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From Amsterdam to Rome Cruise Post #14: Monte Carlo, Monaco – “The City of Glitz, Glamour, Beauty and the Most Expensive Penthouse in the World”

Yachts along the shore of Monte Carlo, Monaco

Beautiful Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monte Carlo is situated at the base of the Maritime Alps along the French Riviera. Its name is of Italian origin meaning “Mount Charles,” in honor of the then-reigning prince, Charles III. Monaco is a sovereign city-state, governed under a constitutional monarchy, currently held by Prince Albert II (a constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which the monarch is legally restricted within the boundaries of a constitution).  Monaco is the second smallest country in the world next to the Vatican, and is also the most densely populated country in the world (with a population of 36,950 citizens within an area of 1mi2).

Casino de Monte-Carlo - Monte Carlo, Monaco

Casino de Monte-Carlo – Monte Carlo, Monaco

Yachts along the shore of Monte Carlo, Monaco

The harbor of Monte Carlo, Monaco

The principality’s mild climate, beautiful scenery and gambling casinos, have contributed to Monaco’s status as a premier tourist destination and haven for wealthy escapees. Monaco levies no income tax on individuals, thus attracting a considerable number of affluent “tax refugee residents” from European countries… who derive the majority of their income from activity outside of Monaco (ie: Ringo Starr). Monte Carlo is host to the Circuit de Monaco racetrack, on which the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix takes place. The lavish Casino de Monte-Carlo has been featured in numerous films, such as the James Bond series and Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly – the then future Princess of Monaco. There is a scene in To Catch A Thief, when Grace Kelly drives her car very fast and dangerously along the steep winding roads of Monaco – a sad coincidence to her actual death in 1982.