The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation is expected to grant world heritage status to the three castles dominating the skyline over Bellinzona, capital of canton Ticino.
A final decision will not be made until a UNESCO conference later this year in Cairns, Australia.
But the president of the organisation’s Swiss committee, Francesca Gemnetti, has confirmed a newspaper report that the Bellinzona application had been unanimously approved by UNESCO’s heritage office at a meeting in Paris.
Castelgrande and the Montebello and Sasso Corbaro castles date back to the days of the Roman empire and are today an important tourist attraction in Bellinzona.
Some 630 sites throughout the world are on the UNESCO list, which guarantees their conservation and makes funds available for renovation work.
Switzerland currently has three sites - the Benedictine convent of St John in Mustair, the St Gallen convent and the old city of Berne.
swissinfo with agencies
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