Venice Avoids UNESCO’s List of Endangered Heritage Sites

Venice Avoids UNESCO’s List of Endangered Heritage Sites

Venice, with its maze of canals and historic buildings, won't be added to a list of endangered World Heritage sites – at least not for the time being.

UNESCO issued a report in July outlining the risks facing Venice, including extreme weather and rising sea levels caused by human-induced climate change, over-tourism, and over-development. However, the Officials from 21 UNESCO member states decided not to add Venice, Italy to the World Heritage in Danger list.

“Great victory at UNESCO!!… Venice is not at risk,”

“The world has understood all the work we have done to defend our city, some of the opposition in Venice still hasn't!”

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Brugnaro called the earlier report recommending the city be considered endangered “misleading.” 

Venice has been on UNESCO’s watchlist for years and was spared the same fate in 2021. Following that, Italy declared the waterways around the city a “national monument” and banned large cruise ships from passing through its canals. The city also made plans to introduce its day trip tax, but continually postponed its implementation before finally settling on 2024.

When it goes into effect, all travellers over 14 years old who visit Venice for the day will be required to pay €5. The fee will be rolled out on a trial basis mainly during spring bank holidays and summer weekends when the city is at its most crowded. 

Venice already charges overnight visitors who book a hotel stay a different tax.

UNESCO’s Endangered Sites

While Venice avoided being added to the list of heritage sites in danger, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee did add sites in the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and L’viv. The two sites — Kyiv's Saint Sophia Cathedral and the historic centre of L’viv — join the Ukrainian city of Odesa, which was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger earlier this year.

Europe is the second continent with the most significant number of places considered as World Heritage Sites. 

At the moment, the following are considered endangered:

  • The Historic Center of Vienna, Austria
  • the Historic Center of Odesa, Ukraine 
  • Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Lviv
  • The Ensemble of the Historic Centre, Ukraine
  • Medieval Monuments, Kosovo
  • Rosia Montana Mining Landscape, Romania

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