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Visit Monte Carlo, the Jewel of Monaco

Casino de Monte-Carlo

Monaco is an independent city-state bordered by France on three sides with the Mediterranean Sea forming the fourth boundary. It is the second smallest sovereign state in the world and is governed by a constitutional monarchy. Treaties with France provide for its defense. The origins of the territory that is now Monaco dates back a 6th Century BC Greek colony referred to as Monoikos. Over the centuries the land that is today Monaco has been sold, occupied and controlled by wealthy families, royal families as well as the countries of France, Italy and Germany. Throughout its many historical transitions, this tiny sovereign nation has made its mark as a playground to the rich and famous owing to its natural beauty, wide direct access to the sea and its status as a tax haven for the wealthy.

Adam et Eve by Botero

Reina Mariana 2004 by Manolo Valdes

Barely one square mile in land, Monaco is rich in history, architecture, and culture as well as being famed for its casino, auto racing, food and hospitality. Monaco is divided into ten wards, or neighborhoods, Monte Carlo/Spelugues is the most famous of the wards. Tourists and visitors do not need to know the specific governmental boundary lines or administrative designations to know that when visiting Monaco, Monte Carlo is the jewel of the nation.

The locale of Monte Carlo allows for the entire geographic diversity of Monaco to be experienced within its borders. Monte Carlo begins at the base of the Maritime Alps and ends in the Mediterranean Sea. The Monte Carlo Quarter includes the world-famous Place du Casino, the casino that in most eyes is Monte Carlo. Although it is true that this world-renowned gambling center recognized from James Bond movies epitomizes the word Monte Carlo, it really is only one of the many experiences that make Monte Carlo a fabled destination.

As much as Monte Carlo is thought of by many as a place to soak in the sun with exotic cocktails on the French Riviera and gamble at the world’s most famous casino, Monte Carlo is also home to Master Chefs, who prepare traditional Mediterranean cuisine as well as International Haute Cuisine. The Master Chefs of Monte Carlo are joined by Sommeliers who are curators of wine cellars stocked with gold medal champagnes and wines from throughout the world.

Within the boundaries of the Monte Carlo Quarter are Café de Paris, the Salle Garnier, home to the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Monaco’s only public beach, the new convention center, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, as well as more than four dozen hotels offering a variety of accommodations.

Most of the Circuit de Monaco is within the boundaries of the Monte Carlo Quarter, the famous raceway of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. The hairpin curve is located right in front of the elegant Fairmont Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo is also the host to Championship Boxing, the European Poker Tour Grand Final, the World Backgammon Championship, the Monaco International Auto Show, fashion shows and other high-profile signature events.

When visiting Monte Carlo on the French Riviera, a variety of sightseeing tours are available from small group day tours to private yacht cruises. Although small in land size, Monte Carlo is jammed packed with centuries of history, astounding architecture, cultural diversions, museums, gardens, as well as world class shopping including neighborhood specialty boutiques.

Princess Grace Rose Garden

Woman Smoking a Cigarette by Fernando Botero

The Japanese Gardens

Tourist attractions that will amaze include Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Oceanographic Museum, Chapelle Sainte Devote, Monte Carlo Harbor, The Japanese Gardens, The Princess Grace Rose Garden and over five dozen other points of interests throughout this small yet expansive section of the legendary country of Monaco.

We had a fabulous time at the Jumping Competition!

The 13th Monte-Carlo International Show Jumping competition is another important event that takes place in Monte Carlo every year at the foot of the Prince’s Palace beside the Port of Hercule. “The Monte-Carlo International Show Jumping ring is one of the most difficult in the world circuit. It is full of obstacles, and its main characteristic is that it is short, narrow and twisty. The narrow course therefore requires the riders to demonstrate perfect control and technique, ensuring an outstanding show.”

Thank you to Christophe Brico at the Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority for helping us to arrange our wonderful evening at the Jumping Competition.

Story by Daniel Dachille and Laine Page

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