Italian espresso coffee on Thursday began a bid to claim a place on UNESCO's list of protected intangible world heritage products. The Consortium Protecting Traditional Italian Espresso Coffee celebrated the first World Coffee Day. In so doing, it announced the birth of the Community for the Rite of Espresso Coffee. The initiative asks people to si...

There are many great spots across the world to gaze at the stars. The International Dark Sky Association (IDSA) lists 130 locations, including three that were added in the USA last year (in Colorado, Arizona, and Utah). One notable omission, if you browse the sites on the IDSA’s map, is Italy.  Now, though, the country has an officially recognized...

The monumental complex at Caserta was built by the architect Luigi Vanvitelli for the Bourbon king Charles III in the mid-18th century to rival Versailles and the Royal Palace in Madrid.  The site, inscribed by Unesco in its World Heritage list in 1997, comprises a magnificent palace with its park and gardens, natural woodland, hunting lodges, as w...

Val Camonica, one of the largest valleys of the central Alps, located in eastern Lombardy (northern Italy), is home to the first Italian site registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List, in 1979. The site contains one of the largest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the world - more than 140,000 symbols and figures carved in the rock over...

Padua’s Botanical Garden is the world’s oldest, created in 1545 by the Venetian Republic.   It is the world's oldest academic botanical garden that is still in its original location and has preserved its original layout – a circular central plot, symbolizing the world, surrounded by a ring of water. Padua’s Botanical Garden was devoted to the growt...

Twelve villas and two ornamental gardens scattered throughout the Tuscan region constitute a Unesco World Heritage site that testifies to the influence exercised by the Medici family on modern European culture through the patronage of the arts.  Built between the 15th and 17th centuries, they represent an original system of rural buildings designed...

Sandwiched between the sea and the mountains, Genoa was once a powerful maritime republic. Its great expansion began after the year 1000, extending its trading and military power over much of the Mediterranean. In 1528, with Doge Andrea Doria, who belonged to a family of rich merchants and extraordinary seafarers, the Republic of Genoa reached the...

Located in Puglia, Castel del Monte (Italian for "Castle of the Mountain") was built in the 13th century by Emperor Frederick II, who had inherited the lands from his mother Constance of Sicily. Frederick was responsible for the construction of many castles in Puglia, but Castel del Monte's geometric design was unique. The emperor imbued it with sy...

The regional council of the Campania region, whose capital is Naples, is seeking to have the "culture of Neapolitan espresso coffee" registered on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The bid, signed by Campania president Vincenzo De Luca, has been sent to Italy's Commission for UNESCO, reports Italian news agency ANSA. "Coffee in Italy...

The vineyard landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato cover five distinct wine-growing areas - Langa del Barolo, the hills of Barbaresco, Nizza Monferrato and Barbera, Canelli and Asti Spumante, Monferrato degli Infernot - and the Castle of Cavour, which Unesco describes as “an emblematic name both in the development of vineyards and in Italian hi...