Italy is home to the largest concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Veneto stages some of the most beautiful and important
Forty-nine are cultural and five are natural sites, six of which are shared with other European countries (such as the Vatican City), and eight are intangible, such as the Mediterranean diet. This puts Italy’s UNESCO tally ahead of China and Spain. Only the regions of Valle d’Aosta and Molise are not included in this list.
So, we decided to list some of Veneto’s main attractions to assist those longing to visit the region (also see our feature on Italian spas on page).
– VENICE AND ITS LAGUNA (UNESCO – 1987)
With the 118 small islands, Venice is an architectural masterpiece of the ages, where every step presents new jaw-dropping beauty in the open air.
– CITY OF VICENZA AND VILLAS PALLADIANAS (UNESCO – 1994/1996)
Vicenza was founded in the 2nd century BC. The works of the architect Andrea Palladio, inspired by classical Roman architecture, gave rise to the Palladian design principles that spread to other European countries, like England, and also to North America.
– BOTANICAL GARDEN OF PADUA (UNESCO – 1997)
It was the first botanical garden in the world, created in 1545, and still has its original layout, although a number of architectural elements have been added over the years. However, it remains true to its original function: to be a recognised centre for scientific research.
-CITY OF VERONA (UNESCO – 2000)
Founded in the year 1 BC, Verona preserves a huge number of monuments from Greco-Roman antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which ultimately ensured its inclusion in the UNESCO list.
– DOLOMITES (UNESCO – 2002)
Located in the northern Alps, the mountain range has 18 peaks, which reach more than 3,000m in altitude. They are characterised by steep cliffs and long, narrow valleys. They are one of the most mesmerising mountain ranges in the world.
– STILT HOUSES IN THE FOOTHILLS (UNESCO – 2011 / shared with Germany, Austria, Slovenia, France and Switzerland)
The region has 111 sites with ancient housing (houses built on stilts) dating from the period between the fifth millennium and the 5th century BC, all situated around lakes, rivers and swamps. Of the 111, 56 of these discoveries were in Switzerland. The elements found in the archaeological excavations have allowed for a better understanding of the daily life of Neolithic and Bronze Age man in Europe.
– VENETIAN DEFENCE FORTIFICATIONS OF THE 16TH AND 17TH CENTURIES (UNESCO – 2017 / shared with Croatia and Montenegro)
There are 15 military fortifications that extend for more than a thousand kilometres between Croatia, Montenegro and Italy (from Lombardy to the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea). The forts, like Stato da Terra, defended the northwest side of Venice and the naval ones, like Stato de Mar, protected their ports and sea routes.