Monaco: the Crown Jewel of the French Riviera

Small as it may seem, with only 2 km2 of surface, Monaco is home to some of the most astonishing and exclusive real estate money can buy. It is true that the country exudes luxury everywhere you turn, though the best places to see and be seen remain clustered around the Monte Carlo neighborhood, the place where the Monegasque world-class distinction started. Come discover with us what makes this spot the incontestable winner in the second part of our trilogy across the French Riviera.

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Monaco Bay. © 2016, David Requena.

Beautiful scenery and its gambling heritage make it a top tourist destination for money and entertainment lovers. Although now it is hard for anyone to picture Monaco without its worldwide famous casinos, its reputation of top-notch hospitality, style and luxury did not exist until the second half of the 19th century.

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Place du Casino. © Morten Hoff / Flickr.

This luxury frenzy started a few years after Prince Charles III took on an ambitious plan to preserve the economic development of Monaco. The opening of the luxury resort project comprising the Hôtel de Paris, Café de Paris and the world famous Casino de Monte Carlo in 1863, marked the beginning of a new thriving era for the Principality.

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Café de Paris. © 2016, David Requena.

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Hôtel de Paris. © Richard Smith / Flickr.

The Casino de Monte Carlo is one of the oldest in the world, and has become the landmark of Monaco ever since it attracted the attention of the European elite, and then exposed to the entire world through film, literature and other media.

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Casino de Monte-Carlo. © 2016, David Requena.

Another noteworthy spot for big spenders and window shoppers alike is the Carré d’Or. The area surrounding the Place du Casino, where the big names in fashion like Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Hermès, as well as state-of-the-art jewelers like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Graff, are all lined up in equally stunning streets.

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Gucci Shop in Carré d’Or. © Carlo Delucis / Flickr.

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Jimmy´z Place du Casino. © 2016, David Requena

Monaco keeps growing, and since money is no problem here, it does so with style and green urbanism in mind. The latest addition to this luxury fever are the Monte-Carlo Pavilions, a group of five huge pebble-shaped spaces hosting the latest creations from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Chanel. These temporary shops give us a hint of the sustainable approach the developers are taking on the renovation program of this central neighborhood.

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Pavillons du Casino. © Philippe Romeo / Flickr.

With more than 150 years since the inauguration of the Monte Carlo resort, Monaco continues to attract millions of visitors each year. The constant innovation brought upon the country’s architecture, entertainment and services further contribute to keep its reputation for the years to come.

 

Written by David Requena