Blue flags in Italy – the best way to choose your holiday beach?

Every year an increasing number of countries and seaside resorts throughout the world submit their applications to gain this award.  The Blue Flag is an award given by the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education), which assesses the best beaches and marinas through strict criteria such as water quality, environmental management, safety and services provided close to or within the beach area.  Approximately 3650 beaches and marinas in 41 countries are part of the Blue Flag Programme.

Finale in Liguria
If you see a ‘Bandiera Blu’ flying over an Italian beach it means that the quality of water is good, the shore is tidy and environmental management measures are in place. Italy has always played a major role in this competition with the number of blue flags increasing every year with 248 blue flags assigned in the last year alone.

Ancona, Le Marche
The Italian region with the highest number of blue flags is Liguria with 20 beaches awarded, followed by Marche and Tuscany with 18 and 17.  

Viareggio, Tuscany
However, along with the celebrations about the awards come the controversies. In fact there are lots of complains and criticisms every year after the list of the awarded resorts comes out. In fact, it seems often that regions such as Sardinia or Sicily which have some of the best beaches and Caribbean blue sea water, have so few blue flags.

Santa Teresa in Sardinia
One of the reasons is that the assignment of the award comes under the application of the municipality to the programme and the fact that a place doesn't have the blue flag does not mean that it doesn't deserve it – it could well mean that it just didn't apply for it in the first place!

Ragusa, Sicily
Nevertheless, the blue flag award is only one aspect and criteria to choose your next holiday destination - Italy boasts so many beautiful places and beaches throughout the country! 

For a list of Blue Flag beaches in Italy, visit the Blue Flag website

Holiday Homes in Italy offers some fantastic self-catering beach properties in Italy, for further details: