Did You Know?
Within Italy’s Borders are Two Sovereign Nations
Vatican City, officially known as the Vatican City State, is technically described as a walled enclave within the city of Rome. It has an area of only 110 acres, and a population of 842. It is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population. For over thousand years, the Lateran Palace, on the opposite side of Rome was the residence of the Pontiff.
The independent city-state, came into existence in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty drawn between the Holy See and Italy. The economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and tourist mementos, fees for admission to museums, and the sale of publications. It has no income tax. The Vatican Gardens account for more than half of the area of the city-state (approximately 57 acres). The Institute for Works of Religion, also known as the Vatican Bank, conducts worldwide financial activities and lays claim to the only ATM in the world that has instructions in Latin.
San Marino also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy. It is situated on the Italian Peninsula on the north-eastern side of the Apennine Mountains.
San Marino claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, as it is the continuation of the monastic community founded on September 3rd, 301, by the stonecutter Marinus of Arba, later Saint Marinus. Following the Great Persecution (also known as The Diocletianic Persecution) – the last and most severe persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, Marinus escaped to Monte Titano. Here he built a small church and founded what is now the city and state of San Marino. The size of the nation is just over 24 square miles and has an estimated population of 32,000. San Marino has a highly stable economy, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, no national debt and a budget surplus. It also has more cars than residents!