Since wars are born in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be placed“.

UNESCO Constitution

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was founded in London just after the end of the Second World War, as part of the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME).

At the end of the Conference, delegates from 37 countries founded the international organisation on 16 November 1945 and signed its Constitution, which officially came into force on 4 November of the following year. UNESCO is a specialised agency of the United Nations and currently has 195 member countries and 8 associate states.

Italy has been a member since 1948.

UNESCO’s governing bodies are: the General Conference, the Executive Council and the Secretariat, the latter responsible for implementing the decisions of the two bodies. Member States believe in “equal educational opportunities for all, the unrestricted pursuit of objective truth and the free exchange of ideas and knowledge” and the purpose of the organisation is to “contribute to peace and safety by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science and culture for the greater universal respect of justice, law, human rights and the fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for all peoples of the world without distinction of race, sex, language or religion by the Charter of the United Nations“.

In 1972 UNESCO adopted the ‘Convention for the Protection of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of Humanity’ with the aim of identifying, protecting, safeguarding and transmitting the world’s cultural and natural heritage to future generations. The Convention stipulates that candidate properties may be included in the World Heritage List if they are of outstanding universal value and meet at least one of the ten criteria set out in its Guidelines, in addition to the conditions of integrity and/or authenticity. They must also have an adequate protection and management system in place to ensure their preservation. Once on the List, World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, regardless of the territories in which they are located.

Since 1978, World Heritage Sites have been identified by a special logo alongside that of UNESCO.

With her 55 sites included in the WHL, Italy leads all countries in terms of number of inclusions.

They’re all places that at least once in their lives have been the object of a desire to travel, to get to know and experience the history, art and culture of the Bel Paese.

So why not organise our holidays among these enchanting places?

Here’s the list with the year of entry in brackets:

  1. Petroglyphs in Val Camonica (1979).
  2. Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie including Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper”, Milan (1980).
  3. Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura (1980-1990).
  4. Historic Centre of Florence (1982).
  5. Venice and its Lagoon (1987).
  6. Piazza del Duomo in Pisa (1987).
  7. Historic Centre of San Gimignano (1990).
  8. The Sassi and the Park of Rupestrian Churches in Matera (1993).
  9. City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas in Veneto (1994-1996).
  10. Historic Centre of Siena (1995).
  11. Historic Centre of Naples (1995).
  12. Crespi d’Adda (1995).
  13. Ferrara, City of the Renaissance and its Po Delta (1995-1999).
  14. Castel del Monte (1996).
  15. Trulli in Alberobello (1996).
  16. Palaeochristian monuments in Ravenna (1996).
  17. Historic Centre of Pienza (1996).
  18. 18th-century Royal Palace in Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex (1997).
  19. Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in Turin (1997).
  20. Botanical Garden in Padua (1997).
  21. Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena (1997).
  22. Archaeological areas in Pompei, Ercolano and Torre Annunziata (1997).
  23. Villa romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina (1997).
  24. Su Nuraxi in Barumini (1997).
  25. Portovenere, the Cinque Terre and the isles of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto (1997).
  26. Amalfi Coast (1997).
  27. Archaeological Area of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento (1997).
  28. Archaeological Area and Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia (1998).
  29. Historical Centre of Urbino (1998).
  30. Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the archaeological site of Paestum, Velia and the Charterhouse of Padula (1998).
  31. Villa Adriana in Tivoli (1999).
  32. City of Verona (2000).
  33. Eolie Islands (2000).
  34. Assisi, the Basilica of St Francis and other Franciscan sites (2000).
  35. Villa d’Este at Tivoli (2001).
  36. Late-baroque cities in the Val di Noto, southeastern Sicily (2002).
  37. Sacred Mounts of Piedmont and Lombardy (2003).
  38. Monte San Giorgio (2003).
  39. Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia (2004).
  40. Val d’Orcia (Siena) (2004).
  41. City of Siracusa and the necropolis of Pantalica (2005).
  42. Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of Palazzi dei Rolli (2006).
  43. Mantua and Sabbioneta (2008).
  44. Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes (2008).
  45. The Dolomites (2009).
  46. Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power 568-774 A.D. (2011).
  47. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps (2011).
  48. Mount Etna (2013).
  49. Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany (2013).
  50. Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato (2014).
  51. Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale (2015).
  52. Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe
  53. Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar (2017).
  54. Ivrea, 20th-century industrial city (2018).
  55. Prosecco wine hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene (2019).

For further information, please visit http://www.unesco.it/it/PatrimonioMondiale/Index


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