Two new UNESCO World Heritage sites for Italy

July 10, 2017

Italy has just been awarded with the UNESCO World Heritage status for two more sites. It happened during the last weekend, and the recognition confirms Italy as the country that boasts more sites with the status than any other in the world.

What was added onto the list is the Venetian works of defence, including three fortress towns in the Italian north-east, and a set of ten ancient beech tree forests: with the two new addition, the Belpase just reached number 53 with its impressive number of heritage sites.

According to Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, UNESCO's decision demostrates that Italy is "a genuine superpower of culture and beauty".

The Venetian works of defence from the 16th and 17th centuries were presented as a joint bid together with two more countries, Croatia and Montenegro, with the goal to encompass the different defensive structures built by the Republic of Venice from 1500 onwards: the star-shaped fortress town of Palmanova, near Triest; the town of Peschiera del Garda, built as an island fortress on the river Mincio, in the Verona province and the fortified old town of Bergamo, in the Lombardy region.

But what about the second addition to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the primeval beech forests? They were part of another multi-country bid which included eleven more nations. In Italy, the forests extend from Tuscany to Calabria for over 2000 hectares, and they are so beautiful and precious that the UNESCO committee described them of "outstanding universal value".

Well done, Italy

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