Italy joined UNESCO on January 27, 1948.
The UNESCO Office Venice houses the Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (BRESCE).
Italy has more sites (41) inscribed on the World Heritage List than any other country. The historical centres of Florence, Rome, Pienza and Naples are all on the List. Italy also contributes to a number of heritage-related projects in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Italy's interest in heritage is also reflected in its UNESCO Chairs. Two of the eight Chairs in the country concern cultural heritage: the Chair in Peace, Cultural Development and Cultural Policies at the Jacques Maritain Institute and the Chair in Management of the Cultural Heritage in the Balkan and Danubian region at the University of Trieste. Italy has also two networks..
In November 2005, the A Tenore song, from the pastoral culture of Sardinia, was proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. A Tenore is a very specific form of guttural polyphonic singing performed by a group of four men.
Founded by Nobel Prize laureate Abdus Salam, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) operates under the aegis of two United Nations agencies: UNESCO and the IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency).
UNESCOís Director General KoÔchiro Matsuura made his second official visit to Italy in November 2007.