The Principality of Monaco (French: Principauté de Monaco) is an independent city-state in Western Europe.

In the Monegasque dialect, a variety of Ligurian, it is called Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu. Entirely surrounded by France, it overlooks the Ligurian Sea and is about 10 km from the Italian-French border. It is one of the oldest states in the world, as it has existed continuously since the end of the thirteenth century; its origin is generally traced back to the initiative of Francesco Grimaldi, a Genoese Guelph nobleman who skillfully seized a castle built there, owned by a Ghibelline rival; having accomplished this feat by entering the manor disguised as a monk, the circumstance also gave its name to the lordship that arose from it and which later became a state. As an independent sovereign state, it was born only in 1815 following the Restoration. In fact, with the Restoration, the Holy Roman Empire was not reconstituted, and so, most of the reconstituted European states, which before 1806 were formally part of the Empire, were actually founded ex novo, in the sense of independent sovereign states.

Its capital and sole administrative subdivision is the municipality of Monaco, which has 38,350 inhabitants. With an area of 2.02 km², the Principality of Monaco is the penultimate sovereign state in the world by extension: behind it only the Vatican City with 0.44 km².

The form of state is a principality, i.e. a constitutional monarchy whose sovereign has the title of prince: he also has the functions of head of state, but the legislative power is exercised by a unicameral parliament called the National Council, elected by universal suffrage. Executive power is also exercised by the Government Council, whose head, the Minister of State, is the head of government of the country.

The head of state is Prince Albert II (1958-), in office since 2005; Sovereign Consort is Princess Charlène, born Wittstock and of South African descent. The Minister of State in office is the Frenchman Pierre Dartout, in office since September 2020.

Although it has no administrative subdivisions of a lower grade than the Municipality of Monaco, the best-known location in the Principality is the historic district of Monte Carlo, which rises in the city center and houses the well-known Casino of the same name, often used as a set for famous films (such as those of James Bond series); sometimes by synecdoche the name Monte Carlo or Montecarlo is used in place of the entire Principality.

On the streets of the city-state there is a non-permanent city car route, the Monte Carlo circuit, on which the Monaco Grand Prix has been held since 1929 which, since 1950, has been part of the Formula 1 world championship and has seen the victory of undisputed figures of motor racing: the winners of the race include multiple world champions such as the Brazilian Ayrton Senna, the British Graham Hill, Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart and Lewis Hamilton, the Frenchman Alain Prost, the Germans Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher, Dutchman Max Verstappen and others.

The Principality is the richest country in the world for per capita income (over $180,000) and, having no income taxes (only those on value added and social security), bases its economy on the entertainment industry ( tourism, gambling) and real estate sales, as the average price of the houses therein is among the highest in the world, estimated in 2012 at more than $58,000 per square metre. Although not part of the European Union, Monaco is part of the French customs area and has been authorized by the European Union itself to mint the Monegasque euro, equivalent to the Union currency and minted by the French mint.

Since 1911, the powers of the state have been regulated by a constitution, the most recent of which has been in force since 1962.

Article 8 of the constitution establishes that the official language of the Principality is French. However, Italian is also widely used; the Monegasque dialect, although widespread, is only the third language after the two mentioned. The citizens of the Principality are called Monegasques, although sometimes there is a tendency to give this ethnicity even to simple residents; individually, in fact, the citizens of the country are about a fifth of the total residents (21%), while on the other hand just over a quarter (28%) are residents of French nationality, almost 19% are Italian and, to follow, among the '1 and 10% of representation include the British, Germans, Swiss and the United States. According to article 9 of the aforementioned constitution, the state religion of the Principality is Catholicism, even if article 23 of the same text guarantees freedom of worship.



The Principality of Monaco offers a wide range of historical and modern attractions. There are various museums and palaces to visit, as well as shopping malls and casinos. Monaco also offers relaxation opportunities along the port and even around the attractions. Navigating Monte Carlo and Monaco is relatively easy once you take the time to learn where the various "short cuts" are. Maps of the city are usually available from most newsstands and shops for a small fee. The tourist office could be a good place to start before setting out to explore the city.

Casino (casino de Monte-Carlo, Monte Carlo Casino), Place du Casino. Tel.: +377 98062121, email: The Monte Carlo Casino is a gaming and entertainment complex that includes a casino, the Opéra de Monaco and the office of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. The owner and operator is the Société des bains de mer de Monaco (SBM), a public company in which the government of Monaco and the ruling family hold a majority stake. The company also owns the main hotels, sports clubs, catering establishments and nightclubs throughout Monaco. If your wallet allows, try your luck at the Grand Casino and gamble with the richest and often the most famous in the world. You need your passport to enter the country (since Monegasque citizens are banned from gambling at the casino), and entrance fees are huge depending on the room - often from €30 to hundreds. You can also visit the casino without gambling for a nominal fee of €10. The dress code inside is extremely strict - men are required to wear coats and ties, and casual shoes are prohibited. The game rooms themselves are spectacular, with stained glass, paintings and sculptures throughout. The casino is not open at this time of day, but visitors are given a half-hour audio guide and are free to roam the grounds. Minors are also allowed to enter at this time, and the dress code is less strictly enforced. Open: 14:00-04:00.

