Unesco has named two new world heritage sites in Italy. The first is the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany, an agricultural area between Montalcino and Montepulciano made famous by the writer Iris Origo in her book " War in the Val d'Orcia 1947". This beautiful valley, a partly wild and partly cultivated area, has a famous abbey of S. Antimo at Castel Nuovo dell'Abbate. The abbey is said to have been founded in the ninth century by the Emperor Charlemagne when his troops, who had been struck by the plague, were miraculously cured while they were camped in the area.

The other heritage site is in Lazio and is made up of the two Etruscan necropoli at Tarquinia and Cerveteri.

These additions to the world heritage sites brings the total in Italy to 39, more than any other country in the world.