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In the heart of the Côte d’Azur, there is a tiny state that fascinates everyone and is the envy of many. And this is because the Principality of Monaco is synonymous with glamour, gambling, motor racing, yachts and the good life in general. Perhaps its prosperity is down to the fact that its Royal Family arouses the interest of the tabloid press, that it is a tax haven in the heart of Europe, that it stages a famous Formula 1 race every year, that it is home to the iconic Monte Carlo Casino or simple because it has a wonderful climate.
Whatever the reason, walking around Monaco is like starring in a film from the golden age of Hollywood. Not to be missed is the Prince’s Palace or the Cathedral of St Nicholas, home to the tombs of Prince Rainier III and his wife, Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco, better known by everyone as Grace Kelly, the magnificent actress and star of films of the likes of Mogambo, Rear Window and Dial M for Murder.
Near the Cathedral, make sure you visit the famous Port Hercules where you will see enormous luxurious yachts and probably the odd celebrity from the world of cinema. Nearby, visit the small and hallowed Church of St Devote, the patron saint of Monaco, and then continue on to the Golden Square where you can watch a performance at the beautiful Salle Garnier, enjoy a cool drink at the renowned Café de Paris or, at the very least, enter and have a flutter in the Monte Carlo Casino, and perhaps look out for James Bond, the famous character created by Ian Fleming, whose association with this belle-époque casino dates back to Fleming’s first novel, Casino Royale, in 1953.
And without any doubt, the Monegasques, with their always friendly and attentive attitude towards tourists, will make your visit to Monaco even more enjoyable and memorable.
To give you an idea of its layout, Monaco is divided into 4 main areas. Monaco-Ville, set on the large 70-metre high rock; Condamine, the district around the famous Port Hercules; Fontvieille, the westernmost area of the Principality; and Monte-Carlo, famous for its Casino and Formula 1 circuit.
So now you know. Explore Monaco at your own pace and enjoy all of its nooks and crannies, its fine-dining restaurants, international boutiques, its luxury in capital letters and the good life.