The Vatican reported on Thursday that its tiny state wasn’t spared by the global economic downfall. With its budget deficit hitting $19 million, 2011 was one of the Holy See’s worst financial years on record.
With lines for entering Vatican museums and Saint Peter’s Basilica consistently as long as the Vatican wall, last year alone tickets for attractions like the Sistine Chapel filled the Vatican’s coffers with more than $90 million. If to that you add the almost $70 million the pope received in charitable donations, it’s difficult to believe that the smallest state in the world, with its 0.2-square-miles territory, could ever go in the red.
Here’s an idea: turn it into a theme park. Why not? They’ve already got a bunch of folks running around in costumes, and they’ve got people lining up to see the sideshows. Open a few rides — “You must be THIS TALL to ride the Wild Friar” (oops; too soon?) — sell Sno-Cones made of holy water, and they could make up the deficit in no time.
Or they could just have a yard sale.