Following Water at the Mantua and Sabbioneta World Heritage Site





Reflecting on water and heritage as a system linking nature and culture raises challenges and opportunities for both water and heritage management. This case study explores what integrating water and heritage management means for Mantua and Sabbioneta, two cities in Northern Italy listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site because of artistic, architectural and urban values associated with the Renaissance. It considers how World Heritage management recalls water-based visions, interactions between heritage institutions and water institutions and the role of water in innovative heritage projects promoting local communities’ involvement and challenging partnerships. It argues that embedding water and heritage relationships for sustainable development could be recognized as an opportunity for the Mantua and Sabbionetta World Heritage Site to integrate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 11 and 8 with goals 4, 12, 15 and 17.

How to Cite

Gioia, M. E. (2022). Following Water at the Mantua and Sabbioneta World Heritage Site. Blue Papers, 1(2), 111–121.





methodologies and case studies


Mantua and Sabbioneta. 2020. “Mantua and Sabbioneta World Heritage Management Plan 2020.” Official document retrieved at

UNESCO. 2011. Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape. Paris: World Heritage Center.

UNESCO. 2015. Policy Document for the Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention. Paris: World Heritage Center.

UNESCO World Heritage Canopy. 2021. Creating a Shared Framework in the Serial World Heritage Property of Mantua and Sabbioneta (Italy). Paris: World Heritage Center.