Bikini Etiquette

It's been a while since I've offered my sage advice on the art of Italian beaches and my personal philosophy I call Bikini Bitch. A few weeks ago  my friend A announced that she bought a bikini (make that two!) for the very first time in her life.  I was impressed, and equally more so that she had the foresight to pick up two gorgeous Eres swimsuits, luxury swimmer essential to an Italian or Caribbean summer, during Rome's sales.  That simple gesture alone solidified that she was definitely living in Italy, where a day at the beach means at least one change in costume. Bikini Bitchin'

Beaches and bikinis are like peanut butter and jelly, or burro e alici. They just go together.   Side boob, pot bellies, more cushion for the pushing', whether or not you've done the Master Cleanse for an entire Spring season- it doesn't matter as long there a bikini, tankini, monikini strutting its lovely stuff.  Because in Italy, all stuff is lovely. Italian beaches are inadvertently the great equalizer where fitness is far less important than attitude and confidence (though it is greatly appreciated from my eye). And thus is born the Bikini Bitch, just proud to be you and on the beach.

Bikini Etiquette doesn't just mean attitude.  It also means accessorize-   bags, hats, scarves, pareo, sandals.  Think of yourself as the perfectly-wrapped gift that is so lovingly given at birthdays and holidays, just slightly less covered up .  The fact is that a bikini is an outfit unto itself,  so you should have the gear to go with it.   [Photo: I know you don't want to hear it, but Kim Kardashian has a PhD in bikini etiquette]. The question is how many bikinis do you really need?

Whether a sojourn to Sperlonga or a week at Porto Ercole (or any beach in the world), every day  requires a pre-lunch costume change, as a girl in Florence with the gorgeous name of Georgette aptly observed.  And I love it.  Morning bikinis disappear at l'ora di pranzowhen the afternoon swimsuit debuts in sporty, stylish, or slinky personalities, depending on the upcoming activities.  The true experts in bikini bitchin' will unleash sparkly evening bikinis which double as disco-inferno attire for late night dancing.  Bikini bitches come prepared.  *Each bikini is individually accessorized.

MORNING: Delfina Swimwear, via dei Banchi Nuovi 40 (Navona)

AFTERNOON:  Laura Urbinati via dei Banchi Vecchi 50 (Campo)

EVENING:  Miss Bikini Luxe at Osklen, via del Babuino 52 (Spagna)