Sunday, June 17, 2012

Monte Carlo, Monaco

"I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” 

We drove 400 kilometers from Florence, Italy to Monaco. The drive along parts of the Italian and French Riviera was breathtaking (and through more tunnels than I have ever seen in my life!). We stopped along the way at a small seaside Italian town called Ponte Ligure, which is about 100 kilometers fro Monaco. There we had a nice lunch and our last Italian gelato before continuing our journey into Monaco. When we arrived in Monaco, two things were very and immediately apparent- the incredible natural beauty of this tiny country between the mountains and the sea and its incredible wealth. Even though Monaco is the second smallest country in the world (after the Vatican City) it is the wealthiest. After driving down the cliff side roads from Beausoleil, France, we could see and hear the speeding Bentleys, Ferraris and Maseratis, which then parked outside the luxury stores, hotels and restaurants of Monaco. We quickly checked into our hotel, the Fairmont Monte Carlo which has the best location of any of the hotels in Monaco, directly on the water. I could very easily get used to life in Monaco!

Yachts were parked right outside my balcony every day

A view of the yachts from my balcony

I am starting to think that Monaco and the French Riviera win the beautiful flower contest

The Principality of Monaco has been ruled by the Grimaldi family\ for more than 700 years. Malizia (cleverness) was the nickname of  the first Grimaldi, Francesco, who disguised as a monk, entered Monaco with a small force and took it from the Italians from Genoa who were ruling it at the time.

The fort in the Palace City

Walking down from the Palace (Monaco Ville) to the port)

Many boats and yachts at Port Hercules

Cannon and cannon balls outside the Palace

The Palace Square

A view of the port from the hilltop Palace

The Palace on top of the rock

The Prince's Guard

A commemoration of 25 years of rule for Prince Albert

A statue of Francesco Grimaldi who liberated Monaco

A street in the hilltop Monaco Ville

The Rock on which the Palace is built

A view of Monte Carlo, Capital of Monaco

Our rooftop pool-it doesn't get much better than this!

A view of the beach from our hotel

A yacht cruising by my balcony

Our hotel-the Fairmont Monte Carlo with the best location in Monaco

Sunset over the sea

Our living room with a sofa bed

The Larvotto beach area

A view of the beach from the hotel

The bedroom balcony

The living room balcony

Our bedroom had a king size bed

For all you racing fans...

Monaco is the home of the Grand Prix.....

And the world's most famous turn!

Princess Grace, the beautiful and elegant American actress who put Monaco on the map when she married Prince Ranier, suffered an untimely death in an automobile accident.

Monte Carlo

The Hotel de Paris

Yachts in Port Hercules 

Ashley and Aracelis each had their own balcony

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