Often, when a traveler mentions a trip to Monaco, the usual response is, “What country is that in?” Which begs the response, “Well, it is kind of its own country and kind of not.” So why the confusion?
Monaco is officially known as The Principality of Monaco. It is actually a city-state that is sovereign from any other country in Europe, or the world. So what exactly does that mean? It means that it is governed by a constitutional monarchy, with the Royal Grimaldi Family holding the political powers of the city-state, even though their is a constitution in-place to protect the freedoms of its citizens.
Monaco has had this monarchy in-place 1297, one of the oldest ruling “houses” or families in history. This long and continual occupation of the land has made Monaco — and the city of Monte Carlo — one of the most unique places in the world, and sought-after by tourists and travelers from all corners of the globe.
The beauty of the land culminates in the city of Monte Carlo, where the Maritime Alps meet the Mediterranean Sea. The mountains take a dramatic and rocky drop into the sea, giving Monte Carlo its unique elevation changes, and making it a strong fortress against invaders.
Because of the type of government in-place, economic development boomed in the early 1900s, and Monte Carlo became a target destination for jet-setters, business moguls, and royalty — both for business and for pleasure. Today, one of the biggest draws are the casinos of Monte Carlo. Lavish and opulent, all of the casinos, shops, restaurants, bistros, and businesses in the city strongly sing a tune of wealth and luxury.
Take a tour of Monaco and Monte Carlo with our exclusive gallery below: