The World Heritage Committee, which held its 35th session in Paris between June 19th and 29th 2011, inscribed the serial site “The Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568 - 774 A.D.)” upon the UNESCO World Heritage List on June 25th 2011. It represents the 46th Italian site inscribed on the famous list.
The serial site “The Longobards in Italy. Places of the power (568-774 A.D)” includes the most important monumental Longobard remains present on the Italian peninsula, from north to south, in correspondence to the territories of the principal Longobard duchies – which formed what has been called the “first Italian nation”.
After their arrival in Italy, the Longobards absorbed Roman traditions, Christian spirituality and Byzantine influences, integrating these with their inherited Germanic values and giving rise to a new and distinct culture which reached its apex in the late 7th and 8th century AD.
Recent historical studies have recognized the Longobards as one of the main protagonist of the complex transition period between antiquity and the Middle Ages. They set in motion the cultural process (subsequently inherited by Charlemagne) that transformed the ancient world and contributed to the emergence of medieval Europe, leaving its mark on the next thousand years of Western history.
The UNESCO listing thus underlines the importance of this work and lays to rest the notions of “decadence”, “the end of civilization” and “barbarism” that were often applied to the period between the fall of the Roman and the birth of the Carolingian empire, emphasizing instead the continuity of historical process and the interpenetration of different civilizations.