Vatican City | St. Peter’s
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Small countries of Europe: Vatican City

Vatican City

Vatican City, the tiniest country in Continental Europe, is also the most influential. At the heart of it all is St. Peter’s Basilica, built between 1506 and 1615 by famous architects, including Michelangelo, who designed the dome. (Susan Spano / Los Angeles Times)
Vatican City

Here, one of the most popular modes of transportation is the scooter. WIthin the Vatican’s walls are a bank, printing press, commissary, gas station, railroad, helipad, radio station, tennis court, medical clinic, hotel and offices of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s daily newspaper. (Susan Spano / Los Angeles Times)
Vatican City

“Sphere Within a Sphere,” by Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, sits in the Pine Cone Courtyard in the Vatican Museums, which has seven miles of galleries. (Susan Spano / Los Angeles Times)
Vatican City

The Gallery of Maps in the Vatican Museums is a masterpiece of 40 historical-topographical maps of Italy devised in the 16th century by papal astronomer Ignazio Danti. Other must-see galleries include frescoed rooms by Raphael and, of course, the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo. (Susan Spano / Los Angeles Times)
Vatican City

Vatican City, though small, can be overwhelming, and that’s where guided tours can help. Tours cover the Vatican Museums-Sistine Chapel, the gardens and the pre-Christian necropolis underneath St. Peter’s Basilica, among other sights. Pictured, an official guide leads her group around the Vatican Museums. (Susan Spano / Los Angeles Times)
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