20-06-2018 / Article

Italy world record of UNESCO sites: new applications for 2019

The Bel Paese is a gold mine of natural, artistic and cultural beauties. Since 1979 the UNESCO Convention has recognized and included in the list of world heritage of humanity 53 sites, including 5 natural, bringing Italy in first place in the World Heritage List. An inestimable heritage, inherited from nature and culture, which promises to grow by 2019.

Among the UNESCO's cultural sites are the cities of Florence, Rome, Pisa, Naples, the historic center of San Gimignano, the trulli of Alberobello, the Amalfi Coast, Val D'Orcia, Pompeii, the Valley of the Temples. Architectural and cultural marvels that enrich Italy from north to south, to which are joined by 5 other natural assets: the Aeolian Islands, Monte San Giorgio, the Dolomites, Mount Etna and the Ancient Primordial Beeches, the latter additions in 2017 as well transnational that crosses several Italian regions, including the National Park of Lazio, Abruzzo and Molise, Sasso Fratino, Monte Raschio, Foresta Umbra. Monuments, caves, archaeological sites, architectural works, woods, historical centers, creative cities, necropolis, coastal and residences, but also intangible heritage belonging to popular history, such as languages, rituals and customs.

Italy has submitted numerous applications to Unesco Heritage for 2019. Among the proposals that meet the criteria established by the Convention stand out the Sila forest ecosystems, where the oldest monumental trees of Calabria are kept, and the anhydrite caves of the Alta Valle del Secchia in Emilia-Romagna. For immaterial goods the Jubilee of forgiveness, the "Perdonanza celestiniana", is a religious event that takes place every August in L'Aquila. The ceremony instituted by Pope Clement V in 1294 recalls a historical moment of fundamental importance for the Catholic world, it can in fact be considered the first jubilee to which even the poorest had access and represents a message of solidarity and reconciliation. Pending approval among the transnational assets also "the Mediterranean Alps", a geological environment that affects the national parks and Sites of Community Importance of Italy, France and the Principality of Monaco. Applications must be submitted to the verification committee that will visit the territories during the year and in case of positive evaluation will be added to the list by 2019.

UNESCO's recognition is dedicated to sites considered to be of universal value and represents a quality mark for the tourism sector of the country. The economic benefits that this certification brings with it are noteworthy: in the world heritage areas the tourist demand increases, the accommodation and services offer increases, as well as the average per capita expenditure of the international tourist flow.