Today, taking a dip in the limpid uncontaminated sea is even more lovelier and more exciting: Lazio has just been awarded 9 Blue Flags by the F.E.E., the coveted international recognition established in 1987, the European Year of the Environment, assigned annually to coastal towns and tourist destinations in 49 countries around the world.
The Blue Flags are assigned by the Danish NGO Foundation for Environmental Education with the support and participation of the two UN agencies, UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) and UNWTO (World Tourism Organization), with which the FEE signed a Global Partnership Protocol recognized by UNESCO as a world leader in environmental education and education for sustainable development.
Italy is has been experiencing a yearly growing trend, and now has 183 coastal resorts (8 more than in 2018), for a total of 385 beaches (43 more than in 2018) equal to 10% of the world total, awarded by a national jury (made up of numerous bodies including the Ministry of the Environment, Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Agricultural Policies, the National Council of Chemists and the ANCI, the General Command of the Harbour-Coast Guard Offices, ISPRA – Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research – and the Laboratory of oceanology and marine ecology of the University of Tuscia).
The new entry, or rather the return of an old contender, is Anzio (Riviera Levante, Riviera Ponente, Colonia, Bella Rosa, Lido dei Gigli, Lido dei Pini, Lido di Lavinio, Mare Chiaro and Tor Caldara) which is added to the confirmed Trevignano Romano (Via della Rena (RM), and the 7 towns on the Pontine coast (Province of Latina): Latina – Latina Mare; Sabaudia – Lungomare; S. Felice Circeo – Litorale; Terracina – Levante, Ponente; Sperlonga – Ponente, Lago Lungo, Bazzano, Levante; Gaeta – Arenauta, Ariana, Sant’Agostino, Serapo; Ventotene – Cala Nave).
Of the seaside resorts that received the award, a special mention goes to Sperlonga, one of the most consecutively awarded destinations over the years, with its twenty-second blue flag.
A Blue Flag means, first and foremost, excellent quality water for swimming, but also excellent services that guarantee the maximum liveability in the area, such as waste water purification, the sewage system, waste management with special reference to recycling and hazardous waste, regulating vehicle traffic also by constructing pedestrian areas, bicycle lanes, decentralized car parks and bringing in shuttle buses, the care of street furnishings, safety and services on the beach, environmental education and information, initiatives for environmental sustainability, professional fishing and tourism understood as the correct relationship between tourist flow and the hospitality industries.
This is a strong and vital message for Lazio’s tourist economy and fair recognition for the care and commitment on the part of institutions and public and private operators in the coastal municipalities working to care for and protect the environment, with special reference to the marine ecosystem, for the benefit of residents and tourists who show that they appreciate and “reward” a healthy culture of respect for the territory, appropriately combined with the necessary needs of an adequate development of a diversified tourist offering.
Now those seeking their summer holiday destination are spoiled for choice. With clear waters, golden sands and sea beds to explore, only the bare essentials are needed to enjoy the wonders of Lazio blue, painted in blue!