Monaco (/mɒnəkoʊ/), officially the Principality of Monaco (French: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque: Principatu de Múnegu; Italian: Principatodi Monaco; Occitan: Principat de Mónegue; sometimes spelled Monako), is a country located in south western Europe, on the northern central coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
Monaco is surrounded on three sides by France, and its centre is about 16 km from Italy. Its area is 1.98 km2 (0.76 sq mi). The official figure for the Monegasque population was 35,881 in December 2010, an increase of 0.66% – 235 individuals – over the same month of the previous year. The figure includes Monegasques and residents.
Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state. The Genoese built a fortress on the site of present day Monaco in 1215. The current ruling Grimaldi family first seized temporary control in 1297, and again in 1331, but were not able to permanently secure their holding until 1419. The state’s sovereignty was officially recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861.
The principality’s mild climate, splendid scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world famous as a tourist and recreation center and going to Monaco is like sneaking off into paradise.
Wake up everyday while you are there to see the Maritime Alps and get the greatest feeling of being alive that you can imagine. If you are looking to do some traveling, make sure to go to the Principality of Monaco for a trip you will never forget.
The history of the Principality of Monaco will bleed into you as you are there because the past in this town is so vibrant and well protected that everyone who stays there will be blown away by the colors of Monaco’s history.
Since 1297, when Grimaldi seized the fortress of Monaco, the town has grown in it’s history and culture. The Grimaldi family celebrated 700 years of rule in 1997. A trip to Monaco will take you back in time as well as letting you relax and enjoy one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Through many years of royalty, Monaco has kept its traditions and a lot of the old ways of life as well. If you don’t know much about the history of Monaco, you won’t have to do a whole lot to learn while you are there because it is right there in front you all the time. The buildings, the people and the landscapes speak of many years ago.
The Principality of Monaco
Knowing when the best time too visit Monaco is a hard decision because there is so much that you will want to get into all year long. The religious and civil holiday traditions are some of the greatest reasons you should visit Monaco.
These times of the year bring together the people of Monaco for the times that mean the most to them. The meanings being these holidays are special and joining in on them would please not only the Monegasques, but you and your family will get to walk away with a sense of kinship with the people of this effulgent and magical land.
For an enlightening experience that will leave you wanting more, go to Monaco during February or March when you can get in on the carnival procession. There are dances, good food and everyone is in great spirits. The traditions that are included in this procession are curiously unique and will be a great learning experience for the whole family.
The Princes Palace
The Princes Palace is probably the most beautiful structure in Monaco and is still today as it was years ago. Although the palace was turned in to military hospital and all the paintings auctioned off during the French revolution, the palace is restored and looks still today as it did all those years ago, thanks to the efforts of Prince Honore II. He reassembled the art collection and got everything back to its original state.
Today, from June to October, the Palace is open to visitors. There they can see the royal courtyard paved with 3,000,000 white and colored pebbles formed into beautiful geometrical patterns. On exhibit are the 16th-century Genovese frescoes depicting scenes from mythological. The columns and the spectacular double-revolution staircase inspired by a staircase at Fontainebleau are done in Carrara marble.
Prince's Palace of Monaco
The palace is still home to the current ruling prince. Of all the palaces in the world, this one is most exquisite in its furnishings and very unique in its construction.
One example of its uniqueness is the Mirror Gallery that makes the room look longer and larger than what it really is.
Claudia Albuquerque has been taking pictures of sports stars and royalty for many years and has recently left an atelier overlooking Port Hercule. Here she talks to Ian Brodie about her favourite photographs and her winning technique.
Monaco Life Events...
CONFERENCE FOR PROFESSIONALS IN THE HIGH NET WORTH SECTOR
Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, at the Salon Bellevue of the Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo, a two-day conference of professionals serving the HNW and UHNW sectors. Distinguished speakers from around the world will address the major issues of the moment. Organised by the publishers of monacolife.net in association with Boyarkin & Partners. More info: http://www.global-hnw.com
Further to Annette Anderson’s (of Stars N’ Bars) letter to you published (below) in Monaco Life, may I also express my disagreement with Louise Simpson’s comments on certain restaurants.
Stars N’ Bars serves Tex-Mex food and does it well, Tex-Mex is never going to be a gastronomic delight but the produce is fresh and the service is generally far better than most ‘high class” establishments. There is no guilt to be attached to serving good hamburgers made with real beef, fast food enterprises have hi-jacked the hamburger and given it a bad name. The ones served at Stars N’ Bars are the best I have tasted anywhere over the last 30 years or so.
