The smallest independent country is completely surrounded by the capital of Italy. Engulfed by Rome, Vatican City is the smallest country and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. it is headed by the Pope.
Italy once had a large area ruled by the Catholic Church. All that remains of this region is the city of Vatican. Modern Italy agreed to grant independence to Vatican in the year 1929. The population of the country consists almost entirely of religious of ficials and others who work within the Papal palace.