Italy

Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte, Italy ©UNESCO

 

Statement of inclusion: EN | FR

Site inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004

When the Emperor Frederick II built this castle near Bari in the 13th century, he imbued it with symbolic significance, as reflected in the location, the mathematical and astronomical precision of the layout and the perfectly regular shape.

A unique piece of medieval military architecture, Castel del Monte is a successful blend of elements from classical antiquity, the Islamic Orient and north European Cistercian Gothic.

Villa Adriana

Villa Adriana, Italy © OUR PLACE The World Heritage Collection


The Villa Adriana is an exceptional architectural legacy of the great Roman Emperor Hadrian. Built as a retreat from Rome between 117 and 138 AD, the villa was designed as an ideal city and incorporates the architectural traditions of Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. The remains of some 30 buildings extend over 120 hectares of the Tiburtine Hills.

There are some thirty extant buildings within the site that can be broadly divided into four groups. A first group of buildings on the site includes the so called ‘Greek Theatre’ and ‘Temple of Cnidian Aphrodite’. At the core of the Villa, is a second group of structures including buildings specifically for the emperor and his court, and includes the so called ‘Maritime Theatre’, the ‘Imperial Palace’, ‘Winter Palace’, Latin and Greek ‘Libraries’ and the ‘Golden Square’. The ‘Golden Square’ is one of the most impressive buildings in the complex, comprising a vast peristyle surrounded by a two-aisled portico with alternate columns of cipollino marble and Egyptian granite. A third group of buildings comprises the baths, including Small Thermae, Large Thermae and the Thermae with Heliocaminus. The final group of structures includes the ‘Lily Pond’, ‘Roccabruna Tower’ and ‘Academy’. This extraordinary complex of buildings and structures is symbolic of a power that was gradually becoming absolute. Villa Adriana, reminiscent of famous places and buildings throughout the empire, reproduced elements of the material cultures of Egypt, Greece and Rome in the form of an “ideal city”.

After suffering damage and neglect for many centuries after Hadrian’s death in 138 AD, the site was eventually rediscovered in 1461. The serenity of the site inspired a renewed interest in classical architecture. Studies of Villa Adriana influenced architects of later centuries, notably the Renaissance but especially baroque architecture. Its remarkable achievement in design continued to exert significant influence on notable architects and designers of the modern era.

The site is located in Province of Rome, Region of Latium and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999.

National Central Library of Florence

© National Central Library of Florence

The seat of the National Central Library of Florence is the first example of architecture applied to library construction since the unification of Italy.

The National Central Library of Florence represents a unicum for the history of culture, due to the importance of its both ancient and modern printed and manuscripts collections, as well as due to the most complete

periodicals collections in Italy; it is furthermore important for its seat, built between 1911 and 1935 by architect Cesare Bazzani, as well as for the artistic heritage that it guards, among which the well-known portrait of Ugo Foscolo painted by François Xavier Fabre. The Library is also the custodian of the most complete Italian collection of Art Books of the Twentieth Century, that was owned by the collector Loriano Bertini, containing 4.300 monographs, magazines, printings’ folders and ‘books as object’, with works, to name but a few, by Picasso, Mirò, Max Ernst, Matisse and even by Marcel Duchamp, Oskar Kokoschka, up to the most recent currents of the Twentieth Century, including artists such as Enrico Baj, Lucio Fontana, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Robert Rauschenberg.

The National Central Library of Florence is an important Italian library, whose antiques collections hold the largest number of ancient codices and manuscripts by all the most important authors of Italian literature. Among the most famous manuscripts can be found a fundamental core of manuscripts as a comment on the Divine Comedy as well as the autograph manuscript of the Arte della Guerra by Niccolò Machiavelli. The National Central Library of Florence owns also almost the whole of the Galileo Galilei’s manuscripts.

The National Central Library of Florence has been, since its establishment, the Book National Archive, whose task is, as in every other Country, to preserve the cultural heritage of the nation for future generations.

The Library is a component of the World Heritage site “Historic Centre of Florence”.

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