Pietra Ligure – Source: Wikipedia – Author: Davide Papalini – Attribution License

The iconic Blue Flag of the International Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is one of the world’s most recognized voluntary eco-labels awarded every year to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of thirty-two stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.

In Italy, the seaside beaches, tourist ports, and lake resorts that can boast the prestigious eco-label for cleanliness, sustainability, and services grew from 368 in 2018 to this year’s 385, corresponding to around 10% of the beaches awarded worldwide. These can be found all over the country in 183 different Municipalities, 8 more than last year.

Otranto – Source: Wikipedia – Author: Freddyballo – Attribution License

Considering the different regions, Liguria, with 3 new entries, leads the national ranking with 30 Blue Flags. The second place of the ranking is occupied by Tuscany with 19 localities, followed by Campania, with 18 Flags. Fourth place for the Marche with 15, then Sardinia with 14, Apulia with 13. Calabria, with two new entries, can now boast 11 certified locations, while Abruzzo reaches 10 flags with the entrance of a lake resort. Lazio too has a new entry for a total of 9 Blu Flags, while Veneto confirms its 8 flags. The other Blu Flags have been awarded to resorts in Emilia Romagna, Sicily, Basilicata, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Molise, and Trentino Alto Adige, which has 10 awarded lake beaches of the 17 found throughout the country.

The Blue Flag is a philosophy of small steps but very concrete things, which over time determine change. – commented Claudio Mazza, president of FEE Italy – Municipalities that are able to preserve their environmental heritage and know how to promote it already show that they are the most attractive for tourism.”

Ilona Catani Scarlett

Cover ph. from www.bandierablu.org

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