Mediterranean Cruises

Monaco, Monte Carlo

About Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo: the very name brings to mind images of glitz and glamour, privilege and royalty. This seaside treasure has long been a playground for those with a taste for the finer things in life and the means to indulge them. And it is still home to star athletes, millionaire entrepreneurs, and world-famous entertainers.

Historically speaking, the Principality of Monaco (where Monte Carlo is located) has been ruled by the Grimaldi Family for more than seven centuries. In 1949, Prince Rainier III took the throne, and began a reign that was marked by significant transformation to the Principality, including the introduction of a new Constitution in 1962. Many will recall famed American film actress Grace Kelly, who after marrying Prince Rainier III in 1956, became the Princess of Monaco.

Monte Carlo Lifestyle and Culture

Surrounded as they are by France, the people of Monte Carlo (and the tiny principality of Monaco as a whole) have much in common culturally with their neighbors. French is the official language, but English and Italian are widely spoken here as well. With leisure as one of their main activities-much of it centered around the fabulous Monte Carlo Casino-the Monegasque people are friendly and welcoming. Throughout Monaco, there is little in the way of industry, save for the intricate handiwork of local artisans.

The city of Monte Carlo, long famed for its obsession with car racing, plays host to the famed Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, as well as the Monte Carlo Rally, one of the world’s longest running and most well-respected automobile events. The Monaco Grand Prix has topped the list of the most important automobile races anywhere in the world since it first burst through the streets of Monaco in 1929.

Monte Carlo Sights and Entertainment

With its opulence and glamour, the Monte Carlo Casino attracts gamblers and non-gamblers alike. It has been featured in many films over the years and is often surrounded by the exotic cars of its wealthy guests. If you’re feeling lucky, you can try your hand at any number of games.

Monte Carlo’s opulent old Salle Garnier Opera House opened in 1879. On its stage, the finest performers dance, sing and regale theater-goers with classical music and jazz. Depending on the timing of your stay, you can attend a show and rub elbows with the well-heeled locals.

For a glimpse of Monaco’s most extravagant lifestyle, visit Place du Palais. It was here in this exquisite setting that Prince Ranier III first romanced Grace Kelly, and it is still home to Monaco’s royal family. Each room on the palace tour is decorated in the style of a specific era, and the collections on display are quite impressive. You might witness the changing of the guard outside the palace walls.

Monte Carlo Shopping

With so many people of Monte Carlo obsessed with style and extravagance, the city is one Europe’s most desirable shopping destinations. At Espace Mirage, you’ll find pieces from top designers worldwide, all carefully curated by Espace Mirage’s staff of style aficionados. Around the Casino de Monte Carlo, you’ll find flagship stores from Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Prada, and Hermes.

For a more local atmosphere, visit the Condamine Market near the Place d’Armes. This inviting venue has been a Monte Carlo mainstay since the turn of the 20th century. Here, you’ll find local boutiques featuring handcrafted jewelry, accessories, and souvenirs.

Monte Carlo Cuisine

The food in Monte Carlo is uniformly delightful. From the regal atmosphere and excellent cuisine of places like Le Louis XV and Restaurant Joel Robuchon, to the more affordable fare of Ioga and Yamas Greek Gourmet, there’s truly something for everyone.

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