Visit Vatican City with kids
Visit Vatican City with KIDS
Vatican City is the smallest country in the world – just .2 square miles. It is completely surrounded by the country of Italy.
Tiny Vatican City still has room for a helipad, train stop, department store, post office and the world’s busiest pharmacy with 45 pharmacists on staff.
It is also home to the pope’s body guards – The Swiss Guard. They guard the pope, the church and museum and also play on Vatican’s City’s soccer team. Their colorful unforms were designed by the famous painter, Raphael – not Michelangelo which is a popular legend.
The Pieta, is a famous sculpture of Mary and Jesus inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Michelangelo over heard people talking about this artwork and saying another artist sculpted it. He was very angry and that night carved his name into Mary’s sash. It is the only piece he ever signed.
Michelangelo loved to sculpt but he didn’t really love to paint. So, he wasn’t thrilled when the pope asked him to paint the ceiling, and later the wall, of the Sistine Chapel. But in those days no one said, “No, thank you.” to the pope so Michelangelo got busy painting.
Michelangelo thought the human body was beautiful since it was made by God and he liked to paint people naked. Many people thought it was not appropriate to have naked paintings in the church and asked him to paint clothes. Michelangelo said, “NO way!!” but finally painted a snake to cover up his loudest critic. You can see this person in the very bottom left hand corner of The Last Judgement on the wall of the Sistine Chapel.
The Baldacchino is this bronze canopy where the pope sits during mass. It is the largest piece of bronze in the world. Pope Urban VIII asked his favorite artist, Bernini, to create it. Interestingly, there are symbols of Pope Urban VIII’s family all over it.
Vatican City is a fascinating place for adults and kids alike! Learn more in the Rome book!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist