10 things to do and see in Monte Carlo and 1 not to do

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Aina Martin
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Monte Carlo
10 things to do and see in Monte Carlo and 1 not to do

Luxury, gambling and Formula One: these, in a nutshell, are the reasons why we come to Monte Carlo, the famous district of the tiny Principality of Monaco. Around these assets, then, the tourist offer has consolidated over time, including museums, guided tours, open spaces and lots of social life. obviously there is no better time to come: the casino is open all year round and the game certainly does not follow the seasons. Regardless, however, Monte Carlo has a particularly mild climate: winter temperatures almost never drop below 10 degrees, while in the rest of the year the sun, sea and Mediterranean scrub offer fabulous scenery as, moreover, throughout the French Riviera. Below, we discover together the main attractions of Monte Carlo. Happy reading.     



1 Casino of Monte Carlo

You don't need to be a serious gamer to visit the Monte Carlo Casino even if, it must be admitted, after visiting its magnificent salons nine times out of ten you feel like making a bet on the slots or sitting at the table. Obviously not everywhere, since like all casinos of a certain rank there are spaces exclusively dedicated to experienced players and characters of the international jet set jealous of their privacy. In any case, the exterior alone is enough to make it the main attraction of Monte Carlo. In fact, what is most striking is that despite the continuous innovation of the sector, the atmosphere, in many respects, has remained that of the late nineteenth century, when Charles III of Monaco (hence the name of the neighborhood) he decided to found a casino to replenish the public coffers. The belle époque style pervades the magnificent atrium, the Renaissance salon with its collection of slot machines, the Room Europe, Pink room White Hall, up to the gorgeous Salle Medecine, with its cinematic scenery. And, speaking of cinema, it is worth remembering the very close link between the Monte Carlo Casino and the seventh art: from Golden Eye, one of the most famous chapters of the James Bond saga a Ocean's Twelve, sequel to Ocean's Eleven shot in Las Vegas instead. For information on opening hours and how to visit, consult the Official site: www.casinomontecarlo.com.



2 Grand Théâtre of Monte Carlo

Opened in 1879, Palais Garnier (or Salle Garnier) it is adjacent to the Grand Casino of Monte Carlo. The name is that ofarchitect Charles Garnier famous for designing the Paris Opera. After all, after the lightning success of the casino, the need arose to equip itself with a space where the players who stayed in the Principality could dance and listen to music and, of course, no expense was spared for its realization. It must be said, however, that the first years did not record anything significant from an artistic point of view. It was only after 1892, the year in which the long direction of Raoul Gunsbourg (completed in 1951), that the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo passed from a logic of prevalent entertainment to a programming that is increasingly attentive to the artistic value of the works brought to the stage. A curiosity. Garnier's is not the only prestigious name linked to this theater. The columns that support the building, in fact, were designed by Gustave Eiffel, the architect of the homonymous Parisian tower. For more information on the Opéra di Monte Carlo, consult the place: www.opera.mc.


3 Old Town

Monaco Ville it has preserved the charm of almost intact medieval village, all alleys, stairs and squares (Place Saint Nicolas, Placette Bosio etc.). The difference, compared to other similar places, is the care of the territory: a sense of order e cleaning which has no equal. In reality, decorum and safety are a bit like the visiting card of the entire city, but at the same time Rocca (Le Rocher), where the Grimaldi dynasty has its palace (see point 7), possibly they are even more so. From the port area there are several stairs leading to Le Rocher. The most famous, so much so that it is itself considered an attraction, is the Ramp Maior which starts from Place d'Armes. From there you dive into the ancient heart of the Principality where, as we will see later in the article, most of the beauties of Monaco are concentrated. To be seen!


4 Oceanographic Museum

Among the unmissable stops on a holiday in Monte Carlo there is certainly the Oceanographic Museum. Designed by Prince Albert I., great-grandfather of the current sovereign of the Principality, this building stands on a slope of the rock of Monaco. In addition to the super panorama and architectural quality of the structure, to make the visit of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is its scientific value. Obviously, the story of Prince Albert I, protagonist, at the end of the XNUMXth century, of numerous expeditions to the Mediterranean and to the North Pole is described in detail, but even more prominence is given to current events: for some years, in fact, the Monegasque museum has at the forefront of the defense of sea turtles. The environmental commitment, however, is not separated from scientific dissemination in order to allow visitors to explore both the different species of turtles present in the world and the concrete actions taken to protect them, inside and outside the institute. That's not all. There fish collection inside the large pool, in fact, it is among the richest in Europe: sharks and colorful tropical species they attract adults and children alike. Furthermore, for the latter, various recreational activities are available, so that they can learn more about oceanography and marine biology while having fun. For more information see the place: www.oceano.mc.



