While I'm still in vacation mode, I thought I'd give you The Best & Worst of Italy's beaches. While Italy has over 7600 kms (4722 miles) of coastline attracting all us turisti, it would appear that the Italians believe that overrunning that same coastline with cement is a good business prospect. Anyone who has ever been to Acapulco will tell you that that's probably not such a good idea.
Best of Italy: There are two organizations looking out for the best that the boot has to offer: www.blueflag.org and Touring Club's Guida Blu (in conjunction with Legambiente, Italy's Ecologists). According to Blue Flag, Tuscany wins out with the most blue flags, followed by Le Marche. Check out their site for the full listing.
As for the Guida Blu, the Island of Giglio (Tuscany) garners first place in all of Italy. Go now before they start building hotels and parking lots and shopping malls (see report below). Click here for entire list. Legambiente has produced their annual report on our waters, and it ain't pretty. It seems that illegal construction of villas, hotels, ports & parking lots are ruining the view. This, combined with illegal dumping (back to my trash obsession), no waste treatment, illegal fishing, and huge "eco-mostri" hotels, 2007 alone brought 14000 (reported) infractions (that's two for every kilometer of coast).
It's not difficult to guess which region is in no. 1 place for all this illegality? Campania, followed by Puglia and Sicily.
As for the Top 5 of the Eco-Mostri (those huge hotel structures built & then maybe left in judicial limbo), here they are in all their splendor.
Pictures from an excellent blogger: Don Chiosciotte Zan Zan
1) Hotel di Alimuri a Vico Equense (Naples) - pictured above
2) Palazzine di Lido Rossello a Realmente (Agrigento)
3) Palafitta e Trenino a Falerna (Catanzaro)
4) Villaggio abusivo di Torre Mileto (Foggia) and
5) the huge skeleton of Palmaria a Porto Venere (La Spezia)
What is the likely outcome? Unfortunately, governments often simply levy a fine and/or eventually an amnesty and everyone wins out, except us bathers.