Travel Picks: Top 10 Mediterranean beach towns

Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:05am EDT
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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - The days of vintage Mediterranean style are back in force, and here are the places where it all began, with website AskMen ( coming up with a list of top towns bordering the sea that have become the playgrounds of the rich and famous.

This list is not endorsed by Reuters.

1. Portofino, Italy

Portofino is the golden child of the Italian Riviera, one of the most beautiful locations in the world and the playground for everyone from Brigitte Bardot in the '60s to Berlusconi. Hotel Splendido, which remains intact and focuses on authentic cuisine, has played host to the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, and Ava Gardner.

2. Taormina, Italy

Located on the east coast of Sicily, Taormina is often described as the epitome of southern Italian beach towns. Home to as many poets and painters as playboys and boulevardiers, Taormina represents the creative cross-section that has made the region famous for the last 60 years. Hotel El Jebel is a classic Mediterranean property that often serves as a meeting place for the many artists, celebrities and politicians that frequent town.

3. Cassis, France

Cassis was once a small fishing village that retained the purity of southern France without the glitz and glamour of neighboring Nice, Cannes and St. Tropez. Cassis is still certainly less travelled by many tourists, but since the early 1950s it has become something of a hideaway for wealthy Europeans. Cassis is also home to some top-notch vineyards. The Michelin-star rated La Villa Madie may only be a few years old, but it is the type of restaurant designed to cater to the wealthy aristocrats and actors that call Cassis home.

4. Port Grimaud, France   Continued...

<p>A general view of the northern Italian coastal town of Portofino June 15, 2007. REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli</p>