The Principality of Monaco Lures the Rich & Famous
Ahead of year-end events in Monaco, including this month’s Monaco Yacht Show below are some the best things to see and do in this land of million-dollar homes, packed yacht harbors and luxurious hotels & casinos.
The Principality of Monaco is lure for the rich and famous.
Billionaires, boat lovers and daring drivers seem to have spawned along this tiny strip of the Côte d’Azur, a pleasure pit stop of year-round illustrious events.
In the Spring, the Formula One Grand Prix seizes the snaky steep city streets.
The Monaco Yacht Show is set to draw plenty of international attention, with more than 100 of the world’s best boats on display at the picture-perfect Port Hercules.
The 11th-Edition, star-studded Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival will also make its vibrant mark, taking place at the Opéra Garnier Monte-Carlo before the end of Y 2016.
If you plan to travel there, take some time to appreciate the city-state’s Belle-Époque architecture and atmosphere.
The glamour of Monaco has not changed much since the 1920’s.
Modern Monégasques themselves add to the sense of poise and self-contentment. Many live in multi-million-dollar apartments or cream-coloured villas, all tightly fitted along the misty mountainous terrain.
Arrive by helicopter and enjoy views of the brilliant blue Mediterranean waters, meeting the densely populated bluffs and petite beaches of Monaco.
Depending on whom you ask, Monaco is divided into 5 or 7 districts.
Monte-Carlo is the legendary resort area; home to high style and high stakes. Even if you are not a gambler, the casino owned by the Monte-Carlo SBM group is worth a look.
Inside its gaming rooms, ceilings and walls are fully adorned with extravagant Gold and marble moldings, as well as grand allegorical paintings of lolling ladies and dapper men.
Many 1st-time visitors naturally follow in the footstep of Princess Grace Kelly to the Princely Palace perched on Le Rocher (The Rock), a 62m-tall monolith and the heart of old Monaco.
A short walk from there, the Princess Grace Irish Library stands in true tribute to the famous movie star and granddaughter of an Irish bricklayer.
Princess Grace’s personal collection of Irish books form the very heart of the library’s collections. Visitors can likewise admire full-length commissioned portrait paintings, as well as rare pictures of the royal family captured by well-known artists and photographers.
Michelin-starred Blue Bay, helmed by Martinique-born chef Marcel Ravin, offers unique dishes for dinner. Choose to sit on the terrace for a breezy Mediterranean evening, with views of the shadowy waves in the distance. The fusion of Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisine is best captured on a plate of fish topped with rougail, a spicy tomato sauce. Flamboyant service is also observed.
To truly taste the flavor of Monaco, one must then head to the covered La Condamine food market.
A local specialty to try is socca, a traditional flat bread made from chick-pea flour, water, and olive oil. Typically cooked on a griddle, the thin pancake is a very popular street food among those from the South of France.
For coffee and a towering, ice-cream sundae, head to the popular Café de Paris Monte-Carlo. Similar to its Parisian conterpart, al fresco dining is bright and perfect for people-watching.
I always stay at the historic landmark Hôtel de Paris, a home away from home for European nobility since Y 1864 or at the Beach Club in the harbor area,
Have a terrific Holiday Season.