ROME -- Bologna’s extensive porticoes, dating back to the 13th century and still very much part of the city’s everyday life, have been added to the World Heritage List.
At a meeting in China on Wednesday, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, the U.N. culture agency, inscribed the porticoes on the prestigious list.
The addition raised to 58 the number of Italian sites on the list. Earlier this month, the northeastern city of Padua, noted for its early 14th-century Giotto frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel, and Montecatini Terme, a well-preserved thermal spa town in Tuscany, also made the list.
The medieval porticoes are a cherished meeting place for Bologna’s residents, sheltering them from the sun and rain and serving as a crossroads of civic life. The city's porticoes cover some 62 kilometers (37 miles). Some of the structures were built from wood while others used stone or brick.
UNESCO said the porticoes over the centuries “have become an expression and element of Bologna's urban identity.”