Italy has 233 top beaches, two more than last year, in 125 municipalities. The figures emerge from the 2011 Blue Flag table, which certifies the services and environmental friendliness of coastal and lakeside resorts, as well as the cleanliness of the water.
Blue Flags are international distinctions, created in 1987 and awarded every year in 41 countries with patronage and support from UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Tourism Organisation.
LIGURIA’S TOP SLOT – Liguria again tops the regional table with 17 flag-winning resorts. Equal second with 16 are Marche and Tuscany while Abruzzo on 14 has one more than last year. Campania is unchanged on 12 and Emilia Romagna has one more flag this time with nine. But Puglia lost two flags and is now on eight. Veneto has six blue flags and Lazio slips back to four, leapfrogged by Sicily with six and Calabria on five. Sardinia secured blue flags for all five resorts taking part in the scheme. Friuli Venezia Giulia and Piedmont both confirmed last year’s two resorts while Molise and Basilicata have one flag apiece. This year, a resort in land-locked Lombardy joins the line-up, Gardone Riviera on Lake Garda.
In Liguria these are the 2011 Blue Flags: Camporosso, Bordighera (Imperia); Loano, Finale Ligure, Noli, Spotorno, Bergeggi, Savona, Albissola Marina, Albisola Superiore, Celle Ligure, Varazze (Savona); Chiavari, Lavagna, Moneglia (Genoa); Lerici, Ameglia-Fiumaretta (La Spezia)
Blue Flags for Marinas & Small Boat Harbours
The Blue Flagis an annual environment award to Small Boat Harbours or Marinas that have focused on good management of facilities and services regarding the environment and nature, as well as provide information to their users about the environment. To be eligible for this award, the Small Boat Harbour or Marina has to fulfil a number of criteria related to education, information and environmental management, safety, services and water quality.
Even for Marinas, Liguria again tops the regional table with: Portosole in Sanremo, Marina degli Aregai (Santo Stefano al Mare), Marina di San Lorenzo, Porto di Imperia, Marina di Andora, Porto Luca Ferrari in Alassio, Vecchia Darsena di Savona, Cala Cravieu in Celle Ligure, Marina di Varazze, Porto Internazionale Carlo Riva in Rapallo , Marina di Chiavari, Marina di Porto Venere, Porto Bocca di Magra (Ameglia) and Porto Lotti in La Spezia.
The Blue Flag Programme for marinas and beaches is run by the non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education). Today, Blue Flag has become a truly global programme with an ever-increasing number of countries participating in the programme.
The Blue Flag programme promotes sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas.
It challenges local authorities and beach operators to achieve high standards in water quality,environmental management, environmental education and safety. Over the years, the Blue flag programme has become a highly respected and recognised eco-label working to bring together the tourism and environmental sectors at local, regional and national levels.
To know more: www.blueflag.org/