Blue Flag numbers increase in Italy

More Blue Flag Beaches in Italy

Environment News Travel & Tourism

The number of Blue Flag seaside and lakeside municipalities in Italy has risen by 16 to 226 over the last year. There are 17 new recipients, whilst one was not reconfirmed.

The Foundation for Environmental Education (Fee) announced the Blue Flag beaches yesterday. This year, there are 17 new recipients of the prestigious eco-label for cleanliness and sustainability, while one municipality has not been confirmed.

The 226 municipalities on the list translate into a total of 458 beaches, 11% of the total awarded globally. This is an increase of 16 blue flag awards over 2022.

The majority of the Blue Flag municipalities are in north-western Liguria with 34. Following are Puglia with 22, and Tuscany, Campania and Calabria with 19.

This year 21 lakeside municipalities earned the international label, with four new recipients.

What is a Blue Flag?

In the evaluation phase, various bodies contribute, from the Ministries of Tourism and Agriculture, passing through the Higher Institute of Health and the University of Tuscia. The trade unions of seaside entrepreneurs (Sib-Confcommercio, Fiba-Confesercenti) have also collaborated.

In general, Fee considers bathing waters classified as excellent in the last four years, as established by the results of the analyses carried out by the regional environmental protection agencies.

Other criteria include the management of the territory and environmental education to protect the environment and promote sustainable tourism. These range from the existence and functionality of purification plants to the percentage of sewage connections up to waste management, passing through the initiatives launched by the administrations for better livability in the summer period.

Furthermore, Fee considers the enhancement of any naturalistic areas present in the area, the care of urban furnishings and beaches and the possibility of access to the sea for everyone without limitations.

Italian Blue Flag Beaches

The Italian municipalities with Blue Flags in 2023 are as below.

  • Liguria scores two “new entries” Laigueglia and Sori and has 34 localities;
  • Puglia rises to 22 awards with four new municipalities: Gallipoli, Tremiti Islands, Leporano and Vieste.
  • Campania and Tuscany, both with a new entrance (respectively San Mauro Cilento and the lagoon Orbetello) and Calabria with two new Blue Flags, Catanzaro and Rocca Imperiale, have 19 Blue Flags each.
  • Le Marche has 18, with the new entry of Porto San Giorgio.
  • Sardinia remains with 15 blue flag localities;
  • Abruzzo has 14;
  • Sicily has 11;
  • Lazio and Trentino-Alto Adige have ten blue flags apiece.
  • Emilia-Romagna sees 9 locations awarded with an exit (Cattolica) and a new entrance (Gatteo);
  • Veneto reconfirms its nine flags;
  • Basilicata confirms its five locations;
  • There are two new entrances are registered in Piedmont (San Maurizio d’Opaglio and Verbania) giving it five flags in total;
  • Lombardy rises to three Blue Flag municipalities, with two new entries (Sirmione and Toscano Maderno);
  • Friuli Venezia Giulia confirms the two flags it held in the previous year;
  • Molise now has two flags by virtue of a new entry, Termoli.

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