UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy

Italy is known all over the world for being “The Bel Paese”, meaning “Beautiful Country” in Italian. Such a characteristic seems to have been recognized also by the UNESCO. In fact, Italy counts for 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within its borders, more than any other country on the World Heritage List. San Marino, which is a long-standing independent republic within the Italian national Territory, has also been enlisted separately.

The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the UNESCO General Conference, states that the organization is the official designator of these sites. The goal of the Convention is to identify, according to precise criteria, areas, zones and places containing unique characteristics, of particular importance as far as culture, archaeology, environment or landscape are concerned. Italy’s World Heritage Sites are well-known. Following you will find the updated list of the chosen sites along with the enlisting date:

• Rock Drawings in Valcamonica (1979)
• Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci (1980)
• Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura (1980)
• Historic Centre of Florence (1982)
• Piazza del Duomo, Pisa (1987)
• Venice and its lagoon (1987)
• Historic Centre of San Gimignano (1990)
• The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera (1993)
• City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto (1994)
• Crespi d’Adda (1995)
• Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta (1995)
• Historic Centre of Naples (1995)
• Historic Centre of Siena (1995)
• Castel del Monte (1996)
• Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna (1996)
• Historic Centre of the City of Pienza (1996)
• The Trulli of Alberobello(1996)
• 18th century Royal Palace of Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli and the San Leucio Complex (1997)
• Archaeological Area of Agrigento (1997)
• Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (1997)
• Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua (1997)
• Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena (1997)
• Costiera Amalfitana (1997)
• Porto Venere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) (1997)
• Residences of the Royal House of Savoy (1997)
• Su Nuraxi di Barumini (1997)
• Villa Romana del Casale (1997)
• Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia (1998)
• Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archæological sites of Pæstum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula(1998)
• Historic Centre of Urbino (1998)
• Villa Adriana (Tivoli) (1999)
• Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi and other Franciscan Sites — 2000
• City of Verona — 2000
• Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands), Sicily — 2000
• Villa d’Este, Tivoli — The classic Renaissance villa, with magnificent water gardens; 2001
• Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto; eight towns in South-Eastern Sicily: Caltagirone, Militello in Val di Catania,Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli — 2002
• Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy — The several churches and religious centres in Lombardy; 2003
• Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia — 2004
• Val d’Orcia — 2004
• Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica, Sicily — 2005
• Genoa, Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli — 2006
• Rhaetian Railway, shared with Switzerland — 2008
• Mantua and Sabbioneta — 2008
• The Dolomites — The majestic mountains in Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol — 2009
• Monte San Giorgio — Extension of the Italian border of Monte San Giorgio in Switzerland — 2010
• Longobards in Italy, Places of Power (568-774 A.D.) — It’s a group of seven Langobards sites: Brescia, Cividale del Friuli, Castelseprio, Spoleto, Campello sul Clitunno, Benevento and Monte Sant’Angelo; 2011
• Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps, shared with Austria, Germany, France, Slovenia, Switzerland — 2011
• Mount Etna — The tallest active volcano in Europe – 2013
• Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany – 2013
• The Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato – 2014

As you can see the Italy’s first recognized World Heritage Site were the Rock Drawings in Val camonica, back in 1979. This stone carvings of Val Camonica are located in the Province of Brescia, Italy, and constitute one of the largest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the world.

UNESCO has formally recognized more than 140,000 figures and symbols, but new discoveries have increased the number of cataloged incisions to between 200,000 and 300,000. The petroglyphs are spread on all surfaces of the valley, but concentrated in the areas of Darfo Boario Terme, Capo di Ponte, Nadro, Cimbergo and Paspardo. Many of the incisions were made over a time period of eight thousand years preceding the Iron Age (1st millennium BC),while petroglyphs of the last period are attributed to the people of Camunni, mentioned by Latin sources.
All 50 sites have been, at one time or another, travel destinations for those seeking out history, art and culture in the Bel Paese. In fact, the 50 sites may well be used as a guideline for touring Italy. Perhaps choosing one or two of the UNESCO sites that are close to each, like the Historic Centre of San Gemignano and Siena that can then lead you across the amazing Chianti Area and the Renaissance city of Florence, may well constitute the start of one itinerary into beautiful Italy!

Expert Tour Guides for Tuscany are available to transform your journey into an unforgettable experience. Renewed efforts by the Institutes to preserve UNESCO sites convey the call to everyone to get to know them better.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: