Tuscany Planet

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Bandiere Arancioni 2018, best italian hamlets

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The Bandiere Arancioni by Touring Club Italiano

What are the Bandiere Arancioni?

Bandiere arancioni (Orange flags) is an award created in 1998 by the Touring Club Italiano, to certify the hamlets of excellence in the Italian hinterland. This is a kind of quality mark for those places with a great historical, cultural and environmental heritage which, moreover, are distinguished also for the enhancement of their territory and for the reception of visitors. The bandiera arancione, assigned according to criteria that we will see later, lasts for three years and is confirmed only if those requirements are still satisfied.

San Gimignano cosa vedere: Piazza della Cisterna
San Gimignano

The requirements to get the bandiera arancione

The criteria for the evaluation of the municipalities that have applied for the bandiera arancione are really many, over 250, but they can be grouped into 5 macro areas:

  1. Hospitality
  2. Accommodation and complementary services
  3. Tourist attraction factors
  4. Environmental quality
  5. Structure and quality of the location

As you can guess, the evaluation criteria are really varied and complete: everything related to the reception and services to the visitor as the tourist information services and the quality of the receptive system are very important; of course also the historical-cultural heritage also, food and craft production as well as environmental quality, enhancement and protection of the territory are of great importance. Other factors such as the hospitality, the integrity and typicality of the historic center are also taken into consideration.

Bandiere Arancioni 2018

In January 2018, 20 years after the launch of this initiative, the Touring Club Italiano has formalized 19 new orange flags thus bringing the total number of villages to 227. Of these new villages, only Santa Fiora  is Tuscan but, as we will see, it is already in good company. The other new hamlets are: Gressoney Saint Jean, Agliè, Chiusa di Pesio, Gavi, Ozzano Monferrato, Almenno San Bartolomeo, Bellano, Pizzighettone, Maniago, San Vito al Tagliamento, Frontino, Serra San Quirico, Fara San Martino, Lama dei Peligni, Opi, Aliano, Oriolo and Taverna.

Bandiere Arancioni 2018: Santa Fiora
Santa Fiora (Photo by Sailko / CC BY)

What is the region with more orange flags?

Tuscany, of course!

With 38 awards, Tuscany firmly leads this special ranking, followed by Piedmont at 28 and the Marche which closes the podium with 21 villages.

Tuscan hamlets which bear this title (in strict alphabetical order) are:

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