Monaco, Grand Prix & Italy

Monaco

Monaco is only around 6km away from Menton. If you want something special, you have to visit Monaco! Hemmed in by France and fronting the Mediterranean, sparkling Monaco staunchly maintains its independence and a tax-free policy that has attracted international glitterati for more than a century. Its capital, Monte Carlo, is an international symbol of glamour, with a grand casino, luxury shops and chandeliered palace hotels. But there’s history here, too: Beyond the sleek yachts bobbing in the port, the Grimadi’s Palais Princier, on “The Rock,” watches over the principality like a wise old patriarch — a stone-clad reminder that the Grimaldi clan has controlled Monaco since 1297.

Things to Do

Watch the perfectly synchronized changing of the guards at 11:55am outside the Palais Princier; then head inside to admire the State Apartments, dripping in opulent furnishings. Prince Albert I of Monaco (1848-1922) was an avid explorer and promoter of science and founder of the nearby Musée Océanographique in 1906. The museum’s downstairs aquarium is one of the best in the world, pioneering marine preservation techniques; upstairs are the world’s first submarine and 100-year-old marine curiosities from Albert’s travels.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Put on your glad rags for a night at the glorious Charles Garnier-designed Opera de Monaco. When the last note has sounded, head next door to raise the stakes in the Belle Epoque Casino de Monte-Carlo, where tuxedoed international types play blackjack beneath 19th-century frescoed ceilings. For a Monégasque-style boogie, mini skirts lead the way to the chic nightclubs along Avenue Princess Grace. Or head to Quai Jean-Charle Rey on the other side of The Rock to down ice-cold bière in English-style pubs.

Restaurants and Dining

Michelin stars abound in Monte Carlo — especially at chef Alain Ducasse’s Louis XV restaurant, and in Joël Robuchon’s Japanese and French eateries. But you can eat well on a lower budget, too: Beach babes and business folk devour anything from gourmet burgers to fresh sushi at Avenue 31 on Avenue Princess Grace; just behind, on rue du Portier, Mozza serves more than 15 types of creamy mozzarella to crowds of in-the-know aficionados.

Relaxation

When the tall towers and designer labels get to be too much, find solace in the turquoise seas ringing Avenue Princess Grace’s pristine sandy beaches. Or breathe in the perfume of some 400 roses in Fontvieille’s Princess Grace Rose Garden You’ll find flora of a more prickly kind amid the desert-like scenery in the Exotic Gardens, which teeter precipitously over the principality, cliffsides studded with cacti and succulents. Or wind down over a deep, essential-oil-infused massage at the Metropole spa.

Monaco F1 GrandPrix

he Monaco Grand Prix (French: Grand Prix de Monaco) is a Formula One motor race held each year on the Circuit de Monaco. Run since 1929, it is widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world, alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The circuit has been called “an exceptional location of glamour and prestige.”

The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, with many elevation changes and tight corners as well as a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One. In spite of the relatively low average speeds, it is a dangerous place to race. It is the only Grand Prix that does not adhere to the FIA’s mandated 305 kilometres (190 mi) minimum race distance.

The first race in 1929, was organised by Anthony Noghès under the auspices of the “Automobile Club de Monaco”, and was won by William Grover-Williams driving a Bugatti. The event was part of the pre-Second World War European Championship and was included in the first Formula One World Championship in 1950. It was designated the European Grand Prix two times, 1955 and 1963, when this title was an honorary designation given each year to one Grand Prix race in Europe. Graham Hill was known as “Mr. Monaco” due to his five Monaco wins in the 1960s. Brazil’s Ayrton Senna won the race more times than any other driver, with six victories, winning five races consecutively between 1989 and 1993.

Italian Border & Italian Riviera

Menton is located right next to Italian border. You can simply walk from France to Italy and have your cappuccino at the italian side and walk back. The Italian Riviera, or Ligurian Riviera (Italian Riviera ligure) is the narrow coastal strip which lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennines. Longitudinally it extends from the border with France and the French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) near Ventimiglia (a former customs post) to Capo Corvo (also known as Punta Bianca) which marks the Eastern end of the Gulf of La Spezia and is close to the border with Tuscany. The Italian Riviera thus includes nearly all of the coastline of Liguria. (Historically it extended further to the west, through what is now French territory as far as Monaco.)