Chianti Classico Villa-Farms aim for UNESCO recognition

Jul 6 2024, 18:06
The villa-farms of Chianti Classico are in the running to become a World Heritage Site

by Carlotta Sanvitti

The Board of Directors of the Italian Commission for UNESCO, chaired by Franco Bernabè, has approved the candidacy of the "Landscape of the Chianti Classico Villa-Farm System" for preliminary verification, with a view to being listed as a World Heritage Site. The candidacy, which covers seven municipalities between Florence and Siena over an area of 54,000 hectares, falls into the category of cultural landscapes, defined as "combined works of nature and man" according to Article 1 of the UNESCO convention.

Dossier sent to Paris

This candidacy aims to demonstrate how land-use planning decisions in Chianti Classico between the 16th and 19th centuries optimized agricultural production, improved local living conditions, and stimulated the economy, moving away from ancient medieval sharecropping practices to a more organized system inspired by urban commercial experiences of the communal age. Tessa Capponi-Borawska, president of the Foundation for the Protection of the Chianti Classico Territory, emphasizes the importance of preserving this "magical territory" for future generations. With over 150 villa-farms that have maintained their agricultural and forestry systems intact through the centuries, the candidacy represents a fundamental step towards enhancing and protecting this cultural heritage. The dossier has now been sent to Paris for a preliminary assessment. If positively judged by the advisory bodies, it will be officially submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre by February 1, 2027.

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