For the Orange Flag – Bandiera Arancione – program, launched in 1998, the Touring Club Italiano has considered in the years more than 2000 applications from all over Italy to award its coveted seal of excellence to only 227, including the 19 new ones added in 2018.

The Orange Flags is an eco-tourism recognition awarded to villages and small towns (with a maximum of 15,000 inhabitants) – identified in Italian as ‘borghi’ – that, not only have a historical, cultural and environmental heritage of merit, but also excel in welcoming tourists in a carefully maintained environment while promoting local industry and crafts – ie sustainable tourism. The Flags are not permanent and the Touring Club Italiano audits the towns every three years to ensure that the high standards of specific criteria, considered from the traveler’s point of view, are still satisfied and that the information is up to date.

The selection, and auditing, process take in to account parameters such us: the welcome that tourists receive (signposting, tourist information services, transport links, traffic management, and the town’s website), accommodation choices and services available (hotels, b&b, restaurants, bars, etc), tourist attraction (historical, cultural, environmental and social attractions), environmental management (waste management, public parks, renewable resources and energy conservation), and the structure and quality of the town (atmosphere and hospitality).

This year new entries are: Gressoney Saint Jean (AO), Agliè (TO), Chiusa di Pesio (CN), Gavi (AL), Ozzano Monferrato (AL), Almenno San Bartolomeo (BG), Bellano (LC), Pizzighettone (CR), Maniago (PN), San Vito al Tagliamento (PN), Santa Fiora (GR), Frontino (PU), Serra San Quirico (AN), Fara San Martino (CH), Lama dei Peligni (CH), Opi (AQ), Aliano (MT), Oriolo (CS), Taverna (CZ).

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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