Signposting the Vatican

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Vierwielen
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Signposting the Vatican

Postby Vierwielen » Tue Sep 12, 2017 20:35

The exit to the Vatican is clearly signposted on the Rome ringroad. However it also warrants its own signposts on the road between the airport and the ringroad as shown here. I can see the reason for Naples (Napoli) being signposted - it is the autostrade to the south, Florence (Firenze) is the autostrade to the north and L'Aquila is the autostrade to the east. I sometimes wondered if this signposting was for the benefit of visitors to the Vatican (a sovereign independent state) who had no right to enter Italy other than to travel to the Vatican.

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sydneynick
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Re: Signposting the Vatican

Postby sydneynick » Wed Sep 13, 2017 02:35

I doubt whether anyone can enter the Vatican without having the right to enter Italy. For all practical purposes, the Vatican is part of the Schengen Area. Anyone who is in the Vatican can just walk out and go anywhere in mainland western Europe.
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Owain
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Re: Signposting the Vatican

Postby Owain » Wed Sep 13, 2017 09:36

Vierwielen wrote:The exit to the Vatican is clearly signposted on the Rome ringroad. However it also warrants its own signposts on the road between the airport and the ringroad as shown here. I can see the reason for Naples (Napoli) being signposted - it is the autostrade to the south, Florence (Firenze) is the autostrade to the north and L'Aquila is the autostrade to the east. I sometimes wondered if this signposting was for the benefit of visitors to the Vatican (a sovereign independent state) who had no right to enter Italy other than to travel to the Vatican.


It is probably the result of the Italian state showing respect to the Vatican as an independent sovereign state. The manner in which the independence of the Vatican was established in 1929 - after more than half a century of bitter cold war, in which the popes refused to recognise the legitimacy of the Kingdom of Italy - suggests as much.

It is probably also because many foreign visitors to the Vatican - I'm referring to diplomats and cardinals, rather than to tourists who would probably visit Rome as well - will be interested in heading straight there. They are in Italy because their plane landed at Fiumicino, but they are not visiting Italy.

The Republic of San Marino is widely signposted in the Romagna region, even though the Italian state has less reason historically to bend over backwards to acknowledge its existence.
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KeithW
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Re: Signposting the Vatican

Postby KeithW » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:05

The Vatican is a major site for Catholics and there are many people who visit Italy purely for religious reasons. The area between the Tiber and the Vatican is packed with hotels and guesthouses who's main business is catering for visitors to the Vatican, many of them being members of the clergy. When I stayed in a small hotel just off the Borgo Pio I seemed to be the only non catholic in the building and the surrounding trattoria were packed with priests and nuns at lunch time.

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brombeer
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Re: Signposting the Vatican

Postby brombeer » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:20

Indeed. Plus arguably it makes a good destination to be signposted on the GRA (and on the A91 from Fiumicino where it intersects with the GRA) to refer to a much larger area of town west of the River Tiber. Broadly speaking, that's the area for which the SS1/Aurelia is the normal route into town.


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