Assisi and the Basilica of St. Francis, UNESCO World Heritage sites, are by…
United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization ~ Italy
What is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Many travelers know the phrase, but what is behind the designation? The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meets each year to designate, or even to remove, sites around the world. In order for a site to be put on the infamous “List”, it must be a place that has a tremendous value to humanity. World Heritage Sites are nominated by their home country, and go through a process at the yearly UNESCO Committee session. The current committee is represented by Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Iraq, Jordan, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Arab Emerates.
Every few years, new nations join, and many leave – it is a cyclical process to maintain fairness in the selections. In order for a nomination to become an official site, the 21 member panel takes it through a series of rigorous standards, ten in total, to determine it’s eligibility. The site does not need to meet all 10 requirements, but must meet a majority of them very significantly.
As of 2011, Italy, with its 47 sites, has the highest number of World Heritage Sites.
1. 1979 ~ Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
3. 1980, 1990 ~ Historic Center of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City enjoying extraterritorial rights, and Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls; transboundary property, shared with the Holy See —
5. 1987, 2007 ~ Piazza del Duomo, Pisa
7. 1990 ~ Historic Center of San Gimignano
10. 1995 ~ Crespi d’Adda
12. 1995 ~ Historic Center of Naples
13. 1995 ~ Historic Center of Siena
15. 1996 ~ Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna
16. 1996 ~ Historic Center of the City of Pienza
23. 1997 ~ Amalfi Coast
30. 1998 ~ Historic Center of Urbino
33. 2000 ~ City of Verona
35. 2001 ~ Villa d’Este, Tivoli
40. 2004 ~ Val d’Orcia
45. 2009 ~ The Dolomites
47. 2011 ~ Longobards in Italy. Places of the power (568-774 A.D.) — 2011