Italy’s UNESCO Sites


Reggia di Caserta

Reggia di Caserta (Photo credit: Andrea Alessandretti)


The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “encourages the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage sites around the World considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.”

Castel del Monte, Andria.

Castel del Monte, Andria. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The World Heritage List was initially established by the International Treaty of 1972:  “The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.”  The Treaty generated international cooperation and participation.  The goal was to safeguard the sites with resources from UNESCO and local governments through rigorous management and reporting procedures.

Spagna, Spanish Steps, Spanische Treppe in Rom

Spagna, Spanish Steps, Spanische Treppe in Rom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UNESCO’S Selection Criteria (

  1. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  2. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  3. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  4. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  5. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  6. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
  7. to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  8. to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  9. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
  10. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

The protection, management, authenticity and integrity of properties are also important considerations.

Sacro Monte di Varallo Gaudenzio Ferrari, Stat...

Sacro Monte di Varallo Gaudenzio Ferrari, Statue of Christ on the Road to Calvary, Polychrome wood, ca. 1510 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since 1992 significant interactions between people and the natural environment have been recognized as cultural landscapes.

Caserta, Reggia di Caserta. Appartamento nuovo...

Caserta, Reggia di Caserta. Appartamento nuovo del Re. Sala di Astrea. È una delle tre sale dell’Appartamento reale assieme alla Sala di Marte e alla Sala del Trono. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy is loaded with these cultural global gems.  Europe and North America have 49% of the 890 sites. In 2009, Italy had 44 inscribed properties, more than any other country in the world!

World Heritage List

Name of the property Region
18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex Campania
Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy Piedmont & Lombardy
Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia Friuli
Archaeological Area of Agrigento Sicily
Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata Naples
Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites Assisi
Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua Padua
Castel del Monte Bari
Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena Modena
Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci Milan
Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula Salerno
City of Verona Verona
City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto Vicenza
Costiera Amalfitana Amalfi Coast
Crespi d’Adda Capriate San Gervasio in Lombardy
Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna Ravenna
Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia Lazio
Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta 1 Ferrara
Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli Genoa
Historic Centre of Florence Florence
Historic Centre of Naples Naples
Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura * 2 Rome & Vatican City
Historic Centre of San Gimignano San Gimignano
Historic Centre of Siena Siena in Tuscany
Historic Centre of the City of Pienza Pienza in Tuscany
Historic Centre of Urbino Urbino in Le Marche
Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands) Sicily
Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily) Noto, Modica, Ragusa & Avola in Sicily
Mantua and Sabbioneta Lombardy
Piazza del Duomo, Pisa Pisa in Tuscany
Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) Cinque Terre in Liguria
Residences of the Royal House of Savoy Turin in Piedmont
Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes * Lombardy
Rock Drawings in Valcamonica Lombardy
Su Nuraxi di Barumini Sardinia
Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica Sicily
The Trulli of Alberobello Bari
The Dolomites Lombardy & Alto Adige
The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera Matera in Basilicata
Val d’Orcia Tuscany
Venice and its Lagoon Venice
Villa Adriana (Tivoli) Lazio
Villa d’Este, Tivoli Lazio
Villa Romana del Casale Piazza Amerina in Sicily
Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.