BEECH TREES AND FORTRESSES ON THE UNESCO LIST

All About Italy (USA) - - Culture - Margherita Pi­tu­ano

The lat­est ad­di­tions, de­cided at the 41st ses­sion of the World Her­itage Com­mit­tee that closed in Krakow in July, took the num­ber of Ital­ian prop­er­ties to 53. Fol­low­ing the ad­di­tion of its primeval beech forests and 15th-17th cen­tury Vene­tian works of de­fense, Italy has be­come the global leader for the num­ber of prop­er­ties in­cluded on the UNESCO World Her­itage list. The lat­est ad­di­tions, de­cided at the 41st ses­sion of the World Her­itage Com­mit­tee that closed in Krakow on Sun­day, take the num­ber of Ital­ian prop­er­ties to 53. China ranks sec­ond with 52 prop­er­ties, trailed by Spain, France and Ger­many re­spec­tively with 46, 43 and 41 prop­er­ties.

From Tus­cany to Calabria go­ing through the prov­ince of Viterbo, UNESCO rec­og­nized that in Italy there are ten award-win­ning sec­u­lar beech tree forests, for a to­tal area of 2,000 hectares. Th­ese are now part of the ‘Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathi­ans and Other Re­gions of Europe’, the trans­bound­ary ex­ten­sion of the World Her­itage site of the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathi­ans and the An­cient Beech Forests of Ger­many, which stretches over 12 Euro­pean coun­tries. The splen­did fortress of Pal­manova – na­tional mon­u­ment since 1960 -, wanted by the Serenis­sima to de­fend Chris­tian­ity from the Ot­toman im­pact in 1593, called the starry city for its star-shaped polyg­o­nal plant with nine tips; the bas­tions of Peschiera del Garda that seem to be born from the waters of the lake; the pow­er­ful Vene­tian Walls, which were built by the Serenis­sima Repub­lic of Venice in the sec­ond half of the 16th cen­tury to de­fend the city. The Min­istry of Cul­tural Her­itage Ac­tiv­i­ties and Tourism, which su­per­vised the 500-page work­book that sum­ma­rize years of work, pointed to the fact that th­ese works con­sti­tute a unique tes­ti­mony to the mil­i­tary ar­chi­tec­ture that has evolved from the 16th to the 17th cen­turies, a fun­da­men­tal pe­riod in the long his­tory of the Repub­lic of Venice: “Fortresses and walls to­gether tes­tify to the pres­ence of a unique de­fen­sive net­work be­tween the Main­land State and the Sea State.

Th­ese pre­sid­ios, in­te­grated in land­scape of ex­tra­or­di­nary sug­ges­tion, de­scribe a uni­tary de­fen­sive project that can boast civil, mil­i­tary and ur­ban con­no­ta­tions.” Won­ders of Ital­ian na­ture and in­ge­nu­ity that are added to UNESCO World Her­itage list next to the ones al­ready present, like Pom­peii and the Val­ley of the Tem­ples of Agri­gento. The pre­vi­ous Ital­ian prop­er­ties to be in­cluded on the World Her­itage list be­fore the lat­est ones, were Arab-nor­man Palermo and the Cathe­dral Churches of Ce­falú and Mon­reale, to­gether with the vine­yard land­scapes of Langhe-roero and Mon­fer­rato in the north­ern Pied­mont. Next year the com­mit­tee is set to con­sider the can­di­da­ture of two more Ital­ian prop­er­ties, the 20th­cen­tury in­dus­trial town of Ivrea in Pied­mont and the Prosecco hills. In 2019 the rules will change to al­low coun­tries to present only one can­di­date site each to a to­tal of 35 world­wide. Due to the high num­ber of prop­er­ties al­ready on the list in the event of ‘over­sub­scrip­tion’ Italy would see its pro­pos­als ex­am­ined last.

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