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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Infrastructure of Vatican City

Vatican City has a reasonably well developed transport network considering its size (consisting mostly of a plaza and walkways). As a country that is 1.05 kilometres (0.6 mi) long and 0.85 kilometres (0.5 mi) wide, it has a small transportation system with no airports or highways. There is one heliport and a standard gauge railway connected to Italy's network at Rome's Saint Peter's station by an 852 metres (932 yd) long spur, only 300 metres (328 yd) of which is within Vatican territory.
Pope John XXIII was the first Pope to make use of this railway, and Pope John Paul II used it as well, albeit very rarely. The railway is mainly used to transport freight. As Vatican City has no airports (it is one of the few independent states in the world without one, except for the aforementioned heliport), it is served by the airports that serve the city of Rome, within which the Vatican is located, namely: Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport and to a lesser extent, Ciampino Airport, which both serve as the departure gateway for the Pope's international visits.
The City is served by an independent, modern telephone system, the Vatican Pharmacy, and post office. The postal system was founded on 11 February 1929, and two days later became operational. On 1 August, the state started to release its own postal stamps, under the authority of the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State. The City's postal service is sometimes recognised as "the best in the world" and mail has been noted to get to its target before the postal service in Rome.
The Vatican also controls its own Internet TLD, which is registered as (.va). Broadband service is widely provided within Vatican City. Vatican City has also been given a radio ITU prefix, HV, and this is sometimes used by amateur radio operators.
Vatican Radio, which was organised by Guglielmo Marconi, broadcasts on short-wave, medium-wave and FM frequencies and on the Internet. Its main transmission antennae are located in Italian territory. Television services are provided through another entity, the Vatican Television Center.
L'Osservatore Romano is the multilingual semi-official newspaper of the Holy See. It is published by a private corporation under the direction of Roman Catholic laymen but reports on official information. However, the official texts of documents are in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official gazette of the Holy See, which has an appendix for documents of the Vatican City State.
Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center, and L'Osservatore Romano are organs not of the Vatican State but of the Holy See, and are listed as such in the Annuario Pontificio, which places them in the section "Institutions linked with the Holy See", ahead of the sections on the Holy See's diplomatic service abroad and the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, after which is placed the section on the State of Vatican City.

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