I consider the Monte Carlo Country Club restaurant to be one of the best in Monaco for quality/value for money with a limited but well balanced menu, again with fresh produce very well cooked and presented. Every meal I have had there has been a delight.
The Automobile Club is also a top rate and reasonably priced restaurant.
I agree with Ms Simpson that restaurants in Monaco are generally overpriced and at best mediocre with the service often very poor but I also agree with Ms Anderson that this looks like “clever text for the sake of being published”.
Rents are very high in Monaco which explains the prices but there is no excuse for failings in produce, cuisine and service.
Perhaps Ms Simpson should turn her attention to the so called ‘top” restaurants which are really a disgrace and reflect badly on the Principality.
We do not know when Louise Simpson last ate at the Automobile Club but her account certainly bears no resemblance to our own experiences. As members of many years’ standing, we lunch and dine there frequently and find the daily-changing menus and ingredients to be of the highest quality whilst, at the same time, tasty and healthy. There is even a “menu allegé” every day, to which cream and other less than healthy “70s” products are most definitely strangers! The salade d’haricots verts and chicken breast, followed by grilled salmon with leeks last Friday were outstanding examples of Chef Olivier Ribaute’s extremely attractive and consistent cuisine which never fails to please and impress – please take a new look, Louise!
Vivienne H Taylor and Richard Hale, Monaco
Criticism 'not valid'
We were disappointed to read your "Monaco Foodie" remarks about our restaurant and the "tasteless freezer to microwave tat". We try to be open to valid criticism ....we certainly are not perfect....and we act on it. In fact we give customers a card with a direct link to Trip Advisor to "grade" their meal and give us feedback. But, we have to admit, it's soul- killing to see food "critics" who enjoy writing clever text for the sake of being "published".
Our cooks arrive at 7 a.m each day and prepare freshly delivered vegetables, meats and ingredients to create about 500 meals during a non stop food service of 12 hours. (Yes, we are guilty of serving burgers but the meat is 100% organic. ). Has your Monaco Foodie actually ever been in a kitchen? Probably not, but we would like to invite her to spend a day with the cooks that she has so thoughtlessly belittled. Heck, we'll even share our recipes with you, Louise. You can roll the chicken filet in the flour, bread crumbs and egg wash to make our chicken fingers.
We are very sorry that Miss Simpson dislikes the restaurant but we do thank the thousands of regular customers, especially the families, who often come daily and who have supported us for more than 20 years. (The editor of this newsletter, MonacoToday, in fact, and his family are customers.). Sorry to take this personally but I know the people who work hard everyday to serve our customers and they deserve a more professional review.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CAN BE SENT TO firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a telephone number.
“Is that a corkscrew in your pocket or are you pleased to see me?” This was the first line of a scathing restaurant review that marked the death knell for a famous London restaurant client back in my PR days. For several years, I swore that restaurant critics belonged to one of the nine circles of Hell.
It is perhaps ironic that, through my travel writing, I have ended up reviewing restaurants for everyone from the FT Weekend to Zagat. Tellingly, I have tended towards praising culinary excellence rather than decrying ineptitude. However, a decade in Monaco facing elevated prices for mediocre food served with a grimace has worn me down. The time has come to name and shame some of the principality’s icons in the hope that culinary standards will rise to match prices.
Stars‘N’Bars (6 quai Antoine 1er, tel: +377 97-97-95-95) underwent an expensive (yet strangely invisible) renovation recently. Yet this Monegasque legend obviously forgot to revamp the kitchen. Tex-Mex shouldn’t mean tasteless freezer-to-microwave tat. The kids’ menu alone would be enough to get Jamie Oliver in a sweat. When I complained, one endearingly honest waiter admitted that he wouldn’t dine at Stars’N’Bars either. I guess it’s best to stick to drinks at the bar.
The restaurants at Monaco’s prestigious sports clubs, Monte-Carlo Country Club (155 avenue Princess Grace, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, tel: +33 4 93 41 30 15) and the Automobile Club de Monaco (23 boulevard Albert 1er, tel: +377 93-15-26-00), have one thing in common: cuisine hailing from the 70s with copious dollops of cream infiltrating dishes from starter to dessert. It’s time to update the menu to join the millennium.
Saliére (28 Quai Jean-Charles Rey, tel: +377 92-05-25-82) and Avenue 31 (31 avenue Princesse Grace, tel: +377 97-70-31-31) are the eminence grise of smart, reasonably-priced lunchtime dining in Monaco. Yet these excellent sister restaurants fall down at dinner. For double the price of the lunchtime menus, diners are subjected to long waits between courses and mislaid orders. The root of the problem seems to be staff shortages for evening shifts as many waiters commute into Monaco from Nice and even Italy so lunchtime shifts are preferred.
Overpriced and oversexed
Cipriani Monte Carlo (1 avenue Princess Grace, tel: +377 93-25-42-50) is the place to be seen as long as you’re wearing a micro-miniskirt. Luckily the ageing millionaires paying the bill are too busy eyeing up the candy to notice the sub-standard food and supercilious service. To be fair, let’s not forget that Cipriani does have some well-established competition on the overpriced and oversexed front around the corner: Sass Café (11 avenue Princess Grace, tel: +377 93-25-52-00).
Compared to the tantalizing Thai restaurant at the back, the Maya Bay (24 avenue Princesse Grace, tel: +377 97-70-74-67) Japanese restaurant feels like the unattractive twin. On a recent visit, I was treated to a new concept: smoked sushi. The restaurant carries on its smoking-allowed-in-the-garden policy through winter months despite a hermetically sealed plastic enclosure that ensures diners are wafted with smoke from neighbouring smokers. Those who dare to complain should expect a sneer.
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MONACO MEDIA: The media world has been stunned this week by news that the founder of Amazon - the online shop - has bought the iconic Washington Post newspaper at what seems to be a knockdown price. The $250 million Jeff Bezos paid is just a little over one percent of his personal wealth of $23 billion, making a very small dent indeed in his bank account. Never mind that since its founding Amazon has lost money more than it has made, making Bezos a virtual billionaire in charge of a virtual empire. Perhaps he bought the Post because he yearned for something real.
To decry the sale of the Post is not just to indulge in unworldly sentimentality. Its disposal marks another milestone on the way to the cemetery for printed newspapers as we have known them for the centuries since the Times of London first appeared in 1785 as the Daily Universal Register, changing its name three years later. In the ever-evolving world of media, print is in its death throes.
If it's almost all over for ink except the burials, and the standouts are disappearing fast, should we be surprised? No. Disappointed, sorry? Yes. The great newspapers of the past, including the Post, the New York Times, the Times, the UK's Daily Telegraph, are empty imitations of their former selves thanks to cost-cutting. The greatest loss as these titles decline and disappear is the quality of the journalism that called them home..
Booked a table at Bouchon, at least I thought I had. Turned up at 13:01. “Just a moment Mr Daniels,” said the ever-optimistic Georges. Ten minutes later I sat down. Water arrived, but no wine. I took out the back of an envelope and started to scribble some notes for this column, the title of which I decided would be ‘A week of ironies.’
I begin with the terrible event in Sydney at the start of the week. It turned out that the Lindt cafe killer of two innocent people was indeed ‘deranged,’ which somehow made it alright since he wasn’t a terrorist. I watched Kevin Rudd, an odd-looking little man with an Australian accent denounce the act as barbarous and so on, which no doubt it was, and yet, here is a man who is also very obviously mad. Crazy would be too active an adjective. Only this week his country has stood shoulder to shoulder with the US and another former English colony, Canada, in opposing moves for more sensible policies in the Middle East, such as the real pursuit of a meaningful future for the Palestinians.
Then in Pakistan, the Taliban, who are seriously and actively crazy, killed 140 people, mainly schoolchildren, in an act of revenge against the military. Ironic indeed that the army school was not protected against such a horror.
And so the irony went on, with Police in the UK saying they are actively investigating several murders dating back to the 1980s involving boys who had been coerced into disgusting acts with Conservative MPs and members of the Cabinet. An appeal has gone out to victims. It makes me nostalgic for the innocent gambollings of John Profumo and serves as an apt reminder that those elected to lead and set an example are very often the worst of characters.
On Thursday the US President said there will be rapprochement with Cuba. Vocal oppenents in Florida said Cuba is guilty of human rights abuses. This on an island shared with the US detention and torture centre at Guantanamo Bay.
