Monaco is a very interesting place. A tiny country (.78 square miles) bordered by France on three sides and the Mediterranean, it is a “principality” because the King of France, who sold the land to the Grimaldi family, would have no other kings in his territory. So, it is ruled by a Prince (although it is now a Constitutional Monarchy, Like Great Britain.)
The story has it that when deciding how to make this tiny little country succeed (the 2nd smallest country in the world – only the Vatican is smaller) it was determined that “money” would be the key, and if they made banking less expensive there, the money would flow in. Additionally, they have no income tax, so it attracts wealthy people who don’t like paying taxes. Our guide said they also turn a blind eye to the shadier dealings of their people…don’t know if it’s true, but it adds to the mystique.
It is home to the Monaco Grand Prix, and a slew of fast and EXPENSIVE cars! If you are a fancy car lover, you need to add this to your bucket list!
And then, Monaco wouldn’t be Monaco without Casino Monte Carlo. Just a gorgeous building. We could have paid $10 each to peek inside, but opted against it. They have enough money without adding my little pittance!
There are also some beautiful gardens that captured our attention.
As apart of our tour we also went to the lovely village of Eze. Lots of up and down the hilly terrain, but so worth it.
We worked our way to Old Town in Nice where we had a little time to wander on our own. We sampled some artisan pizza at a tiny little cafe. Between the owner’s fractured English, our even more fractured French and some pointing, we were able to successfully place an order!
One of the interesting parts of many European towns and villages, is that you have to “pay to pee!”
We’ve learned to make sure we have change, because there isn’t always an attendant, and sometimes you go through turn-stiles. It’s an interesting difference in cultures. BUT, the bathrooms are usually very clean and well-stocked. Wonder how Americans would take to paying to pee, if it meant you didn’t have to pee in filth and air-dry at times?