Given the special character of the Holy See, no figures are available for participation in cultural events, nor are there any surveys monitoring the participation of national minority groups. However, during the general weekly audiences and the Sunday Angelus held in Piazza San Pietro, the Sovereign Pontiff speaks to those present in seven languages plus interventions for special cultural groups. The number of people attending annually can exceed one million. Moreover, there is data concerning visits to the two cultural institutions of the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica. The figures show a continuous increase in visitors.
The average number of visitors to St Peter’s Basilica in 1999 was estimated at 10 000 a day, while in 2000 an average of 20 000 visitors was recorded. There were 1 900 000 visitors to the dome of St Peter’s in 1998, 870 000 in 1999 and 1 100 000 in 2000.
In 2004, there were 50 817 visitors to the excavations of the Vatican Necropolis under the Basilica, with an increase of 6 472 people, equal to 12.07% compared to 2003. (Source: Attività della Santa Sede 2004).
In 2008, the Vatican Museums had a total of 4 441 734 visitors, in comparison to 4 310 083 visitors in 2007. This means a consolidation in the number of visitors. The daily average was 20 000 during the height of the tourist season.