Although I have written this article while visiting the South of France, I could not keep the same title of the series “Postcards from Southern France”.
Monaco’s inhabitants may feel insulted when placing their country in France or even when someone calls them French, instead of Monacans. Monaco is a country on its own, Principality of Monaco, with its own history, culture and lifestyle.
But Monaco’s defence is the responsibility of France, although the principality is independent and has got a separate foreign policy.
With a surface of about two square km, Monaco is a microstate, almost fully urban. It is the most densely populated country in the world, being six times the size of the Vatican.
Monaco consists of four major areas: Monaco-Ville, the old city, Condamine, the port area, Monte-Carlo, the heart of business, and Fontvieille. French is Monaco’s official language. There are also other languages spoken in Monaco: Monégasque, Monaco’s traditional language, Italian, the language of the ruling House of Grimaldi, Occitan, rarely spoken nowadays, and English.
Monaco’s mild weather, breathtaking panorama and landscape, and gambling opportunities led to making the principality one of the world top attractions for tourists.
Although we spent only half day in Monaco, we could not ignore the fresh-green vegetation, despite the hot summer. The locals pay special attention to maintain the parks. We also noticed the clean streets and a lot of surveillance video cameras. The police presence is visible everywhere. This may explain why Monaco is a very safe and crime-free place.
We heard that Monaco is also famous for its unaffordable prices. We tested that and bought an ice cream, for which we paid EUR 8. It was worth it: the price, so the quality!
Right in front of the Monte Carlo Casino there are famous shops such as Bulgari, Cartier and Chopard. We joined the other tourists to look at the shops’ windows without buying anything.
There were also crowds standing in front of the Casino and waiting for spotting famous people getting off their very expensive cars.
More postcards from Monaco