Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy | Discover the Cultural Capital of the World

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy.

Readers of Tourist by Chance, I have big news for you and as an Italian, I write this post with great pride!

As of 9 July 2017, a further 5 places in Italy were added to the prestigious Unesco World Heritage Sites list, therefore confirming Italy’s number 1 spot as Cultural Capital of the World. 

Post Tip: Click the images marked @TouristbyChance to discover some of the amazing Unesco World Heritage Sites I have personally visited!

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy
Official Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy map.

Italy continues to be number one on the Unesco World Heritage Sites list and it is another distinguished recognition for Italian culture and beauty.

Curious to see the whole list? Do not fear! You will find a complete list of all 53 sites below so let us first understand what all the fuss is about, shall we. 

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy
Piazza dei Miracoli also one of the 53 Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy.

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy
Reggia di Caserta, in the Campania region.

Adopted on 16 November 1972, the Unesco Convention was established with the aim to identify and maintain the list of sites that are of particular importance from a cultural or natural point of view.

This year’s event, that was held in Krakow Poland, marked the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee, therefore, you could say it is kind of a big deal!

Italy’s Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Dario Franceschini, proudly announced the illustrious result for Il Bel Paese, while, Foreign Minister, Angelino Alfano, also commented by saying, “With this result, Italy confirms to be the Country with the largest number of UNESCO sites in the world: 53; an authentic superpower of culture and beauty.” 

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy
New to the list – Palmanova, la citta fortezza – photo by Ansa.

Some of the new additions include, the Abruzzese beech trees, spread throughout our country, with an area of a staggering 1000 hectares and, the other new entry is the ‘Venetian Defence Works’ of breathtaking Palmanova. Built to defend Christianity from the Ottomans in 1593, they constitute a unique perspective to military architecture that has evolved from the 16th to the 17th centuries.

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy in Comparison

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy
Venice is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

While Italy is first on the list, you may be wondering who is on the podium along with Il Bel Paese and what gets considered?

Second place goes to Spain, with 44 Unesco sites, and China that has a total of 43 takes third place, moreover, the list contains a total of 936 sites, of which 725 cultural assets, 183 natural and 28 mixed in 153 countries of the world!

So how does that translate in numbers for Italy?

To put it simply, Il Bel Paese ‘owns’ 5.66% of the world’s cultural and natural assets, consequently, marking Italy as the Cultural Capital of the World. 

If only we knew how to make all this count!

Many parts of Il Bel Paese struggle due to poor infrastructure and marketing, yet, we are in the top 5 most visited countries in the world, however, our potential is far greater. 

In fact, Italy is losing important ground in the tourism industry to countries such as France, that have mastered the art of promoting their own heritage.

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy
So is the Vatican in Rome.

Unesco World Heritage Sites on Twitter

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy | Complete List

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy
Siena’s historical city center also makes the Unesco World Heritage Site list.

Cultural (48)

  1. 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex (1997)
  2. Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy (2003)
  3. Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale (2015)
  4. Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia (1998)
  5. Archaeological Area of Agrigento (1997)
  6. Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (1997)
  7. Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites (2000)
  8. Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua (1997)
  9. Castel del Monte (1996)
  10. Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena (1997)
  11. Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci (1980)
  12. Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula(1998)
  13. City of Verona (2000)
  14. City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto (1994)
  15. Costiera Amalfitana (1997)
  16. Crespi d’Adda (1995)
  17. Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna (1996)
  18. Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia (2004)
  19. Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta (1995)
  20. Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli (2006)
  21. Historic Centre of Florence (1982)
  22. Historic Centre of Naples (1995)
  23. Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura (1980)
  24. Historic Centre of San Gimignano (1990)
  25. Historic Centre of Siena (1995)

Cultural (48) continued

  1. Historic Centre of the City of Pienza (1996)
  2. Historic Centre of Urbino (1998)
  3. Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily) (2002)
  4. Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568-774 A.D.) (2011)
  5. Mantua and Sabbioneta (2008)
  6. Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany (2013)
  7. Piazza del Duomo, Pisa (1987)
  8. Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) (1997)
  9. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps (2011)
  10. Residences of the Royal House of Savoy (1997)
  11. Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes (2008)
  12. Rock Drawings in Valcamonica (1979)
  13. Su Nuraxi di Barumini (1997)
  14. Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (2005)
  15. The Trulli of Alberobello (1996)
  16. The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera (1993)
  17. Val d’Orcia (2004)
  18. Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar (2017)
  19. Venice and its Lagoon (1987)
  20. Villa Adriana (Tivoli) (1999)
  21. Villa d’Este, Tivoli (2001)
  22. Villa Romana del Casale (1997)
  23. Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato (2014)

Natural (5)

  1. Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands) (2000)
  2. Monte San Giorgio (2003)
  3. Mount Etna (2013)
  4. Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe (2007)
  5. The Dolomites (2009)

Sources: http://www.italia.it; http://whc.unesco.org; http://www.esteri.it

Unesco World Heritage Sites Italy
Castel Dell’Ovo, Naples. The Naples Historical Center is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

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