Italy holds the record for the most UNESCO heritage sites in the world.

There are currently 58 UNESCO sites in Italy—53 cultural and 5 natural—and many others are under consideration.

In addition to these 58 physical sites, UNESCO recognizes Italy’s intangible cultural heritage. There are 14 traditions—some particular to Italy and some shared with other countries—that are on the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list.

UNESCO’s heritage lists provide context to a country’s history and traditions. Many travelers, including myself, use UNESCO’s lists as a guide to deciding where to go, what to see, or what to read (or write) about.

Following is a list of Italy’s UNESCO sites. Links to coverage of these sites on Italofile are provided where applicable and will be continuously updated.

Scrovegni Chapel, Padua
The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua is among eight sites inducted as Padova Urbs Picta in 2021

UNESCO Cultural Heritage Sites in Italy (A to Z)

  1. 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex (Campania)
  2. Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale (Sicily)
  3. Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)
  4. Archaeological Area of Agrigento (Sicily)
  5. Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (Campania)
  6. Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites (Umbria et al)
  7. Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua (Veneto)
  8. Castel del Monte (Puglia)
  9. Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena (Emilia-Romagna)
  10. Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci (Lombardy)
  11. Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula (Campania)
  12. City of Verona (Veneto)
  13. City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto
  14. Costiera Amalfitana (Campania)
  15. Crespi d’Adda (Lombardy)
  16. Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna)
  17. Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia (Lazio)
  18. Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta (Emilia-Romagna)
  19. Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli (Liguria)
  20. Historic Centre of Florence (Tuscany)
  21. Historic Centre of Naples (Campania)
  22. Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura (Lazio)
  23. Historic Centre of San Gimignano (Tuscany)
  24. Historic Centre of Siena (Tuscany)
  25. Historic Centre of the City of Pienza (Tuscany)
  26. Historic Centre of Urbino (Le Marche)
  27. Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century (Piemonte)
  28. Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (Sicily)
  29. Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568-774 A.D.) (Includes sites in Campania, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Puglia, and Umbria)
  30. Mantua and Sabbioneta (Lombardy)
  31. Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany
  32. Montecatini Terme, one of the Great Spa Towns of Europe (Tuscany)
  33. Padova Urbs Picta (Veneto)
  34. Piazza del Duomo, Pisa (Tuscany)
  35. Porticoes of Bologna (Emilia-Romagna)
  36. Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) (Liguria)
  37. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps (Lombardy, Piemonte, Trentino-Alto Adige)
  38. Prosecco Hills of Conegliano e Valdobbiadene (Veneto)
  39. Residences of the Royal House of Savoy (Piemonte)
  40. Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes (Lombardy)
  41. Rock Drawings in Valcamonica (Lombardy)
  42. Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
  43. Su Nuraxi di Barumini (Sardinia)
  44. Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (Sicily)
  45. The Trulli of Alberobello (Puglia)
  46. The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera (Basilicata)
  47. Val d’Orcia (Tuscany)
  48. Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar (Veneto)
  49. Venice and its Lagoon (Veneto)
  50. Villa Adriana (Tivoli) (Lazio)
  51. Villa d’Este, Tivoli (Lazio)
  52. Villa Romana del Casale (Sicily)
  53. Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato

UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites

  1. Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe (includes forests in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Puglia)
  2. Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands) (Sicily)
  3. Monte San Giorgio (Lombardy, shared with Switzerland)
  4. Mount Etna (Sicily)
  5. The Dolomites (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino Alto-Adige, Veneto)

UNESCO Cultural Heritage Sites in Italy, By Region with Photos

Abruzzo

“Deep in the Woods” of the Val Cervara in Abruzzo | Jessica Caselli, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Basilicata

Matera, Basilicata
The Sassi of Matera, Basilicata

Calabria

Via Parco Nazionale del Pollino

Campania

  • Amalfi
  • Pompeii ruins
  • Paestum Temple

Emilia-Romagna

  • Castello Estense in Ferrara

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Tempietto Cividale
Cividale dei Friuli

Lazio

  • Tomb of the Leopard in Tarquinia
  • View of the Roman Forum and Colosseum
  • Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli

Liguria

Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre / Photo by Mike Swigunski

Lombardy

Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper
Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci in Milan

Marche

Palazzo Ducale in Urbino, Le Marche
Palazzo Ducale in Urbino, Le Marche

Piemonte

Savoy Palace in Turin / Photo © Melanie Renzulli

Puglia

Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo

Sardinia

Archeological site of Su Nuraxi di Barumini in Sardinia / Source

Sicily

Christ Pantokrator mosaic in the Monreale Cathedral in Sicily
Mosaics in Monreale, Sicily / Photo © Melanie Renzulli

Trentino-Alto Adige

Tuscany

  • Duomo of Florence, view from San Miniato al Monte
  • Piazza del Campo Siena in winter
  • Val D'Orcia, Tuscany

Umbria

St. Francis Basilica in Assisi
St. Francis Basilica in Assisi

Veneto

  • Scrovegni Chapel, Padua
  • Prosecco Hills of Italy, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Venice Gondola Rialto Bridge
  • Orto Botanico di Padova

Italy’s Intangible Cultural Heritage

In addition to sites one can visit, Italy is also recognized by its intangible cultural heritage. These include the following:

  1. Opera dei Pupi, Sicilian puppet theatre
  2. Canto a tenore, Sardinian pastoral songs
  3. Traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremona (Lombardy)
  4. Mediterranean diet (shared with other countries)
  5. Celebrations of big shoulder-borne processional structures (Examples from Molise, Puglia, Sicily)
  6. Traditional agricultural practice of cultivating the “vite ad alberello” (head-trained bush vines) of the community of Pantelleria (Sicily)
  7. Falconry, a living human heritage (shared with other countries)
  8. Art of Neapolitan “Pizzaiuolo”
  9. Art of dry stone walling, knowledge and techniques (shared with other countries)
  10. Transhumance, the seasonal droving of livestock along migratory routes in the Mediterranean and in the Alps (shared with Austria and Greece)
  11. Celestinian Forgiveness Celebration
  12. Alpinism (shared with France and Switzerland)
  13. The art of glass beads (shared with France)
  14. Musical art of horn players, an instrumental technique linked to singing, breath control, vibrato, resonance of place, and conviviality (shared with France, Belgium, Luxembourg)

Source: Italy’s UNESCO sites, UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage