Seventeen Tuscan localities — three fewer than 2020 — have designated as recipients of the prestigious 2021 bandiera blu award for clean water, pristine beaches with nearby parks and green areas in addition to the availability of tourist info points, bicycle paths and recycling bins. Monte Argentario was not included this year. See list at the end of this article before deciding which beach to head to; keep in mind that the coast is again a popular destination with Tuscan residents who are unable to vacation abroad due to Covid travel restrictions. Nearly all are accessible via public transportation.
And, if you were planning on spending a day this summer at Cala Violina, located between Follonica and Punta Ala (both Bandiera Blu beaches), there are a couple of new things to know before going there. Access now is limited to 500 people a day between 8:30 am and 6:30 pm, and online reservations at a cost of €1 for each person (for kids 12 and under included at no cost) are necessary. Besides entrance, the website will handle parking spots. This decision might take many by surprise, especially local residents, but the decision was made with a particular intent to safeguard the area, since in previous years more than 35,000 people chose the famous beach as a day trip during the season.
Cala Violina is part of the Scarlino nature reserve in Maremma and it is important to keep it clean and uncontaminated. More like a sandy cove, this beautiful spot is known as a sound beach. Violina means violin and the reason behind the name is because of the sand with grains of quartz that makes a sound when people walk that recalls the music of a violin. The history and importance of this heritage is so important that the decision to control the number of visitors is to protect the precious beach while also respecting the COVID-19 guidelines.
So, reservations and payments will be made exclusively on the website through September 15, 2021, which details all the information needed including the regulations to be followed like no smoking, no pets, no trash, etc. Hopefully all the rules are followed, and everything works out well so that in the next couple of years people can keep visiting and enjoying beautiful Cala Violina and the Scarlino natural reserve.
LIST OF TUSCANY’S BEST BEACHES, RECIPIENTS OF THE 2021 ‘BANDIERA BLU’ DESIGNATION
MASSA: Ronchi Levante, Campeggi/Ricortola/Marina Ponente/Destra Brugiano, Sinistra Brugiano/Marina Centro/Destra Frigido/Sinistra Frigido, Ronchi Ponente
CARRARA: Marina di Carrara Centro/Ovest
FORTE DEI MARMI: Litorale Centro/Capannina
CAMAIORE: Lido Arlecchino
VIAREGGIO: Marina di Viareggio (Levante/ Ponente), Torre del Lago Puccini
PISA: Calambrone/Tirrenia, Marina di Pisa
LIVORNO: Cala del Miramare, Rogiolo, Del Sale/Roma, Tre Ponti, Rex, Cala Quercianella
ROSIGNANO MARITTIMO: Castiglioncello, Vada
CECINA: Le Gorette, Marina di Cecina
BIBBONA: Marina di Bibbona Centro/Sud
CASTAGNETO CARDUCCI: Marina di Castagneto Carducci
SAN VINCENZO: Rimigliano, Principessa, Spiaggia della Conchiglia
PIOMBINO: Parco Naturale della Sterpaia
MARCIANA MARINA: La Fenicia
FOLLONICA: Spiagga Sud, Spiaggia Nord
CASTIGLIONE DELLA PESCAIA: Rocchette/Roccamare-Casa Mora/Riva del Sole/Capezzolo/Ponente, Spiaggia Pian D’Alma/Casetta Civinini-Piastrone/Punta Ala, Levante/Tombolo
GROSSETO: Principina a Mare, Marina di Grosseto
Tuscany is ranked third in Italy for the number of bandiere blu, behind Liguria and Campania.
To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.