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Different beauty of Italy’s UNESCO sites displayed

On approaching Italy, Oscar Wilde once wrote “I wept to see the land so very fair.”

Throughout the ages, great writers and poets from virtually every country have described Italy’s great beauty.

Italy’s contribution to the cultural and historical heritage of Europe and the world remains immense.

It is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 45 to date, and has rich collections of world art, culture and literature from many different periods. On top of the 45 sites, Italy has another 39 waiting to be approved by UNESCO. In total, Italy holds about 80 percent of world art patrimony.

If you are an Italy completist you could spend months picking them off one by one; a dream for many people.
Campagna di Val d’Orcia (country of Val d’Orcia) photographed by Gianni Berengo Gardin(Italian Embassy)
Campagna di Val d’Orcia (country of Val d’Orcia) photographed by Gianni Berengo Gardin(Italian Embassy)

But the reality is that visitors only have time to visit a handful of these cultural treasures unless they are presented under one roof.

The Italian Embassy and Cultural Institute have arranged to display a collection of 135 photographs, shot by 14 internationally acclaimed Italian artists such as Olivo Barbieri and Mimmo Jodice until March 9.

“The exhibition is not simply a picture exhibition but a unique combination presenting the most beautiful natural, archeological, architectural and historical Italian sites,” said Italian Cultural Institute director Lucio Izzo.

“The pictures are interpreted through different artists’ viewpoints thus creating original pieces,” he added.

The exhibition at Sungshin Women’s University’s Grand Exhibition Hall in the Sujeong Building is divided into four sections each dedicated to a different part of the country: north, center, south and the islands.

There is also a film montage showing footage from several cinematic masters of the last 70 years illustrating those sites.

Italy has, overall, an estimated 100,000 monuments of all sorts; some are UNESCO sites, others are enjoyed for their beauty. Furthermore, whole cities like Venice, built on 117 islands, are a living, breathing UNESCO site.

By Yoav Cerralbo (yoav@heraldcorp.com)
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