1.         City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto (Italy) (C 712bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1994

Criteria  (i)(ii)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/712/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/712/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

2005: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Construction project of a highway extension in the vicinity of Villa Saraceno

b) Uncontrolled development and urban encroachment in the Veneto region

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/712/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

In compliance with Decision 31 COM 7B.113, the State Party submitted on 29 January 2009 an updated report on the status of planning of the highway Valdastico-South, section Vicenza-Rovigo and activities related to the property, as well as maps with the proposed buffer zones of the parts of the property and additional copies of the final version of the management plan.


The State Party informed that the management plan including conservation plans and buffer zones was formally approved on 30 May 2007 by all authorities concerned, and copies were provided to the World Heritage Centre for review by ICOMOS in June 2007; the World Heritage Committee was informed during its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007). The State Party’s report further provides detailed information on all activities and interventions carried out since the approval of the management plan.


Concerning the highway A31 Valdastico-South, Section Vicenza-Rovigo project, the State Party reports that the project was revised to take into account the recommendations of the 2005 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS monitoring mission. The technical solution “Planning Revision lot 7” has been chosen and proposed to the Town Hall of Agugliaro for approval in September 2008. The State Party anticipates the revised plan to be approved. Upon approval, expected in early 2009, expropriation procedures would begin for the areas of the motorway section, and the National Highways Authority would give final authorization for a tender. It is reported that the construction works are scheduled to start no later than mid-2009.


While the State Party report states that the revised project would comply with the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission’s recommendations for the minimization of visual impacts of the highway, non-governmental organizations informed in September 2008 that the motorway section would include up to seven exits as well as additional stops for a length of 54 km. The density of highway facility infrastructure is likely to cause encroachment on the Veneto landscape around some of the Palladian villas, and could therefore contribute to uncontrolled development in the vicinity of parts of the World Heritage property.


On 31 March 2009, recent documentation was received from an NGO informing about construction works for a partly elevated highway section, which started in the municipality of Albettone and neighbouring municipalities, and questioning the legal base of the project through an official inquiry submitted to the Regional Council of the Veneto on 20 March 2009.


Given that the State Party did not provide the revised plans for the motorway section, the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS strongly recommend requesting the submission of the revised plans and halting any construction works until the evaluation of the plans by the Advisory Bodies.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 33 COM 7B.109

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 7B.113, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),

3. Notes with appreciation the submission of the final management plan of the property and the activities towards its implementation;

4. Notes with concern the advanced stage of the highway project, and urges the State Party to submit as soon as possible the revised plans to ensure that they are in line with the recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission of 2005;

5. Requests the State Party to halt the project until an assessment of the revised plans has been made to ensure that they are in line with the recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission of 2005;

6. Also requests the State Party to submit, to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, an updated report on the implementation of the project of the A31 motorway Valdastico-South for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.