Not only slow, but also authentic, welcoming, respectful of the environment and host communities: this is the type of tourism that can be experienced in “orange” destinations. 281 municipalities have been certified with the Orange Flag by the Touring Club Italiano for the three years from 2024-2026. 277 municipalities have been confirmed over a three-year verification period, with 4 new locations in Central-Southern Italy awarded:  Apecchio, Bagnone, Roseto Valfortore and Sinalunga.

Which are the most “orange” regions?  Tuscany, Piedmont, and Marche with 43, 39 and 28 certified municipalities respectively. The Orange Flag is awarded through a certification process to inland municipalities that can demonstrate excellence in environmental, cultural, food and wine, hospitality and social innovation aspects, finding a solid opportunity for revival through tourism.  It is valid for three years.  

 

The beneficial effects 

Rewarding the best examples becomes a stimulus for continuous improvement, which brings tangible benefits to the areas involved.  The data reveals that certification leads to a concrete enhancement of the accommodation offer, improvement in tourist reception and contributes to a greater focus on environmental sustainability.   

Based on 2023 analysis, 67% of Orange Flag municipalities scored higher than in 2020.  Certified municipalities have further improved their reception, demonstrating increasing commitment to the protection and enhancement of their historical-cultural, landscape and environmental heritage, explains TCI.  The accommodation and catering sectors have been strengthened in 50% of the municipalities, with some locations doubling the number of facilities and almost tripling the number of beds, mainly non-hotel type.  

Furthermore, environmental sustainability has seen further improvement in 75% of the municipalities.  Amongst these, 54% have distinguished themselves for particularly positive waste management, ranking them at the top of the overall Italian classification.  

Other data that emerged shows that 90% of Orange Flag villages have developed a strong green vocation, confirmed also by the installation of over 700 electric vehicle charging stations throughout Italy.  

The 281 Orange Flags awarded represent 8% of the over 3,500 applications analysed by the Touring Club Italiano in the last 25 years.  Of these, 18% have managed to obtain certification.  

Stefania Vicini

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