Italy became member state in 1948 and, with its 49 sites, has the highest number of World Heritage Sites. The first site to be added was Rock Drawings in Valcamonica (1979) and the last were The Dolomites (2009), Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (2011),Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps (2011), Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany (2013) and Mount Etna (2013). Italy has also 4 elements inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Not far from the Dolomites you find other sites included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Following, a list of the closest:
UNESCO, founded in London on 16 November 1945 and with headquarters in Paris, is a specialized agency of the United Nations for Education, Science and Culture. Its purpose is to contribute to peace, human rights and equality by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. Currently, UNESCO counts 195 member states.
The organization is governed by the General Conference and Executive Board, with a Secretariat to implement their decisions. It focuses on a number of priorities and overarching objectives, one of which is to “encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity”.
The World Heritage Sites can be cultural (monuments, groups of buildings and sites with historical, archaeological, scientific, ethnological or anthropological value) and natural (outstanding physical, biological and geological formations, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants and areas with scientific, conservation or aesthetic value). Sites that meet at least one out of ten selection criteria are included on the World Heritage List. Currently, the list includes 981 properties (759 cultural, 193 natural and 29 mixed) in 160 States Parties.