Vatican city with St. Peter's Basilica
Vatican city with St. Peter's Basilica

Vatican City is situated in Rome and is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, the home to the Pope and a treasure chest of iconic art and architecture.

Throughout history, in particular, the middle ages, the popes controlled historical Italian Papal States. On 13th May 1871, the newly formed Italian state restricted the pope's authority to the Vatican and Lateran areas of Rome and the rural retreat of Castel Gandolfo. The popes refused to accept the validity of this law until the Concordat of 11th February 1929 gave the Catholic Church special status in Italy and paid an indemnity to the now independent Vatican City.

The Museums at the Vatican are home to many ancient Roman sculptures, including the renowned "Laocoön and His Sons” as well as Renaissance frescoes in the Raphael Rooms and the legendary Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling.

The Vatican, seat of the Catholic Church in the heart of Rome, is crammed full of glorious art and some of the world's most beautiful buildings. It is a definite must-see.

Upcoming Departures

Activity Level
Andante Guide Lecturer Dr Eireann Marshall
8 days
Price from
Next date
3 November 2022


UK: Not required for a stay of up to 3 months in duration.

USA: Not required for a stay of up to 90 days in duration.



How to dress:

In the summer, wear light cotton clothes, t-shirts, lightweight trousers, and sandals. Although, if you are planning to visit the cities and towns, you may want to bring comfortable walking shoes. Pack sunglasses, a sun visor or hat, and sunscreen for the sunnier days. In winter, and whilst the climate is milder in the south, you may need to dress up warm in the north. If you are visiting St. Peter’s Basilica and/or the Vatican museums, you should dress for comfort while respecting the rules, which are to cover your knees and shoulders.

Cultural differences:

Food is widely the same as you would expect to encounter across Rome. Like most Italians, the Vatican residents believe their cooking to be amongst the world's best. On Christmas Eve, the Italian tradition is to have the meal of the seven fishes, including eels, conch, and squid. Lamb is a traditional Easter dish. For each of these meals, there is always a pasta course.




As with most European countries, tipping is not mandatory in Italy but it is considered generous. Italians don’t over tip. In most restaurants, service is built into the bill. You may see a “pane e coperto” listed in the bill. This is a bread and cover charge, which means that it pays for the tablecloth and bread. No further tip is needed. If you want, you may leave a few euros but no more than 10% of the total bill. Andante Travels will take care of gratuities to restaurant staff, local guides and drivers.