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CNN  — 

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to explain why beaches and islands up and down Italy are worth visiting. We wouldn’t need to describe the fluorescent waters and talcum-powder sand, or highlight the delicious seafood or lively nightlife.

Fortunately, this isn’t a perfect world, so we get to show off these 12 beautiful spots and you get to read about them and start planning your next trip:

1. Cretaccio Island

Diving, seafood, dancing: perfect vacation trinity. Plus the sea of the Tremiti islands is gorgeous.

The smallest island of the Tremiti archipelago, dubbed the “pearl of the Adriatic,” Cretaccio Island is deserted and wild. People come here to cover their bodies with clay mixed with seawater, which makes skin smooth and serves as a soothing balm.

The place is great for snorkeling and diving, too: the shallows are one of the best attractions. You get here from San Domino island, which has lively nightlife.

Hotel restaurant Il Gabbiano on the main square offers fantastic fresh fish. Wine Bar Era Ora has great cocktails and A Furmicula is worth a visit if you’re up for dancing.

The ferry to San Domino leaves from Termoli town.

2. Isola Bella Beach

All the colors of a great island destination.

At the foot of the elegant town of Taormina, Isola Bella Beach is one of Sicily’s most beautiful and popular. Archeology, shopping and sunbathing combine here.

The little isle in front and the protected bay with its emerald, still waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The village’s white, shining houses and majestic ancient Greek theater are beautiful – you can’t leave without tasting the almond-paste cakes and candied orange peels at Chemi pastry shop.

The Fusion Bar at La Plage Resort offers good evening beach cocktails, while restaurant Baia delle Sirene is the place to try traditional local dishes.

Nearest airport: Catania. From mainland drive to Messina for the ferry.

Molise – Italy’s best-kept secret

3. Asinara Island

One prison you might not wish to escape.