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

Lesson 2:

Natural sites

To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. These are the sites which, for their peculiar natural characteristics have been included in the UNESCO list:

  • Ancient Beech Forests
    Ten ancient Italian beech forests which extend from Tuscany to Basilicata are recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage for their exceptional naturalistic value and the incredible biodiversity that characterises them.
  • Aeolian Islands
    The Archipelago of the Aeolian Islands consists of seven exquisite islands off the coast of Sicily - Lipari, Panarea, Vulcano, Stromboli, Salina, Alicudi and Filicudi - in addition to smaller islets and giant boulders.

    Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands), © UNESCO,

  • Monte San Giorgio
    A mountainous mass in pyramidal form south of Lake Lugano (between Lombardy and Switzerland), is a site of extreme historical, archaeological and scientific value. 
  • Mount Etna 
    The highest Mediterranean island mountain and the most active stratovolcano in the world. The volcano’s eruptive history can be traced back 500,000 years, and at least 2,700 years of this activity has been documented.
  • The Dolomites
    They comprise of a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, featuring several beautiful mountain landscapes.

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