5 Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Beyond the liturgical appointments, which also always find great participation, the fame of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée de Monaco is linked to the presence of deceased princes. In particular, Rainier III and his wife Grace Kelly, whose love story, in the mid-50s of the last century, and then culminated in the wedding celebrated in the same Cathedral, inflamed the magazines all over the world. A bit like what happened in more recent years for the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton. In short, a modern fairy tale that still today, almost forty years after the untimely death of the American actress in 1982, has not ceased to fascinate, attracting thousands of admirers to church. It must be said, however, that the Cathedral of Monaco also deserves from an architectural point of view. What is striking is it Romanesque-Byzantine style which transfers well the sense of majesty and austerity that envelops the building, starting from the external facade. To see, inside, the 500th century altarpiece depicting St. Nicholas; the mosaics that recall the story of Santa Devota, patroness of the royal family (a solemn mass is celebrated on January 27, followed by a procession with the saint's relics); and finally thefour-keyboard organ, dating back to the mid-70s of the last century. For more information consult the site of Diocese of Monaco.

6 Exotic Garden

A great variety of succulents distributed along a path strewn with stairs, bridges and paths along which they suddenly open panoramic views of the Monegasque coast. All beautifully kept both from a strictly botanical point of view and for decoration and cleanliness. This, in short, is what the Jardin Exotique of Monte Carlo. Which, in reality, does not end here, since there is also the splendid one to see Caves de l'Observatoire, ravine about 100 meters above sea level full of stalactites, stalagmites and other concretions. Furthermore, numerous have been found in this cave finds attesting the presence of man already in prehistoric times, all cataloged in Anthropological Museum inside the garden and this can also be visited with a single entrance ticket. For more information see the Official site: www.jardin-exotique.mc (English version available).

7 Palace of the Princes

Among the obligatory stops of a visit to Monte Carlo there is certainly the Palais Princier de Monaco, private residence of the Grimaldi family. In fact, most visitors are limited to the day view Changing of the guard, carried out by Carabiniers du Prince at 11.55 in the morning but, during the summer months, it is also possible to visit the State Apartments of the building. A triumph of Carrara marble, period furniture, fine tapestries and author paintings as is normal for a royal residence. In addition to visiting the state apartments, it is possible on the official website of the building (www. Palais.mc) book also the visit to the Collection of Vintage Cars of Rainier III (Collection de Voitures Anciennes) and that for the Monaco Zoological Garden (Jardin Animalier de Monaco). To do!

8 New National Museum

“Communicating to society the value of the world's cultural and natural heritage; in the present and in the future; in its tangible and intangible states “. Again: "to allow the public to understand what a national museum is and how it adapts to the contemporary". Those just transcribed are some of the passages readable on the official website of the Noveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM) to explain the mission of this contemporary art museum which has well two locations: Villa Paloma, near the Exotic Garden we talked about earlier; is Villa Sauber. We are talking about two buildings from the early 900s, both of which bear witness to thatesprit de belle époque that so many architectural and cultural traces left throughout the French Riviera. The artistic organization foresees the setting up of two exhibitions per year for each venue. The topics covered are "Art and entertainment" for Villa Sauber e "Art and territory" for Villa Paloma. Then there are the collections to see: the museum, in fact, is very careful in trying to intercept the best of contemporary art as long as, obviously, the works are consistent with the aforementioned themes. Pe more information: www.nmnm.mc (English version available).

9 Monte Carlo Grand Prix

The most exclusive race of the most prestigious car championship in the world. An appointment, the one with Grand Prix de Monaco, which is renewed from 1929 and which over the years has also become a mundane event. A catwalk where the wealthy, the rich and the super rich have an interest in being seen to build relationships and / or for gossip. Obviously there are also many fans who move very in advance to buy a ticket from the website of theAutomobil Club of Monaco (www.acm.mc). Considering that the event, including practice, qualifying and race lasts three days, the Monte Carlo Grand Prix can also be the "right excuse" to visit the Principality and its surroundings, especially in May, the climatically perfect month for a holiday on the French Riviera.

10 The surroundings of Monte Carlo

Visiting Monte Carlo also means visiting what is nearby starting, of course, with the closest ones Menton e Nice. Special mention for Eze , a delightful medieval village famous, among other things, for the stay of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. There are also about fifty kilometers away Antibes e Cannes while, just over a hundred, there is Saint Tropez . In short, the charm of the Côte d'Azur is close at hand, a shame not to take advantage of it.

1 Look at the outfit

Social evenings, casinos, restaurants or even just a stroll through the streets of Monte Carlo: for every occasion there is the right clothing but, without going into details, the only advice is not to overdo it. Therefore neither too demanding clothes that often expose to the risk of seeming upstart, nor, on the contrary, excessively informal outfitsthe. For entry to the Casino, a casual look is allowed during the day (obviously no slippers, tank tops, sandals, etc.); in the evening, however, greater care is required in clothing. Another thing that, although taken for granted, it may be useful to reiterate: walking around, perhaps with children in tow, between streets, stairs and hairpin bends it is definitely better to comfortable shoes, suitable for the purpose.


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