UNESCO has drawn up a list of sites as heritage of mankind, both for their cultural or natural relevance.
One of the major missions of UNESCO is to identify, to protect and to transmission to future generations of cultural and natural heritage around the world.
Under an international treaty known as the Convention on the Protection of World cultural and natural Heritage, adopted in 1972, UNESCO has so far approved a total of 878 sites (679 cultural, 174 natural and 25 mixed objects) in 145 countries all over the world.
Currently, Italy is the country which holds the largest number of sites included in the list.
According to the Convention, cultural heritage of mankind is a monument, a group of buildings or a site of historical, aesthetic, archaeological, scientific, ethnological or anthropological value.
The natural heritage of mankind, however, indicates significant physical, biological and geological sites ot habitats of animal and plant species at risk or areas of particular scientific and aesthetic value.
The Heritage is the legacy of the past that we now enjoy and pass on to future generations.
Cultural and natural heritages are irreplaceable source of life and inspiration.
What makes the concept of exceptional World Heritage is its universal application.
The World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples, beyond the territories in which they live.
What is the difference between a world heritage site and a site of national heritage? The answer is the expression “exceptional universal value“.
The 43 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Italy are:
1. Valcamonica: Rock Drawings. (Lombardy)
2. Milano: Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci. (Lombardy)
3. Rome: Historic Centre, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura. (Latium)
4. Firenze: Historic Centre . (Tuscany)
5. Venice and its Lagoon (Veneto)
6. Pisa: Piazza del Duomo (Miracle Field). (Tuscany)
7. San Gimignano: Historic Centre. (Tuscany)
8. Matera: the Sassi . (Basilicata)
9. Vicenza: the city and the Palladian Villas of Veneto. (Veneto)
10. Siena: Historic Centre. (Tuscany)
11. Napoli: , (Campania)
12. Crespi d’Adda (Lombardy)
13. Ferrara: City of the Renaissance and its Po Delta with grand buildings by the Este Family. (Emilia Romagna)
14. Castel del Monte (Apulia)
15. Alberobello: the Trulli (Apulia)
16. Ravenna: Early Christian Monuments (Emilia Romagna)
17. Pienza: Historic Centre (Tuscany)
18. Caserta: 18th-Century Royal Palace with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex (Campania)
19. Torino and Surroundings: Residences of the Royal House of Savoy (Piedmont)
20. Padua: Botanical Garden (Veneto)
21. Modena: Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande (Emilia Romagna)
22. Pompeii, Ercolano and Torre Annunziata: Archaeological Areas (Campania)
23. Villa romana del Casale close to Piazza Armerina (Sicily)
24. Su Nuraxi di Barumini (Sardinia)
25. Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)(Liguria)
26. Amalfi Coast (Campania)
27. Agrigento: Archaeological Area e Greek ruins in the Valley of the Temples (Sicily)
28. Aquileia: Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica (Friuli Venezia Giulia)
29. Urbino: Historic Centre(Marches)
30. Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula (Apulia)
31. Tivoli: Villa Adriana (Latium)
32. Verona: the City (Veneto)
33. Aeolian Islands (Sicily)
34. Assisi: the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites(Umbria)
35. Tivoli: Villa d’Este (Latium)
36. Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily) (Sicily)
37. Piedmont and Lombardy: the Sacri Monti (Piedmont and Lombardy)
38. Cerveteri e Tarquinia: Etruscan Necropolises (Latium)
39. Val d’Orcia (Siena) (Tuscany)
40. Syracuse: the City and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (Sicily)
41. Genova: the Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli (Liguria)
42. Mantua and Sabbioneta (Lombardy)
43. Rhaetian Railway in the Albula and Bernina Landscapes (Lombardy)