When in Rome, many choose to visit the independent city-state that is the Vatican. This place was a major centre of power in Europe after the fall of Rome until the notion of the separation of church and state caught on in more recent times. It is still protected by the independent Swiss Guard, of funny hat and striped uniform fame. Although their uniforms may be dated, their skills are not. They are trained in the Swiss military. Do not mess with them.
St. Peter’s Basilica is the star attraction, the grand church at the center of the piazza and at the heart of Roman Catholicism. The inside of this basilica was designed by Bernini, one of Rome’s more famous artists, and he clearly was given a generous budget at the time. They were out to impress and they were successful.