UNESCO Sites that you Need to Visit

There are many factors that attract tourists to Italy each year; from the mild climate and the bustling yet breathtaking beaches to the fantastic food that is replicated worldwide, there is something for everyone that makes Italy the perfect holiday destination for you to visit. However, if you’re interested in educating yourself on your next trip to the country, there is nothing better than spending an afternoon exploring the cultural sites that have been protected by UNESCO.

The Sam Gimignano in the afternoon

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has hand-selected a number of locations across the globe that are considered significant and of universal value. In order to be selected, they must fit into one of ten categories that have been decided upon by the organisation. These include things such as being “an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage in human history”, to be an “outstanding example(s) representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features”  or to be an “outstanding example(s) representing major stages of to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design; history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features”. Fortunately for those of you who want to have an enriching experience on your next holiday, Italy has plenty of World Heritage Sites for you to explore.

Here at Essential Italy, we understand that on your next stay in one of our Italian villas you will want to get the most out of your trip, having the chance to experience and marvel at as many of the country’s wonders as possible. We’ve compiled a list of our top six sites across the country that we think you should visit after embarking on your next holiday!


San Gimignano

The collection of 13 towers that lay within the walls of San Gimignano are all that remains of the medieval town. Where there are now just a handful of terracotta-coloured towers that jut out of the ancient community, it may be hard to visualise that there were once over 70 of the skyscrapers, providing the settlement with its name “The Town of Fine Towers”.

Understanding why UNESCO protects San Gimignano is easy; the preservation of the architecture that sits atop of a leafy green hill is the perfect display of Roman and Gothic design, with a collection of other buildings including the Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and the Church of Sant’ Agostino available for you to feast your eyes upon.



Siena was first added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s list of protected places back in 1995; if you’re looking for the perfect medieval town to explore then this is the place for you. The shell-shape of the square is widely regarded as one of the best preservations of Gothic architecture and is one of the most unique locations that you can visit due to the fact that it seems to have been frozen in time.


Su Nuraxi

Dating back as far as 2BC, the defensive structure of the Su Nuraxi has not been seen anywhere else across the globe, meaning that this UNESCO site offers you a once in a lifetime opportunity. Access to the site requires a guided tour, but walking through the well-preserved site accompanied by a tour guide will help educate you on the past about the area.


Villa Romana del Casale

The opulence of the mosaics in Villa Romana del Casale is sure to take your breath away when you visit this UNESCO site in Sicily. With the excavations beginning in the 1800’s, the final restorations now are on offer for tourists to visit in the wonderful Sicilian villa. Make your way through the plethora of rooms where the mosaics are presented, each detailing different scenes. Additionally, there are ongoing preservation efforts of the mosaics mean that there are continuing efforts to uncover more.


If you’re currently planning your next trip to Italy and are trying to decide which region is the best for you, why don’t you take a look at our blog? We have a range of information about what you can expect after boarding the plane over which can help you decipher where you should head! Additionally, if you’re interested in discovering more about how Essential Italy can help you create the holiday of a lifetime, contact us today!