UNESCO has added another Italian site to its list of unique and irreplaceable cultural and natural heritage, the Italian culture minister announced Sunday.
The new World Heritage site is called the Venetian Works of Defence, a complex enclave of fortifications designed and built by the ancient seafaring Republic of Venice between the 15th-17th centuries to control its territories and the commercial routes leading to the East, according to the UNESCO website.
On Friday, the UNESCO committee also added a stretch of 600-year-old beech forests in a national park in Italy's central Apennines mountain range to its list of irreplaceable natural heritage.
"Ancient beech forests and Venetian Defense Works added to UNESCO heritage. Italy consolidates its primacy with 53 sites," Culture Minister Dario Franceschini tweeted Sunday.
The Venetian Defense Works site is trasnational because it extends for more than 1,000 kms from northeastern Italy to the neighboring countries of Croatia and Montenegro on the Adriatic Sea.
"This unique and ancient enclave bears...important testimony to the interaction among peoples and, more in general, to the culture expressed by Venice in the world," according to UNESCO.
The Venice Defense Works site was submitted to UNESCO for consideration by Croatia in 2013, with the endorsement of Italy and Montenegro.
Sunday's decision was taken by the 41st World Heritage Committee, which is meeting in the Polish city of Krakow from July 2-12 to examine proposals to inscribe 33 new sites.
The World Heritage list currently includes 1,070 sites around the world.