Italy and UNESCO cooperate on a vast range of activities related to culture.



As concerns cultural and natural heritage, Italy finances missions of cultural experts and training in the areas of safeguarding of World Heritage sites, cultural tourism, and restoration. Italy has forty cultural sites and one natural site on the World Heritage List. Venice and its lagoon, which were the focus of an international safeguarding campaign in 1966, requires ongoing care, particularly in light of the rising sea level related to climate change. The country's rich Tenative List was updated in 2006. Italy attaches great importance to mobilizing its youth in favour of heritage. 
The country has been one of the main contributors to operational conservation and restoration activities for Afghan monuments and sites. It also participated in restoration operations in Cambodia, Laos, Angola, the Palestinian territories, Bosnia, Kosovo, Tunisia and Jordan. 
In the field of intangible heritage, Italy took an active part in preparatory work for the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Two of its cultural expressions have been proclaimed Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity; Opera dei Pupi, Sicilian Puppet Theatre (2001) and Canto a tenore, Sardinian Pastoral Songs (2005). 
Regarding cultural policies and intercultural dialogue, Italy contributes to the Slave Route Project, the Programme for Interreligious Dialogue and the Mediterranean Programme. It also created a UNESCO Chair for Peace, Cultural Development and Cultural Policies. Moreover, Italy financed two projects in the South-East Europe: the creation of the Ars Aevi Museum and a project to foster cultural diversity. 
In 2006 the city of Bologna joined the Creative Cities Network as a UNESCO City of Music.