Crowds in St Peter's Square for the Papal Address The Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world. It lies in the middle of the Italian capital city of Rome. The Vatican City is ruled by the Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope once ruled the Papal States, a territory that included much of central Italy, but today, only the Vatican City State remains. It is the centre of the Roman Catholic Church. Millions of tourists flock to the Vatican City every year. Many are Catholics who come to receive the Pope's blessing in St Peter’s Square.
The Vatican City State makes some of its money from tourist admission charges and the sale of souvenirs and books. The rest comes from donations made by Catholic individuals and organizations. Everyone who lives inside the Vatican City works for the church or the state. Another 2000 people commute into the city to work, but live in Rome.
Despite having a population of only about 1000 people, the Vatican City State issues its own stamps and coins, has a railway station and publishes its own newspaper.
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