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Perhaps the single most decadently glamorous beach in the world is Monte Carlo's Larvotto Beach, where women may go without their bikini tops, but wouldn't dare to be seen without their jewels. In fact, Larvotto's diamond-studded visitors are about the only thing that can compete with the sparkling Mediterranean water lapping along the sandy shore.

Beautiful as it is, Larvotto's best feature may be its proximity to all the things that make Monaco a magnet for the rich and famous. Because the entire principality covers just 1 square mile, nearly everything is within walking distance, which adds to Monaco's already intimate feel. But while it may be small, with its mouth-watering culinary options, its glut of luxury hotels, adrenaline-pumping night life and ultra-elite crowd, Monaco has all the action and excitement demanded by those who like to live life in the fast lane.

If it all seems too good to be true, you may be on to something. Larvotto is actually a man-made beach, with fresh white sand constantly shipped in to offset Mother Nature's best erosion efforts. Fake or not, the entire principality is so gorgeous and charged with energy that you won't care who made its most famous strip of sand.

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