The coveted Bandiera Blu status is awarded to Italian beaches with excellent water quality and high environmental standards.Great news for the Italian coasts! This year Blue Flags have been awarded to 427 beaches across Italy. The highly anticipated verdict was just announced by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), which awards this eco-label that certifies the excellence of water quality and sustainability of lake and coastal resorts in 47 countries around the world.
Italy stands out again this year with 10% of the awardees.
New entries and excluded beaches in 2022There are 14 newcomers on the list this year, which you can find in the photo gallery below. However, it is unfortunate to note that in 2022 some Blue Flags were not confirmed (because yes, you can also lose them), raising concerns for some of the most popular Italian summer resorts. Among those who have lost Blue Flag status this year are San Mauro Cilento and Sapri in Campania, Ventotene in Lazio, the Tremiti Islands and Otranto in Puglia.
The regional ranking remains unchanged compared to 2021, with Liguria in the lead with 32 flags, followed by Campania, Puglia, Tuscany with 18 flags and Calabria and Marche with 17.
How to get a Blue FlagA certification that can make or break tourism profits for places, Blue Flags are the result of work carried out by the FEE every year with institutional bodies such as the Ministry of Ecological Transition, Tourism and Agriculture, Food and Forestry as well as private entities such as Balneari. The Blue Flag is awarded only to those places whose waters have been found to be excellent over the last 4 years, and which respond positively to 32 criteria regarding sustainability and accessibility to the coastal town: from waste management policies to the enhancement of the surrounding nature, as well as initiatives to improve livability in the summer.
The new parameters of inclusivenessThese criteria are always updated and this year, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the novelty is "social commitment and inclusiveness": a new parameter set to further the growth path of the towns and cities that aspire to achieve Blue Flag status. The FEE has involved the Dynamo Camp Foundation in this regard, which supports children and adolescents suffering from chronic diseases and their families. The partnership will also become concrete through participation in the 2+ Million KM 2022 - Your Energy Their Happiness, a bicycle challenge in which Blue Flag municipalities will be able to compete as team leaders involving citizens to reach a total of 2+ million km and raise funds for Dynamo Camp.
A sustainable futureThe Minister of Tourism Massimo Garavaglia commented that "This important recognition certifies the quality of our wonderful beaches.A greater number of municipalities that have been awarded the Blue Flag testifies to the goodness of the work that has been done in the last year aiming at an increasingly sustainable, accessible and quality tourism, in full synergy with the work of the Ministry of Tourism.The investment in the quality of the coastal municipalities and tourist ports will be a key to the restart of the sector and therefore for the revival of the Italian system. "
“The new challenge,” said Claudio Mazza, president of FEE Italy, “will be on training, supporting municipalities to form the necessary skills that, through an interdisciplinary approach, ensure a systemic vision that can contribute to the sustainable management of the territory.”