342 Italian Beaches, divided over 163 municipalities, can adorn themselves this year with the Blue Flag. The blue flag that is the sign of cleanliness and user-friendliness. That is 49 beaches and 11 municipalities more than in 2016. The Italian coasts thus continue a steady trend towards cleaner water and beaches. Much remains to be done, but decreasing pollution, better functioning sewage treatment plants and stricter controls appear to be bearing fruit.
This is evident from the annual survey of the FEE, the Foundation for Educational Environment. This is a Denmark-based organization with branches in 73 countries. The awarded by FEE Italia Blue Flag is an international recognition. This was established in 1987, the European Year of the Environment, and is awarded annually in 49 countries with the support of the United Nations Environment and Tourism Organizations.
The choice is made on the basis of 32 factors. First of all, of course, the purity of the water – measured by the regional environmental agencies – and of the beach itself. In addition, accessibility, public transport, equipment (including the presence of toilets and rubbish bins), natural vegetation, and so on are taken into account.
Liguria and Tuscany have the cleanest beaches
As in previous years, the northern and central regions came out on top. The absolute winner is the region of Liguria. There 27 municipalities on the map got the bolino blu, the blue stamp, awarded.
From the French border to the Cinque Terre – with the exception of large cities such as Genoa and Savona – there is clean water everywhere. Tuscany is a close second with 19 municipalities. Classics are Porto Santo Stefano, Camaiore and Pietrasanta. Score on the Adriatic side The Marches well with places like Fano, Pesaro and San Benedetto del Tronto.
Italian beaches in the south
Further south it looks a little less pure. Emilia Romagna has only six Adriatic municipalities that have been approved by the FEE. Rimini boasts two pristine beaches, but the other beach town par excellence, Cattolica, has lost its blue flag this year.
The beaches of Comacchio, beautifully situated in the Po Delta, on the other hand, have all withstood the test. In the southern part of Lazio, Circeo, Sabaudia, Terracina and Sperlonga are all spotless, but around Rome this is much less the case.
Traditional seaside resorts such as Santa Severa and Santa Marinella do not get blue flag. Ostia, where you can be in a jiffy with a local train from the capital, is not entirely clean on the ridge, and that can usually be seen in the seawater.
Calabria and Sicily score poorly
Calabria and Sicily score poorly with only seven each bollini blu. Tourist centers like Cefalù and Taormina, where the G7 will be held later this month, are not on the list. Fortunately, the beautiful beach of Menfi near Agrigento does, as do the islands of Lipari, Stromboli and Vulcano.
Remarkable are the 15 clean beach municipalities in Campania, of which no fewer than thirteen are in the province of Salerno. A sensible waste and environmental policy has been in place there for years. This makes it safe to swim in Sapri, Positano and Capaccio, in the shade the temple complex of Paestum.
The good score of Trentino is remarkable. This province is not located by the sea, but the FEE has also included the borders of the Italian lakes and thus comes to ten municipalities in Trentino with a total of twelve award-winning beaches.
Clean fresh water can also be found elsewhere in Italy. For example on Lake Garda (Gardone Riviera) and Lake Maggiore (Canobbio). In short, you can swim and sunbathe cleanly throughout Italy, but it does not hurt to orient yourself in advance.
Here you will find the complete list of the cleanest Italian beaches (Pdf).
Source: bandierablu.org, photo: Pixabay