Celebrating Veneto: the Prosecco hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

The landscape of these splendid hills has been inscribed as the 55th Italian site to enter the UNESCO lists

From 08 August 2019 to 31 March 2021

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The dream has come true: he Hills of Prosecco in Conegliano and Valdobbiadene have become part of the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites! The long-awaited recognition materialized on 7 July 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan, on the occasion of the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, during which the selection committee - made up of 21 Member States - unanimously recognized the importance of the one-of-a-kind landscape where Prosecco wine is produced.

But let's see together what are the reasons that have allowed these iconic Veneto areas to conquer the much sought-after international recognition, alongside places of incredible charm such as Mount Fuji in Japan, the site of the Pyramids of Egypt, the Australian coral reef and the Grand Canyon in Arizona, already part of the UNESCO Heritage List.

As quoted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, this recognizes the universal value of a unique cultural and agricultural landscape, originated from an extraordinary and wise interaction between a production activity of excellence and the nature of a fascinating territory’.

And this is precisely the criterion around which the nomination process was presented, namely the excellence of traditional products combined with the uniqueness of the landscape which, in the case of the Prosecco Hills, represents a very important added value. The particular sharecropping system that can be seen in the Treviso area dates back to the Middle Ages: these are small plots that coexist with forest patches and create a scenic chequerboard arrangement that contributes to the uniqueness and beauty of these places. But there is more than that! In addition to the aesthetic characteristics, there is another reason that has contributed to the enlisting of the area of Prosecco as a UNESCO World Heritage site: the uniqueness of the land use practices and the vineyard management techniques differentiate the areas of Prosecco in Conegliano and Prosecco in Valdobbiadene from all the other wine growing areas enlisted as World Heritage sites in the past.

One of the vine training techniques still practiced, which makes the Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano and Valdobbiadene truly unique, and where Prosecco DOC is produced, is the so-called Bellussera. It is an ancient and very scenic training system of particular historical and human significance, developed by the Bellussi brothers (from which it takes its name) at the end of the 1800s in the province of Treviso. Leaving aside the technical details, from the top the Bellussera vineyards appear as a sprawling mosaic, an incredible geometric design that gives the area a truly mesmerizing appearance.

Scattered around the vineyards are ancient villages, churches, mills and castles that further embellish the Prosecco Italian hills: UNESCO has rewarded these areas for the authenticity of the cultural landscape, shaped by man who has for centuries grown the vines on steep slopes strictly by hand with hard work and a lot of dedication.

Did you know that the first Italian wine route was born in this area? It was 1966 and the route, around 50 km-long, meandered between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, crossing some of Italy’s most beautiful villages, important monuments and charming abbeys. It is therefore no coincidence that the landscape of these splendid hills is today the 55th Italian site inscribed in the UNESCO list, as well as the world’s 10th in the ‘cultural landscape’ category.

Have you ever been to the Unesco Prosecco hills in Veneto? If the answer is no then you absolutely must make up for it... they are beautiful in all seasons! Breathtaking views, ancient villages, excellent wine and exquisite traditional produce... what more could you wish for? Take a look at our ideas in the areas of Treviso and the Prosecco Hills: with tastings and guided tours aplenty, we are sure there will be something that will take your fancy!

Well... just one more curiosity: do you know why the Prosecco Wine is called so? To find out, visit the page dedicated to the origin of the name of Prosecco Wine in our 'Hidden Treasure' section! 


By Insidecom Editorial Staff