Course  |  Italy’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites  |  Italy Online Training

Lesson 10:

Landscape shaped by human

People in Italy have an incredible attitude to shape territories based on their needs, in beautiful locations: this is how, for example, Cinque Terre and Amalfi coast have been created. Some of these locations have been transformed by years of wine production, like the Prosecco area in the north-east or the Piedmont region in the north-west.

  • Venice and its Lagoon
    The whole city is an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building contains works by some of the world’s greatest artists. Celebrated throughout the world for its singular beauty, Venice and its lagoon were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987.  The most famous place in Venice is, without a doubt, Piazza San Marco or St. Mark’s Square, the centre from which rises the homonymous, five-domed St. Mark’s Basilica. The bronze horses that dominate its main entrance were brought to Venice from Constantinople after the Fourth Crusade of 1204. Its interior is covered in mosaics (mostly in gold) that recount scenes from the Bible. The Basilica originally served as the chapel for the Doges of the Republic of Venice.

  • Amalfi Coast
    An area of great physical beauty and natural diversity. Human communities have intensively settled it since the early Middle Ages. Overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Amalfi Coast extends in the Gulf of Salerno and includes some of its most famous places, from Positano to Ravello and naturally Amalfi. The road unwinds like a balcony suspended between the cobalt-blue sea and the slopes of the Lattari Mountains along alternating valleys and promontories between small bays, beaches and terraces cultivated with citruses, vineyards and olive groves. It’s a unique place that has been included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

  • Portovenere and Cinque Terre 
    The layout and disposition of the towns and the shaping of the surrounding landscape, overcoming the disadvantages of steep, uneven terrain, encapsulate the continuous history of human settlement in this region over the past millennium. Cinque Terre, Porto Venere and the three Island of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto are inserted on the UNESCO World Heritage List, chosen for being distinguished exemplars of how man has been able to model and transform the environment here, without, however, altering the beauty of the landscape. 

  • Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato
    Hilly stretches as far as the eye can see, on which ancient villages and castles are perched, a succession of gentle slopes planted with vines the rows of which make geometric shapes: this is the magnificent scenery of the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato, which has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Piedmont’s beautiful wine-growing areas, which have become part of the world heritage list with their landscapes shaped by nature and man.

  • The Prosecco Hills
    The Prosecco hills between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the province of Treviso, Veneto, in the north-east of Italy, are an extraordinary land, where an internationally renowned wine Prosecco is produced, a small world of the past covered with vineyards worked by hand on steep slopes that in July  2019 received an important recognition: the title of Unesco’s World Heritage Site. Let’s find out more about this unique, special area and its food and wine itineraries. The Prosecco hills are the 55th Italian site recognized by Unesco, a site that comprises most of the production area of Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG; a white wine exported all over the world with more than 90 million bottles produced each year. 

  • Val d’Orcia
    The magnificent natural scenery of the Val d’Orcia that extends through the Tuscan hills was inserted onto the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004. Val d’Orcia fuses art, landscape and ecosystem in one geographical space, and is the expression of a series of marvellous natural characteristics. It is also the result of and testament to the people that has long-inhabited it. According to UNESCO, this Valley is an exceptional exemplar of how a natural setting was redesigned during the Renaissance (14th-15th Centuries), reflecting good governance ideals in the Italian City-State. Additionally, these splendid localities were celebrated by the painters of the Sienese School, which flourished between the 13th and 15th Centuries.

  • Padua: the Botanical Garden
    In Veneto, the Botanical Garden of Padua was founded as a medicinal resource by the University of Padua in 1545, and it was the first-ever university botanical garden existence.  It is the origin of all the botanical gardens in the world, a cradle of science and scientific exchange, serving as the basis for the understanding of the relationship between nature and culture. It largely contributed to the progress of a number of modern scientific fields, the likes of which include, of course, botanicals, as well as medicine, chemistry, ecology and pharmaceuticals.” With this justification, UNESCO added Padua’s Botanical Garden to its World Heritage List in 1997.

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