Pope John Paul II sent the first papal email. Pope Benedict XVI was the first pope with a Twitter account. And Pope Francis started Scholas Labs. The Vatican has been using the Internet to connect with the Church's peripheries for years.
And one of the lesser known services it offers are webcams. The Holy See has set up cameras at key spots throughout Vatican City.
- The Dome of St. Peter's Basilica, as seen from the Vatican Gardens.
- St. Peter's Square, as seen from the Colonnades.
- St. Peter's Square and the city of Rome, as seen from the Dome of St. Peter's Basilica.
- The Tomb of Saint Pope John Paul II, in the grottoes of St. Peter's Basilica.
- The Governorate Palace, as seen from the Dome of St. Peter's Square.
- Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence.
The webcams can be viewed anytime at vaticanstate.va
While these views aren't a substitute for an actual visit to Rome, they are a nice way to just check in and see what's happening around some of the Catholicism's most famous sites.