The Governorate of Vatican City State today opened a new Internet portal (www.vaticanstate.va) in order to meet the needs of the ever increasing numbers of pilgrims and tourists in the Vatican, and to respond to the continuous requests for information reaching the various offices of Vatican State though the traditional channels.
A communiqué made public yesterday afternoon explains that the new website, which will run alongside the official Holy See website (www.vatican.va), has been implemented in five languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish and German) with Portuguese soon to be added. Through its five sections (State and Government, Services, Other Institutions, Monuments and Shop) the portal "presents the State's bodies, the key monuments with descriptions and images, and useful time schedules for the public" reads the English-language communiqué.
The site also offers a photo tour of the Vatican Gardens, as well as giving 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.
Via the new portal, the communiqué concludes, "visitors will soon be able to purchase Vatican coins, stamps and other articles available from the Vatican Museum's publications and reproductions sales office."