Sicily loses Five Sails for the first time: Pantelleria and Salina gain ground

The Sicilian islands of Pantelleria (pictured) and Salina (Santa Marina Salina), for the first time, have dropped from the top tier of the ranking of marine locations with five sails. This is according to the guide “The Most Beautiful Sea 2024” by Legambiente and the Touring Club Italiano. In particular, Pantelleria has lost two sails and is now at three flags, due to a series of tourist interventions labeled as “questionable” by Legambiente and an “excessive consumption of soil that has cost the island dearly,” note the environmentalists in the report. On the other hand, Santa Marina Salina (Aeolian Islands) has lost one sail, going from 5 to 4 flags, “for having recorded a slight retreat in general values.”

Therefore, Sicily will not have any queen of the sea for the summer of 2024, where the environmental association awards the highest scores and the five sails for crystal clear waters and unique places for their scenic beauty. Attention to sustainability and the protection of biodiversity, which has become an important parameter within the guide this year, especially considering that loggerhead sea turtles increasingly nest on Italian beaches.

This year, the 5 sails were awarded to 33 municipalities, 21 on the sea and 12 on lakes, out of a total of 432 included in the guide (354 marine and 78 lacustrine). The first-class marine location is Pollica, in the Campania Cilento, with its districts Acciaroli and Pioppi. In second place is Nardò, in the Puglia Salento. Then, in order, Baunei in eastern Sardinia, Domus De Maria in the south, and Castiglione della Pescaia in Tuscany.

The criteria for the sails include environmental characteristics and the quality of hospitality. Parameters include land use, landscape degradation, biodiversity, tourism activities, coastal areas, mobility, water and purification, energy, waste, sustainability initiatives, food safety and quality typical products, sea, beaches, social and health structure.

The novelty of this year’s Sails are the 33 municipalities that are turtle-friendly, indicated by the symbol “the turtle.” These are administrations that, through a specific agreement protocol, have committed to adopting a series of measures to make beaches welcoming for turtles that lay their eggs.

Sardinia is by far the region with the most marine municipalities awarded the Five Sails: alongside Baunei (Nuoro) and Domus de Maria (South Sardinia), there are Cabras (Oristano), Santa Teresa di Gallura (Sassari), San Teodoro (Sassari), Posada (Nuoro), and Bosa (Oristano).

Spiagge, la Sicilia per la prima volta resta senza le Cinque Vele: perdono terreno Pantelleria e Salina

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