Where can you find the best beaches in Italy?

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Italy has five new Blue Flag beaches for 2016. Photo: Roberto Ferrari/Flickr
15:50 CEST+02:00
Earlier this week, an impressive 293 of Italy's beaches were given a prestigious 'Blue Flag'- awarded only to beaches which meet stringent quality standards.

Each year the Foundation for Environmental Education issues the flags to beaches around the globe – and this year increased Italy's tally by five.

The new entries included a beach in Levanto, Liguria, pictured. Photo: Gabriele Ravanetti/Flickr

The prestigious flags are granted to beaches which meet strict requirements when it comes to water quality, cleanliness, ease of access and safety. This makes them a useful indicator for bathers who are looking to spend a day in the sun but are unsure where to go.

The handy markers were first introduced to Europe's top bathing sites in 1987 and were adopted outside the EU in 2001.

Since 1987, Italy has managed to rack up an impressive five percent of all Blue Flags globally. And that's not just down to the bel paese's 7,600 kilometres of coastline – nine of the bathing sites are located on lidos which lie on alpine lakes.

Not just coastline. The lido at Cannobio on Lago Maggiore is also a top bathing spot. Photo: Franco Folini/Flick

But which Italian region wins the battle of the flags? Liguria has 25, Tuscany 19, Marche 17, Campania 14 and Puglia 11.

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A look at the handy graphic below gives you a lot to choose from when planning your next day out.

The map shows each municipality in Italy with at least one blue flag beach - clicking on the dots will show more details.

Just don't forget the sunscreen!

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