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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.
What is a Monarchy?
Changing of the guards

Changing of the guards

Centre de Presse de Monaco courtesy Principality of Monaco

 
A monarchy is a form of government ruled by a single person. The person who heads a monarchy is called a monarch and is often given the title of king, queen, prince or princess. In most monarchies the title is hereditary meaning it passes from parent to child but in some cases, such as the State of the Vatican City, the monarch is elected by a select group of individuals. While very few countries are ruled by a monarch today once upon a time most countries were. What's more, some countries, like the United Kingdom, still have a monarch but their role has changed significantly. Today, the UK is governed by parliament and the queen's role is largely ceremonial. This monarchical form of government is called a constitutional monarchy. The Vatican City, Saudia Arabia, Brunei, Qatar, Bahrain and Swaziland are the only countries in the world ruled by an absolute monarchy in which the monarch holds all the power.
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