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Culture & Identity of Vatican City

Introduction

The people that work in Vatican City often times actually live in Rome and their daily way of life strongly reflects that of the Romans. Many of these people simply commute to and from Vatican City each day for work. However, there are a significant number of people that do live and work in the country and for these people life tends to be a bit quieter.

For many of Vatican City's employees who live in Rome, life begins and ends with the work day, commuting to the Vatican, working, and heading home to spend the evening with family or friends. For many of these people, work offers regular hours from Monday to Friday, but for many people, especially those working in the tourist locations, Saturday tend to be a full day with larger crowds. For those working in more clerical roles, such as in a position working for the Holy See, weekends are a time off of work.

For the people that live in Vatican City, evenings tend to be quiet as Vatican City doesn't have the crowds or nightlife of Rome. However, restaurants and other entertainment options are always close in Rome. Saturdays are the busiest day in Vatican City, but again for the clerical employees living in Vatican City, the weekend is the time to do as they please and these large crowds can easily be avoided by staying in their private residence or heading out of Rome entirely. How each individual spends this time is very personal, especially considering the vast cultural differences found in Vatican City. However, religion is an important part of the lives of these people and nearly everyone regularly attends mass, especially on Sundays.

Identity

Citizenship in Vatican City is based on being a Roman Catholic and hence, this is the greatest identifying factor for the citizens of Vatican City. This is even more pronounced considering the people here are of various ethnicities and generally speak various languages so their most obvious commonality is their religious affiliation and citizenship. However, no one is born in Vatican City and citizenship is gained only later in life when an individual works in a role for the church that gives him or her citizenship.

Due to the diversity of the country and its citizenship, almost no one identifies as a citizen of Vatican City, much more common is for a citizen to first identify as a Catholic. In fact, every citizen identifies as a Catholic on some level and for many of them this is their primary means of identifying. The other common way citizens of Vatican City identify is by their native ethnicity or nationality. For example, ethnic Italians and the Swiss citizens who work as soldiers in the Vatican's Swiss Guard will often primarily identify as being Italians and Swiss, respectively.

This page was last updated: November, 2013