Vatican City , officially Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano; pronounced [ˈstaːto della t͡ʃitˈta del vatiˈkaːno]), is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of around 840. This makes Vatican City the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.
Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergymen of various national origins. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes) and the location of the Pope's residence, referred to as the Apostolic Palace. The Popes have generally resided in the area that in 1929 became Vatican City since the return from Avignon in 1377, but have also at times resided in the Quirinal Palace in Rome and elsewhere. This book covers the history of the Vatican and its stories.