace at Castel Gandolfo (the Pope's summer residence)


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