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Home of the Grimaldi Family

Aug 17, 2007
A sovereign and independent state, the Principality of Monaco has borders on its landward side with several communes of the French Department of the Alps Maritimes. Although the second-smallest independent state in the world, Monaco benefits from an excellent climate and beautiful settings on the Cote d'Azur.

Prince Rainier III ascended to the throne in 1949 and caught the world's attention with his marriage to actress Grace Kelly. In 1997, the Grimaldi family celebrated the 700th anniversary of its reign in Monaco.

Monaco survives principally by providing tax concessions and discreet banking facilities for wealthy foreigners. Monaco attracts many extremely wealthy individuals as residents.

In the main harbour, there are expensive luxury yachts and boats, which are a permanent fixture. Monaco's pleasant climate, reputation and environment as well as the absence of income or inheritance tax and lack of financial reporting requirements all contribute to this situation.

Night life is not a problem. There are three casinos including the famous Monte Carlo Casino. Discos abound, restaurants - while surprisingly mediocre - are plentiful. Surprisingly, attire is casual in most places, with the exception of the more expensive places such as the Hotel de' Paris restaurant and the back rooms of the Monte Carlo Casino. In most of the casino, casual attire is acceptable, though you will feel a bit underdressed. If that is a problem, two other smaller casinos down the road are available.

There are alley way shops that sell the souvenirs and gift items. Some are located near the cathedral. The Casino Square and neighbouring thoroughfares are lined with the expensive jewellery stores and the expensive clothing stores.

The late Prince Rainier III opened a showcase of his private collection of more than 100 vintage autos, including the 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud that carried the prince and princess on their wedding day. Monaco shopkeepers gave it to the royal couple as a wedding present. A 1952 Austin Taxi on display was once used as the royal family car

Musee National de Monaco is in a villa designed in a style that might have been by Charles Garnier, this museum houses a magnificent collection of antique mechanical toys and dolls. See the 18th-century Neapolitan crib, which contains some 200 figures. This collection, assembled by Mme de Galea, was presented to the principality in 1972, it originated with the 18th- and 19th-century practice of displaying new fashions on doll models.
About the Author
Douglas Scott writes for The Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Monaco Villa Site
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