UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy

Discover the amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites in Italy

Italy has 47 UNESCO World Heritage sites; a mark of the cultural and geographic richness of the nation. That is more than any other country and represents around 5% of the World Heritage list. If you are an Italy completist you could spend months picking them off one by one.

We feature many of Italy’s UNESCO sites on Italy Heaven, and here’s an index of their destination pages. They are listed in roughly geographical order, starting in the north and continuing to the south and islands.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • The Dolomites – Mountain range in the Italian Alps. Added in 2009; Italy’s second ‘natural’ listing: The Dolomites
  • Longobards in Italy, Places of Power – A selection of important Lombard sites including Cividale del Friuli
  • Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps – Over a hundred small sites, including several across northern Italy.
  • Monte San Giorgio – Mountain with fossil remains. By Lake Lugano, this site used to be wholly in Switzerland, but an extension has added some Italian terrain.
  • Venice and its Lagoon – Beautiful city and its lagoon surroundings: Venice
  • City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto – Architectural treats by Palladio and others in the pretty town of Vicenza, as well as some of the fine countryside villas dotted around the Veneto region, many of which belonged to Venetian nobility: Vicenza, Vicenza villas, Villas along the Brenta Canal
  • Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua – Pioneering sixteenth-century botanic garden belonging to the historic University of Padua; a lovely well-cared-for oasis in the town centre: Padua
  • Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia – Ruined Roman city in the north-east of Italy, with fine early Christian mosaics in its ancient basilica: Aquileia
  • City of Verona – Medieval city and Roman arena: Verona
  • Rock Drawings in Valcamonica – Italy’s first entry on the UNESCO list; a valley filled with rock-etchings carved from prehistory until the time of the Romans. Can be reached from Lake Iseo
  • Crespi d’Adda – A little-known entry, Crespi d’Adda is a model town near Bergamo built between the 19th and 20th centuries for factory workersThe village is located between Bergamo and Milan. Has a great website (external link).
  • Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes – Railway crossing the Alps between Italy and Switzerland.
  • Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci – One of the most famous paintings in the world, and Milan’s only entry on the cultural list: Milan
  • Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy – 16th and 17th-century chapels on hills around the Piedmont (Piemonte) and Lombardy (Lombardia) regions
  • Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli – Renaissance and Baroque palaces in central Genoa, and an early kind of public housing development, aristocratic residences used also to house visitors: Genoa
  • Residences of the Royal House of SavoyGrand buildings around Turin built for the ruling Savoy dynasty, future kings of Italy: Turin
  • Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) – Villages and islands along the rugged Ligurian coast, where the old terraced agriculture is being revived: Porto Venere, Cinque Terre
  • Mantua and Sabbioneta – Renaissance town-planning in northern Italy. A new addition to the list in 2008.
  • Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta – Ferrara is a town in the Emilia-Romagna region once ruled by the powerful Este family, who left grand buildings behind: Ferrara
  • Early Christian Monuments of RavennaAnother important historic town in Emilia-Romagna, Ravenna succeeded Rome as the capital of the Western Empire, and is famous for its early Christian and Byzantine mosaics: Ravenna
  • Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena – Still in Emilia-Romagna, Modena has a grand Romanesque cathedral and a leaning tower.
  • Historic Centre of Urbino – Urbino, in Le Marche, boasted one of the greatest Renaissance courts; its historic centre is a monument to those days: Urbino
  • Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites – Hilltown with grand basilica and restored Giotto frescoes: Assisi
  • Piazza del Duomo, Pisa – Beautiful open square in which stand the city’s best buildings, including the famous Leaning Tower: Pisa
  • Historic Centre of Siena – Picturesque Tuscan town: Siena
  • Historic Centre of Florence – Florence is perhaps the finest art city in the world, with museums full of priceless paintings and sculptures: Florence
  • Historic Centre of San Gimignano – An attractive hilltop town with some surviving medieval towers: San Gimignano
  • Historic Centre of the City of Pienza -Pretty village in Tuscany with a palace built by Pope Pius II. In the region of Tuscany
  • Val d’Orcia – Agricultural landscape around Siena, beloved of artists and of travel journalists: Siena.
  • Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia – Remains of the vanished Etruscan civilisation in northern Lazio: Cerveteri
  • Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura – Basically, all the good stuff in Rome: Rome
  • Villa Adriana (Tivoli) – Hadrian’s Villa near Tivoli, one of the small town’s two UNESCO sites: Tivoli
  • Villa d’Este, Tivoli – Spectacular garden in Tivoli, famous for its many fountains: Villa d’Este
  • 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex -Massive palace built for the Bourbon rulers of Naples
  • Historic Centre of Naples – The centre of Naples is chaotic but also includes historic streets and fine buildings: Naples
  • Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata – Roman ruins around Naples: Naples
  • Costiera Amalfitana – The famous Amalfi Coast, where villages cling to rugged cliffs: Amalfi Coast
  • Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archaeological sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula – Ruined temples at the Greek site of Paestum (Greek Poseidonia), and surroundings: Paestum
  • Castel del Monte – A remarkable octagonal castle near Bari, built for the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II: Castel del Monte
  • The Trulli of Alberobello – Humble whitewashed conical-roofed houses called trulli are a feature of this area of Puglia: Alberobello
  • The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera – Cave-dwellings in Matera, in the Basilicata region of Italy’s south: Matera
  • Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica – Extensive Greek ruins around a former Greek city in Sicily: Siracusa
  • Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily) – Baroque town-planning following an earthquake: Noto
  • Archaeological Area of Agrigento – Greek ruins in the Valley of the Temples, Sicily: Agrigento
  • Villa Romana del Casale – Close to Piazza Armerina in Sicily, this Roman villa is important for its incredible mosaics, excavated in the twentieth century: Piazza Armerina and the Villa Romana del Casale
  • Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands) – Italy’s first ‘natural’ listing, these are active volcanic islands north of Sicily: Aeolian Islands
  • Su Nuraxi di Barumini – Strange prehistoric nuraghe structures in Sardinia: Sardinia

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