As of November 2021, there are a whopping 58 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy - more than in any other country in the world! The first site to be inscribed was the Rock Drawings in Valcamonica in 1979.
18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex (cultural, 1997) Caserta Province and Benevento Province, Campania [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale (cultural, 2015) Palermo Province, Sicily [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia (cultural, 1998) Aquileia, Friuli-Venezia Giuli [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Archaeological Area of Agrigento (cultural, 1997) Agrigento, Sicily [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
⭐️ Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (cultural, 1997) Naples Province, Campania [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Pompeii is an ancient city which, together with Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, suffered the devastating effects of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 AD. The thriving Roman city was buried under a six meter layer of volcanic ash and pumice, killing many of its inhabitants and preserving the city until its remarkable rediscovery. The city had been almost completely unearthed by the 1960s through many excavations but previous digs had been undocumented, unsystematic and often damaging, leaving the ruins in decay.
Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites (cultural, 2000) Assisi, Umbria [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Sitting atop a hill in the southeastern region of Apulia, Castel del Monte was constructed in the 1240s by King Frederick ll. It is though that the unique geometric structure was never intended to be a defensive fortress due to its lack of a moat or drawbridge. Some historians believe it likely had a curtain wall, others think it was more likely an ornate hunting lodge. Despite its uncertain history, UNESCO added the castle to its list in 1996, commenting that it is "a unique masterpiece of medieval military architecture". The castle is also featured on the reverse side of the 1 Euro cent coin in Italy.
Perhaps best known as a popular tourist getaway, Italy's idyllic Amalfi Coast stretches along its lower eastern coast in the Gulf of Salerno. Dotted along this coastline are many picturesque, colourful towns and villages, often clinging to the hillsides. Locally, it is well-known for its production of limoncello.
Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna (cultural, 1996) Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia (cultural, 2004) Cerveteri and Tarquinia, Lazio [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta (cultural, 1995) Ferrara Province, Emilia–Romagna [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli (cultural, 2006) Genoa, Liguria [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
⭐️ Historic Centre of Florence (cultural, 1982) Florence, Tuscany [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
With its impressive cathedral and surrounding square, Florence is often seen as a symbol of Renaissance. Great masters such as Giotto, Filippo Brunelleschi, Sandro Botticelli and Michelangelo have become synonymous with the city.
Historic Centre of Naples (cultural, 1995) Naples, Campania [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
⭐️ Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura (cultural, 1980) Rome, Lazio; shared with Holy See [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
One of the most famous sights in the world, the Colosseum in Rome, the centrepiece of the Roman Empire seating up to 80,000 spectators at its peak. The ancient amphitheater was the largest ever built and the largest of its kind still standing, despite being nearly 2,000 years old. It is considered a feat of Roman engineering, a showpiece of power within the Empire.
Historic Centre of San Gimignano (cultural, 1990) San Gimignano, Tuscany [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Historic Centre of Siena (cultural, 1995) Siena, Tuscany [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Historic Centre of the City of Pienza(cultural, 1996) Pienza, Tuscany [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Historic Centre of Urbino (cultural, 1998) Urbino, Marche [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is known internationally for its slight tilt caused by subsidence and the subsequent efforts to right the lean by effectively building a curved tower. Built as a freestanding bell tower for the nearby Pisa Cathedral, it currently leans 3.97 degrees, reduced from 5.5 degrees in 1990. Multiple projects have tried to stabilised the structure, its seven bells were removed in early 90s and weights placed at its base.
Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) (mixed, 1997) La Spezia Province, Liguria [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps (cultural, 2011) Several regions and Austria, France, Germany, Slovenia, Switzerland [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe (natural, 2017) Several regions and Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Residences of the Royal House of Savoy (cultural, 1997) Turin Province and Cuneo Province, Piedmont [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes (cultural, 2008) Tirano, Lombardy; shared with Switzerland [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Rock Drawings in Valcamonica (cultural, 1979) Brescia Province, Lombardy [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy (cultural, 2003) Several regions [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Su Nuraxi di Barumini (cultural, 1997) Barumini, Sardinia [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (cultural, 2005) Syracuse Province, Sicily [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
The Great Spa Towns of Europe (cultural, 2021) Montecatini Terme, Tuscany; also Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, UK [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
The Porticoes of Bologna (cultural, 2021) Bologna, Emilia-Romagna [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar (cultural, 2007) Several regions; also Croatia, Montenegro [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
⭐️ Venice and its Lagoon (mixed, 1987) Venice Province, Veneto [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]
Venice is built on a collections of 118 small islands, all separated by canals and connected via a network of over 400 bridges. It is a city known for its influence on art, music and literature, and for its beauty.
Ben deals with all things design, working on the visual design of our annual guides, Destinations magazine, information leaflets, social media and email campaigns, and much more across the Alan Rogers, Rallies and Worldwide brands. He also produces written content for our blogs alongside our other contributors.