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Monaco Travel Guide
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Monaco

 

Photo by Helen Misseri, courtesy of FamilyFirst

By FamilyFirst

Monaco with its posh hotels, fancy restaurants, luxury shops and lavish casinos, is not just for the rich and famous. And while a parent or two may shudder at the idea of taking their toddlers and lively youngsters to Monte-Carlo, the Principality of Monaco is actually one of the most family friendly destinations on the French Riviera. Don't let visions of the Roll Royce and Ferrari crowd hunkering for peace and quiet dissuade you.

An individual state, Monaco is a unique family travel destination on the French Riviera. Don't let the country's size fool you. At less than 200 hectares and just over 32,000 citizens, Monte-Carlo is small but it's hardly insular. Thanks to the country's no tax policy, the Principality of Monaco counts residents of over 100 nationalities. And its one of the few places on the Riviera where you won't feel uncomfortable if you can't speak French. English and even Italian are widely spoken here.

Ruled by the Grimaldi family since 1297 when Francois Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, seized the fortress and occupied the rock of Monaco, it was Prince Rainier III and his American wife, former Hollywood film star Grace Kelly that secured Monte-Carlo's allure. The antics of their children Princesses Caroline and Stephanie as well as Albert II, the current Prince of Monaco, kept gossip columnists busy for decades and further enhanced Monte-Carlo's intrigue.

Yet what makes family travel to Monaco fun is the plethora of child-friendly attractions. Beaches and pools, both private and public, cater to kids. Not only do they have designated play areas, many offer free or cheap entertainment in summer. The city's parks, free and extremely well manicured, offer refuge to families traveling with tots. And whether the kids prefer automobiles, model boats or dolls, area museums provide an alternative to the sun. Don't forget to visit of the Prince's Palace and observe the changing of the guards!

So if you are keen to rub shoulders with the rich and famous and take in breathtaking and unique tourist sights, Monaco is just the place.

Copyright 2007 Helen Misseri. All rights reserved. Helen Misseri is the founder of www.familyfirst.fr, a bilingual, English-French, website dedicated to family and child oriented activities and information in France.
History & Culture
 
The history of Monaco is bound to the House of Grimaldi. And while Monte Carlo is physically located on the French Riviera, Monegasque culture is not an extension of its surroundings. For many the attraction is neither history or culture but a fascination with princes and princesses. Grace Kelly, who upon marring Prince Rainier Grimaldi III became Princess Grace of Monaco is about as glamorous as it gets.
Maps
 
Online maps are great travel planning resource and great way to get the kids involved in a family vacation. Use online maps to pinpoint your family travel destination, identify points of interest, plan your itinerary as well as learn about the geography and politics of the land.
Books
 
Books are a great way to introduce younger children to a new adventure and get teens and tweens ready for a family trip. Learn more about Monaco through guidebooks, novels and historical fiction and embark on a different kind of family journey.
Music & Sound
 
Monaco's influence in broadcast media began in the 1960s when Radio Monte-Carlo used powerful transmitters to reach listeners beyond its borders. Listen online to broadcasts in French, Italian and English. And when you're done take a step beyond. Monte-Carlo's rich tradition in music extends beyond radio. Learn about the Little Singers of Monaco and discover the Principality's penchant for music.
News
 
Read Monaco newspapers online in English, German and Italian and brush up on current events. Find out what's happening in Monte-Carlo and discover what the Monegasque are reading. Local newspapers provide insight to local culture in a way books can't do.
Kids' Stuff
 
Did you know that the Principality of Monaco is the second smallest country in the world? Discover fun facts and trivia about Monaco. Who knows what you might learn.
Travel Trivia
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Books for Kids about Monaco
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