There's no place like Monaco. Covering only 485 acres, tiny, glamorous Monaco is a fairyland of perfectly groomed streets, lush gardens, chic boutiques and one lavish casino. Monaco hotels and restaurants count among the world's finest, its cultural scene is superb, the nightlife sizzles and the annual Formula One Grand Prix is a ritual for high-rolling motoring fans.
The Grimaldi family has ruled Monaco since 1297. That year, François Grimaldi, escaping political turmoil disguised himself as a monk in order to seize possession of the fortress on "the rock". It became a prosperous trading post passing under the protection of Spain and then France. During the French Revolution, France imprisoned the Monegasque royal family and annexed the country. The annexation only lasted until the 1814 Treaty of Paris which restored the Grimaldi family to the throne. France recognized Monaco's independence in 1860 when Monaco relinquished all claims over its former territories of Menton and Roquebrune. In 1863 Monaco launched itself into the gaming business with the establishment of the Casino of Monte Carlo. In 1949 Prince Ranier III ascended the throne and soon married the former Grace Kelly. Monaco attracted luminaries and celebrities from around the world, bathed in a haze of glamour that has never diminished. The constitutional monarchy that Prince Ranier founded continued after his death in 2005. The current head of state is Prince Albert II.
Remember that Monaco is a country and it is composed of five principal areas: Monaco Ville (site of the Prince's Palace), Monte Carlo (the casino plus shopping, restaurants and hotels), La Condamine (southwest of the Port), Fontvieille (the industrial area) and Moneghetti (the Exotic Gardens). See more on sightseeing in Monaco.
It's well-connected to everywhere on the Cote d'Azur. See more about getting to Monaco.
Getting Around Monaco
CAM ( Compagnie des Autobus de Monaco) handles the internal bus network.
Tourist Information in Monaco
See the Monaco tourist office website at www.visitmonaco.com/
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