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More About Monaco
In a world with endless travel styles, few places evoke the idea of elegance the way Monaco does. The second smallest country in the world has built a reputation on living the good life.
Fast and luxurious cars can be found in the city on any given day, but overtake the city during May when the annual Formula Grand Prix takes place. The harbour is regularly filled with super-yachts with the azure waters of the French Riviera thought of as a place to be seen as well as get away from it all.
Monaco tours are a way to understand the culture of the area, and a chance to be amazed by all that glitters. The tiny country lies on a narrow coastal strip, which in some places rises vertically upwards with its highest point at 206 feet. Nearly one fifth of the country exists on reclaimed land from the Mediterranean Sea.
The history of Monaco begins at the Rock, the area's main geological landmark. Used as a shelter for ancient peoples for centuries, it was transformed by the Genoese when a fortress was built in 1215. Now home to the Prince's Palace, the area of the Rock has many picture perfect settings including its Italian-style gallery, 15th century frescoes, Louis XVth lounge, the Throne Room and beautiful gardens.
The Prince's Palace remains an estate of the House of Grimaldi, a maritime leader in the 12th century that are descendants from one of the most powerful families of Genoa. Those interested in maritime might enjoy our stop along the Monaco tours in the famous Oceanographic Museum near the Palace.
The royal family of Monaco may have many crown jewels secured away in the jewel vaults at the Prince's Palace, but some of the real glitz of the country can be found in the casino of Monte Carlo. Known as an elite gambling destination, the casino was designed by French architect, Charles Garnier and was built in 1858. While the casino floor bans residents from gambling, the complex is home to more of Monaco''s iconic sights. Contained within the building is an opera and ballet house. Accessed by the casino's marble paved atrium, surrounded with ionic columns made of onyx, the Opera Hall is entirely decorated in red and gold, with bas-reliefs and sculptures.
Situated between Italy and France, Monaco tours also explain the religious importance in this small country. The Monaco Cathedral, a remarkable Roman-Byzantine church which is home to the burial places of past sovereigns, including Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Built in 1875-1903 and consecrated in 1911, the Saint Nicholas Cathedral is found on the site of the first parish church in Monaco which was built in 1252.
As a micro-state in Europe, this Principality may have a reputation based on wealth but within its tiny borders is a worthwhile visit.