There are 416 bathing resorts in Italy that this year will be able to fly the “Blue Flag 2021“, a recognition awarded by the NGO Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) for excellence in bathing water. The award-winning beaches are located in 201 municipalities: there are 6 more municipalities than last year and 15 new entries in the total; 9 municipalities were not confirmed.
In order to be recognised, localities must achieve good scores in 32 regularly updated indicators (to find out the criteria click here). The indicators considered include the presence and effective operation of purification plants, the percentage of connections to the sewage system, waste management, separate waste collection, initiatives devised by administrations to improve conditions during the summer period, promotion of any nature reserves, care of communal facilities with the presence of cycle tracks and pedestrian areas, as well as the possibility of access to the sea or lake for everyone, without limitations. In this way, local administrations are encouraged to increasingly raise their standards.
Italian beaches (both seaside and lakeside) awarded the recognition correspond to about 10% of those awarded worldwide. Liguria tops the list with 32 resorts, followed by Campania, with 19, surpassing Tuscany, which comes third with 17 resorts, tying with Apulia. Flags for lakes have dropped to 16, with two exits. The rest of the ranking sees the Marche region rise to 16 Blue Flags (one new entry), Calabria to 15 (two new entries and one exit) while Sardinia reconfirms 14 resorts (with one new entry and one exit). Abruzzo has risen to 13 (three new entries), Lazio to 11 (with two new municipalities). The 10 flags in Trentino Alto Adige remain unchanged, Sicily has risen to 10 with two new entries, the 9 flags in Veneto are confirmed, as are the 7 locations in Emilia Romagna. Basilicata confirms its 5 resorts; Piedmont has obtained 2 Flags; Friuli Venezia Giulia confirms two. Molise has achieved one flag, as has Lombardy. This year too, therefore, Italian tourism will be able to enjoy a significant number of bathing resorts (sea and lake) that are considered excellent.