The New Sites Recognised by the World Heritage Committee

During its 44th Session, held in Fuzhou, China, the World Heritage Committee declared the inclusion of three new Italian sites in the World Heritage List:
  • The Porticoes of Bologna – The serial property consists of twelve component parts which are comprised of porticoes and their surrounding structures, located within the Municipality of Bologna and which date from the 12th century to the present day. The porticoes selected for inclusion are considered the most representative within the city and span a total length of 62km. These porticoes are made from a diverse range of building materials including wood, stone, brick and even reinforced concrete, covering streets, squares and walkways. The property also includes porticoes which are not continuations of other buildings and therefore do not always constitute a comprehensive part of covered pedestrian walkways. They are appreciated for their function as shelter and as prime locations for commercial activities. The 20th century use of concrete and resulting construction possibilities also allowed for some of the original porticoes to be replaced, leading to the emergence of a new architectural language which is most clearly exemplified by the Barca district. The porticoes selected for inclusion reflect a variety of typologies, urban and social functions in addition to different chronological phases. Defined as private property for public use, the porticoes have become a key aspect and expression of the urban identity of Bologna.
  • Padua’s Fourteenth Century Fresco Cycles - The property is composed of eight groups of religious and secular buildings situated within the city walls of Padua, each hosting a selection of fresco cycles dating from between 1302 and 1397. Although the selection represents a variety of artists, clients and functions, they reflect a unity of style and content. Included in the site is the work of Giotto, found in the Scrovegni Chapel and considered to represent a revolutionary development in the history of mural painting. Also included are the fresco cycles of Guariento di Arpo, Giusto de' Menabuoi , Altichiero da Zevio, Jacopo Avanzi and Jacopo da Verona. This selection acts to illustrate how, over the course of a century, fresco art developed from a new creative impetus and a new understanding of spatial representation.
  • Montecatini Terme - The Great Spa Towns of Europe – This transnational property of ‘Great Spa Towns of Europe’ includes 11 towns spread across 7 European countries: Bad Ems (Germany); Baden-Baden (Germany); Bad Kissingen (Germany); Baden bei Wien (Austria); Terme (Belgium); Vichy (France); Montecatini Terme (Italy); Città di Bath (United Kingdom); Franzensbad (Czech Republic); Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic); and Marienbad (Czech Republic), all of which developed around natural mineral springs. The sites testify to the European spa culture which developed from the beginning of the 18th century until the 1930s, leading to the emergence of grand international resorts, and in turn impacting upon the urban typology surrounding ensembles of spa buildings such as the kurhaus and kursaal (buildings and rooms dedicated to therapy), pump rooms, drinking halls, colonnades and galleries designed to harness the natural mineral water resources and to allow their practical use for bathing and drinking. Facilities related to the sites include gardens, assembly rooms, casinos, theatres, hotels and villas, as well as infrastructure specific to supporting the spas. These ensembles are all integrated into a wider urban context which includes a carefully managed recreational and therapeutic environment, set within a picturesque landscape. As a collective, these sites exemplify the significant interchange of human values and developments in medicine, science and balneology.
Within its territory, Italy currently boasts a total of 58 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Additionally, the World Heritage Committee has:
  • Included the Aspromonte National Park and the Pollino National Park in the transnational property of the Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe which was originally inscribed in the World Heritage List in 2007, with extensions in 2011, 2017 and 2021.
  • Extended the Historic Centre of Florence, a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Property since 1984, with the inclusion of the Abbey of San Miniato, the Church of San Salvatore al Monte, the Rampe, Piazzale Michelangelo, the Rose Garden and the Iris Garden. In all, Florence will boast over 530 hectares of inestimable artistic, historic and environmental value.