Vatican City

Travel with Activity Village to the smallest country in the world, which despite its size is steeped in a rich cultural, religious and political history. Home to the Pope and other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, it has become a popular tourist destination as well as a place of pilgrimage. Our printable resources below are then the perfect place to test your knowledge!

A view over St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City and the rooftops of Rome.
A view over St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City and the rooftops of Rome.

A Little Geography ...

  • Vatican City is a tiny independent state found in northwest Rome in Italy. Sitting to the west of the Tiber River, it has an area of about 0.4 square kilometres!
  • The country is mostly surrounded by old walls, originally built to protect the Pope from invaders. About 900 citizens live within these walls. They are mostly clergy, but also include a voluntary military force called the Swiss Guard.

Swiss Guard in their striking uniforms at the Vatican
Swiss Guard in their striking uniforms at the Vatican

  • The official language is Latin, but Italian is more commonly spoken.
  • Famous features of Vatican City include the Vatican Palaces (home to the Pope), St Peter’s Basilica (an ancient church believed to be built on the tomb of the first Pope, St Peter), and the Vatican Museums (also home to the stunning Sistine Chapel). Many of these buildings display some of the most beautiful paintings and sculptures in the world, by artists such as Botticelli and Michelangelo.
  • The country’s economy is supported by donations to the Roman Catholic Church, as well as banking and financial investments. Tourism and the sale of Vatican postage stamps and coins are also important contributors.

A Little History ...

  • During the 9th and 10th Centuries, the Roman Catholic Church was very powerful. The Pope governed areas around Rome and also parts of central Italy known as the Papal States.
  • When Italy became unified in 1871, Rome was made the country’s capital. But the Pope refused to leave the Vatican. This dispute was only resolved in 1929, when the Italian government agreed to create an independent country – Vatican City – governed by the Pope.
  • Vatican City has a simple government which handles all the financial, religious and political relations of the Roman Catholic Church.

And Some Interesting Facts ...

  • Vatican City has its own postal system, and Vatican City stamps are highly sought-after by collectors.
  • The country has its own police force, but the Pope also has Swiss Guards to personally protect him. Their flamboyant uniform is popular with tourists!
  • The country’s flag features a papal tiara (crown) and crossed gold and silver keys. These symbolise the keys to heaven given by Jesus to St Peter, as described in the Bible.

About the Vatican City Flag

Vatican City Flag Printables

Have you noticed that the flag of the Vatican City is square? It is one of only two square flags in the world - the other being Switzerland! The flag has two bands, left yellow and right white, with the crossed keys of Saint Peter and the Papal tiara in the white band.


Our Vatican CityResources

Vatican City Booklet

Vatican City Booklet

Print and fold a little booklet, perfect for storing Vatican City facts and information. Instructions are here.

Vatican City Bookmarks

Vatican City Bookmarks

Print out a set of Vatican City flag bookmarks. We have some to colour in, and some pre-coloured.

Vatican City Flag Jigsaw

Vatican City Flag Jigsaw

Here's one of our flag jigsaws for the Vatican City flag. They take moments to make and are a great way of learning the flags. Instructions and cutting guides are here.

Vatican City Location Worksheet

Vatican City Location Worksheet

This worksheet asks children to locate Vatican City on an outline map of Europe. We have a guided versions for younger children and a harder version for older kids.

Vatican City Notebooking Page

Vatican City Notebooking Page

We have two notebooking pages for the Vatican City to choose from, one with space for a picture, illustration or map.

Vatican City On Map Of Europe

Vatican City On Map Of Europe

Vatican city is very small, so we've helped the children learn where it is in Europe by showing it in red on this map.

Vatican City Worksheet

Vatican City Worksheet

If you are learning about Vatican City, this simple worksheet might be a good place to start with the kids.

Vatican Fact Worksheet

Vatican Fact Worksheet

Can the kids find out a little bit about The Vatican, the smallest country in the world, and locate it on the map on our fact worksheet?

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