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Map of Vatican City.

The geography of Vatican Citymarker is unique due to the country's position as an urban, landlocked enclave of Romemarker, Italymarker. With an area of , it is the world's smallest self-governing state. Outside the Vatican City, thirteen buildings in Rome and Castel Gandolfomarker (the pope's summer residence) enjoy extraterritorial rights. The country contains no natural resources and no known natural hazards.

Area and borders

Vatican City has a total area of . All of the almost complex is land and no part of it is covered by water, though the Tiber River lies just outside of its borders to the east. It is a landlocked country that shares a international border with Italy. Most of the border is traditionally enforced with a stone wall, including the Leonine Wallmarker on the western and southern sides.


The city state has the same climate as Rome: temperate, mild, rainy winters (September to mid-May) with hot, dry summers (May to September).


Vatican City sits on a low hill. The hill has been called the Vatican Hillmarker (in Latin, Mons Vaticanus) since long before Christianity existed. The name is suspected of belonging originally to the Etruscan language.

Extreme points

This is a list of the extreme points of Vatican Citymarker: the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location, as well as the highest and lowest points.

  • North: at the intersection of the Viale Vaticano and the Via Leone IV ( )
  • South: at the intersection of the Via della Stazione Vaticana and the Via di Porta Cavalleggeri ( )
  • West: at the intersection of the Viale Vaticano and the Via Aurelia ( )
  • East: easternmost edge of Saint Peter's Squaremarker ( )

The lowest point in Vatican City is an unnamed location at . The highest point is another unnamed location at

Land use

The nature of the estate is fundamentally urban and none of the land is reserved for significant agriculture or other exploitation of natural resources. The city state displays an impressive degree of land economy, born of necessity due to its extremely limited territory. Thus, the urban development (i.e., buildings) is optimized to occupy less than 50% of the total area, while the rest is reserved for open space, including the Vatican Gardensmarker. The territory holds many diverse structures that help provide autonomy for the sovereign state, including rail lines, heliport, post office, radio station, military barracks, government palaces and offices, institutions of higher learning, cultural/art centers, and a few embassies.


In July 2007, the Vatican accepted an offer that will make it the only carbon neutral state for the year, due to the donation of the Vatican Climate Forest in Hungarymarker. The forest is to be sized to offset the year's carbon dioxide emissions.

International agreements

  • Party to: Ozone Layer Protection
  • Signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution, Environmental Modification

See also


External links

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