To end the week, an armed services report is expected to announce that women will soon be allowed to fight in Britain’s dwindling forces. A number of generals and brigadiers are against the idea, saying this will sap the manhood of the normally belligerent other ranks. But hang on, the irony is that Britain’s women are no longer the shy and retiring demure types we may remember from 50 years ago. Anyone who has recently witnessed pub closing time in the less upscale parts of the UK will know that the women are much more aggressive, loud and uncouth than their emasculated cohorts. They are just what the army needs to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan, or did the Brits already leave?
I like Bouchon, but after a further 20 minutes without even the sight of a menu I was beginning to feel the first pangs of hunger. I had to remind myself that the worst place to expect to get fed in is a busy restaurant at lunchtime. But I left with the back of the envelope and another task almost complete. And, irony of ironies, I had promised myself I wouldn’t work over lunch.
The Jeff Daniels column is published in the interests of editorial diversity, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the publishers.
APPROVED:THURSDAY DECEMBER 18 -The elected National Council yesterday passed the draft budget for 2015, 20 votes to four. Debate on the 1-billion euros budget has lasted a total of 30 hours over several evenings. The budget debate acts each year as a catch-all opportunity for members to raise issues of general interest. This year's debates have been relatively calm and cordial, helped by the fact that Monaco's economy is doing very well indeed, with GDP growth of 9.3 percent in 2013.
CANNABIS:TUESDAY DECEMBER 16 -The father of a 24 year-old Monegasque, an employee of the town hall, called the police after his son started behaving oddly, the Monaco Criminal Court was told. It emerged that the young man had been smoking 10 joints a day during August, and had developed a dependence on the drug. He was sentenced to one month in jail, suspended, and ordered to undergo treatment for his addiction.
BOTTLE A DAY:MONDAY DECEMBER 15 -A 25 year-old Monegasque has been sent to jail for one month after having been found guilty of a vicious assault outside a bar in neighbouring Cap d'Ail. The case was heard in Monaco because of his nationality. The defendant had offered to pay his victim, who recieved serious injuries, the sum of 5,000 euros in compensation, the court was told. He admitted drinking a bottle of whisky a day and to having a serious problem with alcohol.
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Monaco Events, Announcements
ANDY WARHOL: The exhibition “Andy Warhol” continues at the Galerie Adriano Ribolzi (Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 - 12:00 and 15:00 until 18:00). See also display ad at www.monacolife.net
Global High Net Worth Conference: Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, at the Salon Bellevue of the Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo, a two-day conference of professionals serving the HNW and UHNW sectors. Distinguished speakers from around the world will address the major issues of the moment. Organised by the publishers of monacolife.net. Visit www.globalhighnetworth.org for more details.
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SATURDAY, JUNE 21: There will always be tensions when a large crowd of people are crammed into small spaces, especially when they take an instant dislike to each other or harbour long-term differences. I am not talking about the long-running opening ceremony of the splendid new Monaco Yacht Club attended by le tout Monaco - a splendid affair - but the lingering impact of the lengthy and tedious French rail strike.
Tasked with taking my youngest son to Nice for a Saturday rendez-vous with a schoolmate, I squeezed with him onto the 16:43 from Monaco - delayed for 18 minutes in Menton while the frazzled French border police sifted out the usual suspects, young Somalian males who, having crossed the inhospitable Sahara, are trying in considerable numbers to make their way to the economic paradise that is France. Or possibly the UK.
Most people were eminently sensible and moved down the train to occupy every available space to allow yet more frazzled and luggage-laden bemused first-and-last-time tourists onto the only TER regional express to visit Monaco for the previous three hours.
Someone sitting down said something to me. I assumed he was offering me a space to sit. I bent down to hear better. Translated from the French, what he said was: “Can you get your arse out of my face!”
To say I was astonished hardly covers it. A number of responses flashed through my hot head: “I am surprised you are bothered about my arse, since it resembles so closely your face,” was the most polite. I wanted physically to strangle him, and since I was standing up and he was sitting down I sure as hell had a good shot at it.
My nine year-old restrained me. “He’s an idiot Dad, don’t take any notice,” he said in a French that can only be described as impeccable. At the next available jolt in the tracks he managed to more or less fall onto the idiot’s mobile phone he was holding high in the air while playing what looked like patience, and make it look like an accident.
You can mess with me, but you can’t mess with Max.