This is World Ocean Day, officially recognized as June 8 each year. The concept for a “World Ocean Day” was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Each year an increasing number of countries and organizations has marked June 8 as an opportunity to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea.
Twenty-eight Insider’s Italy travelers are today spending the day by the sea. Some are swimming on the Amalfi Coast, or as I write are enjoying kayaking, boating or waterside feasts of locally sourced seafood. Others are well removed from the crowds in Basilicata, enjoying an area of very few tourists, very clear waters, and warm hospitality.
A family is walking in Cinque Terre, exploring both the principal coastal paths and the lesser known ones. Honeymooners are spending the day in Tuscany with a sustainable fisherman, involved in what this eloquent supporter of the world’s waters and sea creatures calls : ” a narration of the daily experience of living by the sea, introduction to the ancient techniques of sustainable fishing, illustration of the nature and the marine life, tasting of traditional food, excursion of the coast, all offered with cordiality, passion, competence and quality.”
A family of six is in Venice, watching the tides ebb and fall in the canals. This afternoon we’ve planned for them a four-hour tour of the lesser known Lagoon islands, some of which are inaccessible unless by private boat. One of our favorite private Venice tours, offered by our Farm to Fork partners Context Travel, is led by a marine scientist and follows the progress of changes to the lagoon and their effect on the lagoon environment. Using a traditional Venetian skiff called a bragozzo you depart from the Arsenal, examine the current state of the famed and controversial “MOSE” project (a system of barriers, which will separate the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea during times of high water) and end at an area of the lagoon known as Treporti, where a new marina has been completed, considering there the impact this marina will have on the lagoon’s ecosystem.
We keep track of the beaches which are awarded (just updated on June 5) the Blue Flag, run by the independent non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education. There are 231 beaches with the Blue Flag in Italy, and we are just as interested in keeping up-to-date on those that are on the list as those that are off the list. The Blue Flag works towards sustainable development at beaches through strict criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information and environmental management.
Where are we spending World Ocean Day? We will be picking strawberries this afternoon at our favorite organic farm, near the Rome airport, and then are off for the first swim of the year, at Sabaudia. Sabaudia’s long sand beach, superb for children and just 90 minutes from Rome, is excellent for seashell collection and long walks, and made more interesting still by its proximity to the Circeo National Park. A day here is a wonderful foil to intense Roman sightseeing.