Blue Flag Beaches in Southern Italy

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You may often hear about the “blue flag” regarding the cleanliness of beaches and the quality of the water to swim and bathe, but what is it? To figure out which Mezzogiorno beach to enjoy a holiday in complete tranquility, let’s find out the origins of this phrase “Bandiera Blu”.

The Blue Flag is an award given by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), an international non-governmental and non-profit organization based in Denmark, founded in 1981.  In 1987, a national jury committee in Europe started carrying out annual checks of the international coastal resorts to validate the services offered, and to consider the cleanliness of the beaches and the quality of the water in the sea. There are 48 countries in the world to which this award is given, located in the following parts of the world: Europe, the Caribbean, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.

To achieve the coveted blue flag, the beach and sea must meet two requirements. The first concerns the beaches and certifying the quality of the water.  The second relates to the docks, to ensure the cleanliness of the waters near the ports and the absence of sewage.

After my short story above about the international origins of the blue flag, let’s look specifically at Italy, especially, the Mezzogiono regions.  Finding out if the beach has the “Blue Flag” might help you to decide on some beautiful beaches to spend your summer holidays.  Which beaches can you relax, enjoy the sun, and dive into the waters of the many shades of blue in maximum safety?

In 2022, 210 blue flags were awarded to Italian municipalities and 82 tourist landings, with 14 new entries. The Blue Flag Association rewards municipalities that excel in the 32 areas of the assessment criteria; including an excellent sea, water purification, separate collection, large pedestrian areas, bike paths, green areas and services.

In short, before leaving for your adventures in southern Italy, especially in summer, you could look at the list of the nicest, cleanest, and most organized beaches. No blue flag doesn’t mean the beach is horrible.  Often the municipalities due to economic and social problems fail to fulfill all the administrative work to ensure a Blue Flag, putting environmental awards off to the side.

We can only hope that in years to come there will be more and more awareness and respect for the sea, one of the most precious gifts of nature. Now, after 2 years of closure, the time has come to return to travel and open ourselves to the world, to return to the cities and the beaches of our wonderful Southern Italy.  There are many things we can do to help protect the sea and give back to the nature that gives us such joy.  1)  Practice responsible recreation, 2) Reduce plastic use, 3) Make sustainable food choices, 4) Get Involved in organizations making a difference in ocean conservation, and 5) Get educated about the ocean to understand the impact the population is having on the sea.

“With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live.” –Sylvia Earle.

 

List of some blue flags beaches :

ABRUZZO

TERAMO

  • Martinsicuro – Villa Rosa, Martinsicuro
  • Alba Adriatica – Spiaggia d’Argento
  • Tortoreto – Spiaggia del Sole
  • Giulianova – Lungomare Zara
  • Roseto degli Abruzzi – Lungomare Sud, Lungomare Nord, Lungomare centrale
  • Pineto – Villa Fumosa, Corfù, Torre Cerrano, S. Maria a Valle Sud, S. Maria a Valle Nord, Pineto Centro
  • Silvi – Arenile Sud, Lungomare Centrale

PESCARA

  • Pescara – Riviera Nord, Riviera Sud

CHIETI

  • Francavilla al Mare – Piazza Adriatico
  • Fossacesia – Fossacesia Marina
  • Vasto – Vignola/San Nicola, Punta Penna, Vasto Marina
  • San Salvo – San Salvo Marina

L’AQUILA

  • Villalago – Villalago
  • Scanno – Spiaggetta di Scanno località Acquevive, Parco dei Salici

 MOLISE 

CAMPOBASSO

  • Campomarino – Lido

CAMPANIA

 NAPOLI

  • Vico Equense – Bikini, Scrajo Mare, Marina di Vico, Marina di Seiano Ovest Porto, Capo La Gala
  • Piano di Sorrento – Marina di Cassano
  • Sorrento – San Francesco/Marina grande, Riviera di Massa
  • Massa Lubrense – Recommone/Marina del Cantone, Marina di Puolo, Baia delle Sirene
  • Anacapri – Faro/Punta Carena, Gradola/ Grotta Azzurra

SALERNO

  • Positano – Spiaggia Fornillo, Spiaggia Arienzo, Spiaggia Grande, Spiaggia Laurito
  • Capaccio – Licinella, Varolato/La Laura/ Casina D’Amato, Foce Acqua dei Ranci
  • Agropoli – Torre San Marco, Trentova, Spiaggia Libera Porto, Lungomare San Marco, Licina
  • Castellabate – Lago Tresino, Marina Piccola, Pozzillo/San Marco, Punta Inferno, Baia Ogliastro
  • Montecorice – San Nicola, Baia Arena, Spiaggia Agnone, Spiaggia Capitello
  • Pollica – Acciaroli, Pioppi
  • Casal Velino – Lungomare/Isola, Dominella/Torre
  • Ascea – Piana di Velia, Torre del Telegrafo, Marina di Ascea
  • Pisciotta – Ficaiola/Torraca/Gabella, Pietracciaio/Fosso della Marina/ Marina Acquabianca
  • Centola – Palinuro (Porto/Dune e Saline), Marinella/Baia del Buon Dormire
  • Camerota – Cala finocchiara, San Domenico-Lentiscelle
  • Ispani – Capitello
  • Vibonati – Torre Villammare, Santa Maria Le Piane, Oliveto

