Tiny independent nation within Rome, Italy, located on the Vatican Hill, on the west bank of the Tiber River; often called the Vatican.
- It is home to the pope and central administration of the Roman Catholic Church. The pope maintains complete legal, executive, and judicial powers. The Vatican was established in the 1920s by a treaty between the pope and the Italian government.
- The Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica are located here.
- With a total area of less than a fifth of a square mile, it is often considered the world's smallest country.
- The relations of the United States with the Vatican have been controversial. For years, the United States had a diplomatic representative there without the rank of ambassador, but in the middle 1980s, the United States established full diplomatic relations with the Vatican.