The Vatican is the smallest independent state in the world.
Vatican City covers 0.45 square kilometers (0.17 square miles) in the heart of Rome. In 1929 it was recognized by the Italian government as an independent and sovereign state, all that was left to the popes of the vast power they had once wielded in the Papal States of central Italy. Within the city is the great church of St Peter's and the Vatican Palace, the spiritual center of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of the Pope.
Like any other government, Vatican City sends diplomatic representatives to foreign governments, as well as permanent representatives to Catholics in other countries.
Vatican City has its own flag, its own post office, its own telephone and radio stations.