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Italy's Prosecco hills receive UN world heritage status

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Italy's Prosecco hills receive UN world heritage status
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An area of hilly terrain in northeast Italy known for its Prosecco production has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The Prosecco hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene were recognised by the UN's cultural agency on Sunday, marking Italy's 55th World Heritage site.

In a statement, UNESCO highlighted the centuries of cultivation the land had undertaken in order to reach its "particular chequerboard landscape" of parallel-running vines.

"The landscape is characterised by ‘hogback’ hills, ciglioni – small plots of vines on narrow grassy terraces – forests, small villages and farmland," it said.

"For centuries, this rugged terrain has been shaped and adapted by man."

Luca Zaia, the president of the Veneto region, said a decade of campaigning to be included on the list could be dedicated to local farmers who "made the territory extraordinary with their effort."

He added: "We believed in it from the beginning, ten years ago, when we started the journey to nominate this unique and particular portion of the Veneto region to the heritage of humanity."

Prosecco sales in 2018 were boosted by 6%, with at least three-quarters being exported.

UNESCO is unveiling new additions to its World Heritage List as part of its 43rd session which will end on Jully 10.

Among the cultural sites added this past week include the Royal Building of Mafra northwest of Lisbon, Portugal with its palace, basilica, convent, garden and hunting park. UNESCO added another site in Portugal this year — the sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga, which it called "a cultural landscape" that was developed over 600 years.

In Myanmar, the temple city of Bagan was recognised with its range of Buddhist temples and monasteries.

Babylon — the ancient city in Iraq and former capital of the Neo-Babylonian empire — was another addition this year. UNESCO called the city "a unique testimony to one of the most influential empires of the ancient world".

See these sites and Italy's Prosecco hills in the video player above.

READ MORE: An ancient forest in Iran and a bird sanctuary in China: Discover UNESCO's new World Heritage sites

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