Italy has the largest number of World Heritage (UNESCO) sites in the world, with 51 locations listed as places of outstanding cultural and historical significance.
The 20 Regions of Italy
The sites are listed by region, beginning with locations in the northernmost region of Piedmont, and proceeding south to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Tuscany has the largest number of World Heritage (UNESCO) sites with a total of six, followed by Sicily and Lombardy with five. The only regions not laying claim to World Heritage (UNESCO) sites are Val D'Aosta, and Trentino in the north, Abruzzo and Molise in central Italy, and Calabria in the south.
1. Residences of the Royal House Of Savoy
22 palaces belonging to the longest surviving royal house in Europe. The region of Savoy was sold to France in 1860.
2. Sacri Monti Of Piedmont and Lombardy
A series of nine groups of chapels and other architectural features created in northern Italy during the seventeenth and late sixteenth century.
3. Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
Complex of rock drawings, the largest in Europe, with approximately 350,000 drawings dating from about 8,000 BC.
4. Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie
The refectory of the convent contains a mural of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The wall survived bombs dropped by British and American planes on August 15, 1943.
5. Crespi d'Adda
Outstanding example of 19th and early 20th-century company towns built by European industrialists for their workers.
6. The Rhaetian Railway
Largest network of private railways in Switzerland. The Berninabahn line crosses the Bernina Pass to Tirano in Italy.
7. Mantua and Sabbioneta
Mantua is surrounded on three sides by artificial lakes created during the 12th century.
Sabbioneta features a ducal palace built by Vespasiano Gonzaga (d. 1591), a theatre designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi (1548-1616), buildings containing frescoes by artists of the Campi family, and a historic Jewish Ghetto and Hebrew printing press.
8. Venice and Lagoon
Venice consists of 118 small islands in the Venetian Lagoon. Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a center of commerce and art in the 13th to 17th centuries.
9. City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto
Vicenza's 24 Palladian villas are the work of architect Andrea Palladio.
10. The Orto Botanico di Padova
World's oldest academic botanical garden still in its original location in Padua. Founded in 1545, the garden covers roughly 22,000 square meters, and is famous for its plant collections and overall design.
Ancient city famous for its medieval architecture and Roman ruins, including an amphitheatre which is the 3rd largest in Italy.
12. Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia
Ancient Roman city with Cathedral of Aquileia, a basilica erected by Patriarch Poppo in 1031 and rebuilt about 1379 in the Gothic style by Patriarch Marquad.
13. Portovenere and Cinque Terre
Portovenere is a town which includes the three villages of Fezzano, Le Grazie and Portovenere, and three islands - Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto.
Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of the Riviera coastline that includes five villages. The entire area is part of the Cinque Terre National Park.
14. Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and Palazzi dei Rolli
Strada Nuova in the old city of Genoa was designed in the 16th century and features the Palazzo Rosso , Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Grimaldi and Palazzo Reale, as well as an art college, the Musei di Strada Nuova and the Palazzo del Principe.
15. Ferrara and Po Delta
Ferrara's numerous palaces date from the 14th century and 15th century, when ithe court of the house of Este was situated there.
16. Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna
Ravenna once served as the seat of the Western Roman Empire and later the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths and the Exarchate of Ravenna.
17. Modena Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande
The construction of the Duomo (cathedral) of Modena began in 1099 and was completed in 1184.
The city is also famous as the home of Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lambourghini, Pagani and Maserati.
18. Historic Centre of Florence
A centre of medieval trade and finance, the city is considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and features an extensive collection of Renaissance art and architecture.
19. Piazza del Duomo, Pisa
Pisa is a main center for medieval art. The Piazza del Duomo is a square dominated by four great religious buildings: the Duomo, the Leaning Tower, the Baptistry and the Camposanto.
20. Historic Centre of San Gimignano
A small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena famous for its medieval architecture.
21. Historic Centre of Siena
An ancient Roman town in Tuscany, famous for its medieval architecture, including its cathedral and town square, and its museums.
22. Historic Centre of Pienza
A Renaissance village, rebuilt as a model town in the 15th century under the patronage of Pope Pius II.
23. Val d'Orcia
A landscape familiar through its depiction in works of art from Renaissance paintings to modern photographs.
24. Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi and other Franciscan Sites
Assisi is the birthplace of St. Francis, founder of the Franciscans in 1208, St. Clare, founder of the Poor Clares, and Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
25. Historic Centre of Urbino
A walled medieval city notable for its Renaissance culture, under the patronage of Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino from 1444 to 1482. Its Palazzo Ducale was rebuilt by Luciano Laurana.
26. Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See and Basilica of Saint Paul
With more than two and a half thousand years of history, Rome was once the largest city in the world and the centre of Western civilisation. The Vatican is located within the city.
27. Villa Adriana (Tivoli)
A large Roman archaeological complex created at Tibur (modern-day Tivoli) as a retreat for Roman Emperor Hadrian in the early 2nd century.
28. Villa d'Este (Tivoli)
Architectural masterpiece commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este (1509-1572), son of Alfonso I d'Este and Lucrezia Borgia and grandson of Pope Alexander VI.
29. Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia
Cerveteri features a total of 1,000 Etruscan tombs and is the largest ancient necropolis in the Mediterranean area.
Tarquinia features 6,000 Etruscan tombs, 60 of which include wall paintings.
30. Historic Centre of Naples
Founded over 2,500 years ago by the Ancient Greeks, Naples played an important role in Magna Graecia, the Roman Republic, the Kingdom of Naples (1282 to 1816) and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
31. 18th Century Royal Palace at Caserta with Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli and the San Leucio Complex
The Palace of Caserta is a former residence of the Bourbon kings of Naples. It was the largest palace erected in Europe in the eighteenth century.
32. Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
Destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, Pompeii was discovered in the mid-18th century and is still being excavated.
Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata were smaller towns destroyed by the same eruption
33. Amalfi Coast
Renowned for its rugged terrain, scenic beauty, picturesque towns and diversity.
34. Cilento and Vallo di Diano, Pæstum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula
Cilento's Greek origins are visible in the remains of the colonies of Velia (ancient Elea) and Paestum (ancient Poseidonia).
Paestum is a major Graeco-Roman city founded around the end of the 7th century BC by colonists from the Greek city of Sybaris, and originally known as Poseidonia.
The Certosa di Padula is a large famous Carthusian monastery founded by Tommaso San Severino in 1306 and features the biggest cloister in the world.
35. The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera
An ancient town, the Sassi di Matera, features houses dug into rock, and may be evidence of some of the first human settlements in Italy.
36. Castel del Monte, Andria
A 13th century castle built by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II between 1240 and 1250.
37. The Trulli of Alberobello
Unique traditional Apulian stone dwellings with conical roofs.
38. Archaeological Area of Agrigento, Sicily
Site of the ancient Greek city of Akragras, one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the golden age of Ancient Greece.
39. Villa Romana del Casale
A Roman villa containing the richest and largest collection of Roman mosaics in the world.
40. Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands)
A volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. The active volcano on Stromboli, the mud baths of Vulcano, and the caves of Filicudi are some of the main attractions.
41. Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto
After the entire area was decimated by an enormous earthquake, the towns were rebuilt in the Sicilian Baroque style. The ancient town of Akrai (Palazzolo Acreide), founded in 664 AD, was the first colony of the Corinthian settlement at Syracuse.
42. Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica
Over 2,700 years old, Syracuse was founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians and became a very powerful city-state during the period of Magna Graecia.
43. Su Nuraxi di Barumini
There are more than 8,000 nuraghes megalithic edifices in Sardinia dating back before 1,000 BC.
We're also including the following Holy See and San Marino sites as both are located within the borders of Italy:
1. Historic Centre of Rome (Properties of the Holy See), Basilica of Saint Paul
Roman properties owned by the Holy See.
2. Vatican City
A sovereign city state within Rome whose churches and museums house some of italy's greatest art treasures, created by artists such as Botticelli, Bernini, Raphael and Michelangelo.
1. San Marino
A sovereign region that declined to join the Italian republic, San Marino's Historic Centre and Mount Titano are classified as a world heritage site. The city, protected by its position on Mount Titano, dates back to the 13th century.
Since we first created this page, UNESCO has added 8 new Italian World Heritage sites to its listings.
44. Monte San Giorgio (Lombardy)
45. The Dolomites (Trentino & Veneto)
46. Longobards in Italy (throughout peninsula)
47. Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps (Alps)
48. Medici Villas (Tuscany)
49. Mount Etna (Sicily)
50. Vineyard landscapes of Piedmont (Piedmont)
51. Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedrals of Cefalu and Monreale (Sicily)
How To Get There
To visit one of Italy's World Heritage sites, click on Exploring World Heritage sites: