After the Concordat was signed in 1929 between Mussolini and Pope Pius XI, Via della Conciliazione was created to link up the capital of the Italian State with the Vatican State.
To make this street, the ancient Spina di Borgo was detroyed. This was the road that crossed Borgo Sant'Angelo and Borgo Pio to reach St. Peter's Square
and was the work of Marcello Piacentini and Attilio Spaccarelli.
The destruction carried out to create the new street, an expression of pre-war rationalization, has never ceased to be the cause of controversy.
In any case, it must be said that its creation did solve one problem: the street opened up the view of St. Peter's Dome
which had been taken away when Carlo Maderno lengthened the nave of the basilica and covered it up with the façade.
From a distance, in Via della Conciliazione you can see the whole Basilica
and dome but it is not until you are actually at the end of the street that the extraordinary St Peter's Square opens in front of you.
This piazza, the basilica and the whole area inside the Leonine walls make up the Vatican City
, capital of the world's smallest independent state.
The Vatican has the Pope as its sovereign ruler and has its own administrative bodies and gendarmes. The Swiss Guards, founded in 1527, are responsible for the Pope's protection and guard the access points.