BASILICATA

Potenza

  • Maratea – Santa Teresa/Calaficarra, Macarro/Illicini/Nera, Castrocucco/Secca di Castrocucco, Acquafredda

Matera

  • Bernalda – Lido di Metaponto
  • Pisticci – Marina di Pisticci
  • Policoro – Lido Nord e Sud
  • Nova Siri – Lido

PUGLIA 

FOGGIA

  • Rodi Garganico – Riviera di Ponente, Riviera di Levante
  • Peschici – Sfinale, Gusmay, Baia di Calalunga, Baia di Monaccora, Baia San Nicola, Procinisco, Baia di Peschici
  • Zapponeta – Lido

BARLETTA – ANDRIA – TRANI

  • Margherita di Savoia – Centro Urbano/ Cannafesca
  • Bisceglie – La Salata, Salsello

BARI

  • Polignano a Mare – Cala Paura, San Vito, Cala San Giovanni, Ripagnola / Coco Village, Cala Fetente
  • Monopoli – Castello Santo Stefano, Capitolo, Lido Porto Rosso, Cala Paradiso

BRINDISI

  • Fasano – Egnazia Case Bianche, Savelletri, Torre Canne
  • Ostuni – Lido Morelli, Pilone (Lido StellaViar Beach), Lido Fontanelle, Creta Rossa,Rosamarina (Rodos-Capanno-Lambertiana)
  • Carovigno – Mezzaluna, Pantanagianni, Punta Penna Grossa

TARANTO

  • Castellaneta – Riva dei Tessali/Pineta Giovinazzi/Castellaneta Marina/Bosco della Marina
  • Maruggio – Commenda, Campomarino, Acqua Dolce
  • Ginosa – Marina di Ginosa

LECCE

  • Melendugno – Roca, San Foca Nord/Centro/Torre Specchia, Torre Sant’Andrea, Torre dell’Orso
  • Castro – Zinzulusa, La Sorgente
  • Salve – Marina di Pescoluse/Posto Vecchio/ Torre Pali
  • Ugento – Torre San Giovanni/ Torre Mozza/ Lido Marini
  • Nardò – Porto Selvaggio, Sant’Isidoro, Santa Caterina, Santa Maria al Bagno, Torre Squillace

CALABRIA

COSENZA

  • Tortora – La Pineta/Fiume Noce
  • Praia a mare – Camping Internazionale/ Punta Fiuzzi
  • San Nicola Arcella – Arcomagno/Canale Grande Marinella
  • Santa Maria del Cedro – Chiatta in Ferro – Abatemarco
  • Diamante – Diamante Nord (Cirella, Scogliera Cirella, Pietrarossa)
  • Roseto Capo Spulico – Lungomare
  • Trebisacce – Lungomare Sud (Riviera dei Saraceni – Viale Magna Grecia – Riviera delle Palme)
  • Villapiana – Villapiana Scalo, Villapiana Lido

CROTONE

  • Cirò Marina – Punta Alice, Cervara/ Madonna di Mare
  • Melissa – Litorale Torre Melissa
  • Isola Capo Rizzuto – Marinella, Santa Domenica, La Cannella, Fratta I

CATANZARO

  • Sellia Marina – Località Ruggero/San Vincenzo – Sena/Jonio – Rivachiara
  • Soverato – Baia Dell’Ippocampo

VIBO VALENTIA

  • Tropea – Marina del Convento, Marina dell’Isola, Rocca Nettuno

REGGIO CALABRIA

  • Caulonia – Lido
  • Roccella Jonica – Lido
  • Siderno – Spiaggia di Siderno

SICILIA 

MESSINA

  • Alì Terme – Lungomare di Alì Terme
  • Roccalumera – Roccalumera
  • Furci Siculo – Litorale
  • Santa Teresa di Riva – Lungomare di Santa Teresa di Riva
  • Lipari – Stromboli Ficogrande, Vulcano Gelso, Vulcano Acque Termali, Acquacalda, Canneto
  • Tusa – Spiaggia Lungomare

AGRIGENTO

  • Menfi – Porto Palo Cipollazzo, Lido Fiori Bertolino

RAGUSA

  • Modica – Maganuco, Marina di Modica
  • Ispica – Santa Maria del Focallo
  • Pozzallo – Pietre Nere, Raganzino
  • Ragusa – Piazza Malta e Piazza Torre 

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