Italy’s island region of Sardinia has the cleanest and most beautiful beaches, according to the newly published 2017 ranking by environmental watchdog Legambiente and Touring Club Italia.
Sardinia boasts three of the 21 sea and lakeside areas awarded the prestigious five-sails label for natural beauty, biodiversity and sustainability.
The island region won top marks for its Chia Seaboard facing towards Sicily and Tunisia, and for a northeastern stretch of coast facing towards Rome, centered on the historic village of Posada and the 8,000-hectare Tepiloro Natural Reserve.
Also among the top three winners this year is the Tuscan Maremma coast, centered on the ancient seaside town of Castiglione della Pescaia, with its fortress and medieval central district on a hilltop overlooking the Tyrhennian Sea.
The winning sites are mapped out in the Touring Club’s new guide titled “The Most Beautiful Sea 2017”, which highlights destinations across Italy that mix beauty with sustainability as their key ingredients.
“With this guide, Legambiente rewards tourist areas that demonstrate significant commitment to territorial quality, sustainable good practices…and ecologically-minded tourist services,” Legambiente tourism chief Angelo Gentili said in a statement on Friday.
Legambiente National Director Rossella Muroni said the tourism industry has been evolving from a mass attraction to quality travel that is more and more focused on environmentalism and sustainability. “People who choose eco-friendly destinations and who engage in green tourism are on the rise,” Muroni said.
Based in Rome, Legambiente (League for the Environment) is the most widespread environmental organization in Italy, with 20 regional branches and more than 115,000 members. It is acknowledged as an “association of environmental interest” by the Italian Environment Ministry and is a member of the European Environmental Bureau and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.