Transnational World Heritage Sites foster international cooperation, with implications for tourism systems within and across State Parties. This work analyses the metagovernance of the Italian portion of the Prehistoric Pile Dwellings, a serial transboundary site. The results indicate that there are specific governance and metagovernance failures due to issues in the Italian system, notably the overly hierarchical structure for heritage policy. The clash between governance modes results in an ineffective decision-making structure, at the national level, laden with ‘red tape’. Thus, there is a need for more networked modes of metagovernance in order to improve the efficiency of the Italian site management as well as the complicated process of transnational World Heritage metagovernance and its application to national governance structures.