Even though I completed my challenge to visit thirty countries by age thirty, I still want to carry on bagging new countries where I can. So I couldn’t resist going to a new country for my 31st birthday. I can now say I have visited 31 countries by age 31.
For those people who don’t believe that The Holy See aka The Vatican in Rome, Italy, is a separate country I say “Talk to the FOREIGN OFFICE”, my friends, you are clearly what the Pope would call a Doubting Thomas.
As with Liechtenstein and Gibraltar, it’s fun to go to these weird places that just seem to make up their own rules. It reminds me that I must try to visit this crazy oil rig “country” at some point. If I win the lottery maybe I’ll even buy it - I understand it’s for sale.
So here’s a few fun facts about the Holy See:
- It’s the world’s smallest country, taking up only 0.44sq km
- It’s the world’s first carbon-neutral state
- It has a crime rate more than 20 times higher than Italy(!)
- There are 829 residents who hold a Vatican passport
- Instead of paying their taxes to the Italian government, Italians are allowed to donate 8% of their yearly taxed to the Vatican.