Prosecco hills inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage list

ROME: Italy's northeastern Conegliano and Valdobbiadene hills, home to the world-famous sparkling wine prosecco, have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Sunday congratulated Italy and its Prosecco region, located in the Veneto region.

Prosecco has become the most popular Italian wine abroad, with its exports seen rising by a record of 21% in 2019 in foreign markets.

Italy's foreign ministry and agriculture minister Gian Marco Centinaio welcomed the news, saying "this is a historic day for Veneto and for Italy as a whole."

Italy applied for world heritage status for the Prosecco region last year but the bid failed by a few votes.

World Heritage sites can be examples of outstanding natural beauty or man-made buildings. The sites can be important geologically or ecologically, or they can be key for human culture and tradition. The status granted by UNESCO is not just about preservation, but also about sensitive development.

Many wine regions around the world have been included in the World Heritage list. Traditional cultivations on the Italian island of Pantelleria and the wine-rich areas in the Piedmont region were added in 2014, while the two French regions of Burgundy and Champagne were included in 2015.