Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than anywhere else in the world (currently 59 in total). They cover archaeological sites, places of historic or architectural importance, and natural spaces, but how many of them have you visited? I have put together a complete list of World Heritage Sites in Italy: some of the entries may surprise you!
Table of Contents
World Heritage Sites In Italy: How This List Is Organised
I have arranged the list by region (note that the Vatican City is included with Lazio), followed by those sites that cover more than one region. Note that regions without any individual entries may be included in multi-region sites. Where appropriate I have also added links to articles on this site giving more information about World Heritage Sites in a particular region.
I have not included entries on the Tentative List. Nor have I added UNESCO Creative Cities or Intangible Heritage. However you will find more information about all of these in the posts on individual regions.
- The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera. This is a series of houses, churches and monasteries built into natural caves in the Murgia area.
- Amalfi Coast
- Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park
- Historic Centre of Naples
- Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
- Royal Palace at Caserta
See this post for more information: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Campania.
- Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna
- Ferrara, City of the Renaissance
- Modena (Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande)
- Porticos of Bologna
- Evaporitic Karst and Caves of Northern Apennines
See this post for more information: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Emilia-Romagna and San Marino (although San Marino is not technically part of Italy I have added it as a bonus…)
- Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia. Aquileia was one of the wealthiest cities of the Roman Empire, although it has not been fully excavated. It is an important site both as a Roman town and for its role in the development in early Christianity.
Lazio (And The Vatican City)
- Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia
- Historic Centre of Rome and the Properties of the Holy See
- Villa Adriana, Tivoli
- Villa d’Este, Tivoli
See this post for more information: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Lazio and the Vatican.
- Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli
- Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands
See this post for more information: UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Liguria.
- Crespi d’Adda
- Mantua and Sabbioneta
- Monte San Giorgio
- Rhaetian Railway
- Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
- Santa Maria delle Grazie and The Last Supper, Milan
See this post for more information: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Lombardy.
LivItaly have a whole range of small group tours throughout Italy. Readers of this site can get a 5% discount on all of their tours by using discount code BEWITCHEDBYITALY
- Historic Centre of Urbino. A very well preserved Renaissance hill town.
- Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century. This site consists of a factory and industrial buildings once used by Olivetti, a manufacturer of typewriters and office equipment.
- Residences of the Royal House of Savoy. A series of 22 palaces and villas used by the dukes of Savoy from the 16th century onwards. They are located in and around Turin.
- Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont. Piedmont is an ancient wine-producing region, dating back to pre-Roman times. The UNESCO site includes five wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes.
- Castel del Monte
- The Trulli of Alberobello
See this post for more information: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Puglia.
- Su Nuraxi di Barumini. The nuraghi are defensive structures that developed during the 2nd millennium BCE. They are unique to Sardinia.
- Aeolian Islands
- Arab-Norman Palermo
- Archaeological Area of Agrigento
- Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto
- Mount Etna
- Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica
- Villa Romana del Casale
See this post for more information: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sicily.
- Historic Centre of Florence
- Historic Centre of San Gimignano
- Historic Centre of Siena
- Historic Centre of the City of Pienza
- Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany
- Piazza del Duomo, Pisa
- Spa Town Of Montecatini Terme
- Val d’Orcia
See this post for more information: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tuscany.
- Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites. A hill town with medieval art masterpieces, Assisi is also associated with St Francis.
- Botanical Garden, Padua
- City of Verona
- City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas
- Le Colline del Prosecco
- Padua’s 14th century fresco cycles
- Venice and its Lagoon
See this post for more information: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Veneto.
- Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe. This World Heritage Site covers 94 forests across Europe, including 7 Italian regions (Abruzzo, Calabria, Basilicata, Puglia, Lazio, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany). It recognises the variety and versatility of the beech tree.
- Dolomites. Located in the Trentino and Veneto regions, the Dolomites are listed by UNESCO for their beauty as well as their geological and geomorphological significance.
- Longobards in Italy: Places of the Power. This is seven groups of buildings, including churches, monasteries and fortresses, representing the Longobard period of the 6th to 8th centuries. Chosen for their architectural and religious significance they can be found in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Umbria, Campania and Puglia.
- Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps. Another multi-country site, in Italy ancient pile dwellings can be found in Trentino, Veneto, Friuli Venezia, Lombardy and Piedmont. These are the remains of stilt houses from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.
- Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy. The “sacred mountains” of Piedmont and Lombardy are a series of nine groups of chapels and other architectural features from the 16th and 17th centuries. They are recognised not just for their Christian significance but also for their artworks and their integration into the surrounding landscape.
- Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries. Dating back to the period of the Venetian empire, these defensive structures can be found in Italy, Croatia and Montenegro. Within Italy they are located in Lombardy, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia.