The Vatican City State has ventured forth into the digital world today by launching a sharply designed Internet portal. The new site (www.vaticanstate.va) comes as a response to the ever increasing number of requests by pilgrims and tourists for information about the world’s smallest city state.
The new website, will run alongside the official Holy See website (www.vatican.va), and has been implemented in five languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish and German) with Portuguese soon to be added.
The offices of the various entities within the 109 acre sovereignty are represented by the categories: State and Government, Services, Other Institutions, Monuments and Shop. A communiqué about the site says that the portal "presents the State's bodies, the key monuments with descriptions and images, and useful time schedules for the public.”
The site also offers a photo tour of the Vatican Gardens, as well as real time access via five webcams to some of the most famous sights: the dome of St. Peter's, St. Peter's Square, a panoramic view of Rome, the tomb of John Paul II and the palace of the Governorate.
The new portal will also soon add some features that stamp collectors and museum buffs will be quite excited about. According to the site designers, "visitors will soon be able to purchase Vatican coins, stamps and other articles available from the Vatican Museum's publications and reproductions sales office."