Opéra de Monaco (Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Monaco Opera House; At the back of the Casino). Tel: +377 98 06 28 00. The Monaco Opera House or "Salle Garnier" was built by the famous architect Charles Garnier. The auditorium of the opera house is decorated in red and gold and has frescoes and sculptures surrounding the auditorium. Looking up to the auditorium ceiling, the visitor will be amazed by the magnificent paintings. The opera house is extravagant and very beautiful at the same time. There are some of the best international performances of ballet, opera and concerts that have taken place at the Opera House for more than a century; remember to catch a show during your visit. but expect to pay top dollar! Open: 10:00-17:30; So, Mon closed.

Monaco-Ville. Take a stroll through Monaco-Ville, also known as "Le Rocher" or "The rock". Still a medieval village at heart, Monaco-Ville is an amazingly picturesque place. It consists almost entirely of pedestrian streets and passageways, and most of the houses from the last century remain. There are a number of hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops where tourists can stay, eat and shop. You can also visit the Prince's Palace, the Duomo, the Oceanographic Museum, the City Hall and the Gardens of Saint Martin.

Port Hercule harbour

Palace (palais de Monaco, Palais Princier). Located in old Monaco-Ville, the Palais Princier is well worth a visit. There are guided tours of the castle with audio guides for self-study. The palace also offers a breathtaking panoramic view overlooking the port and Monte-Carlo. Every day at 11:55 a.m., visitors can watch the changing of the guard ceremony of the "carbine" in front of the main entrance of the palace. "Carbines" are not only responsible for the security of the prince, but also offer him honor protection and on special occasions they are his companions. The "Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince" has a military band (fanfare) that performs at public concerts, official events, sporting events and international military music festivals. Open: 10:00-18:00; Jul,Aug 10:00-19:00; Oct 17-Mar 25 to.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée (Saint Nicholas Cathedral), 4 rue Colonel Bellando de Castro, 98000. Tel.: +33 7 93 30 87 70, email: Monaco Cathedral was built in 1875 and stands on the site of an earlier 13th-century church. It is a Romanesque-Byzantine church dedicated to Saint Nicholas and houses the remains of the former Princes of Monaco and Princess Grace. The church square is also home to some of Monaco-Ville's best restaurants. Open: 08:30-18:00; May-Sep: 08:00-19:00.

Jardins Saint-Martin (Saint-Martin Garden), Avenue Saint-Martin (direction Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée). Nice park at the southern end of Le Rocher.

Oceanographic Museum (musée océanographique de Monaco), Avenue Saint-Martin. Tel: +33 7 93 15 36 00. The Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium is a world famous attraction. Located 279m above sea level, the museum houses stunning collections of marine life, numerous specimens of sea creatures (stuffed and skeletal), models of Prince Albert's laboratory ships and crafts made from natural products of the sea. Exhibitions and film projections are presented daily in the conference room on the ground floor. In the basement, visitors can watch spectacular shows of marine flora and fauna. With 4,000 species of fish and over 200 families of invertebrates, the aquarium is now an authority on the depiction of the Mediterranean and tropical marine ecosystem. Finally, visitors can have lunch at "La Terrasse" and visit the museum shop. The entrance fee depends on the month of the visit. Students can get discounts by showing a valid student ID. Take the number 1 or 2 bus from Monaco Monte Carlo train station to get to the Aquarium. Feature: changing table. Open: Oct-Mar: 10am-6pm; Apr-Jun,Sep: 10:00-19:00; Jul 10:00-20:00; Dec 25 to.

The Prince's Automobile Museum (musée de l'automobile de Monaco), 5 terrasses de Fontvieille, Monaco 98000. E-mail: This is the right place for every car lover. There is everything from carriages and old cars to Formula 1 racing cars. Around 100 vehicles can be seen here. Open: 10:00-18:00; Dec 25 to. Price: adults €6.50, students €3.

Stamp Museum (musée des timbres et des monnaies de Monaco), 11 Les Terrasses de Fontvieille, 98000. E-mail:

Exotic Garden (jardin exotique de Monaco), 62, Boulevard du Jardin Exotique. Email: The Jardin Exotique is one of the many gardens Monaco has to offer. It is also one of Monaco's top tourist attractions. Several thousand rare plants from all over the world are presented in a circuit that is unforgettable both for the view and for the flora and plants. Due to the difference in elevation, there are not only many displays of desert plants, but also a handful of subtropical flora displays. There is also a grotto (cave) that offers guided tours. The tour starts at the beginning of every hour and lasts approximately 25 minutes. In the cave you have to climb the stairs, which are about the same as a 6-story building. You have to take bus number 2 to reach this garden. You can take this bus from either the train station or the Oceanographic Museum. Open: Nov-Jan: 09:00-17:00; Feb-Apr,Oct: 09:00-18:00; May-Sep: 09:00-19:00; Nov 19,Dec 25 to.

Yacht Club Monaco (Yacht Club de Monaco), Quai Louis II. Tel: +377 93106300. The Yacht Club de Monaco was founded in 1953 by Prince Rainier and has been managed by Prince Albert II since 1984. It unites more than 1200 members from 60 nations. Many of the most prestigious private yachts in the world are testament to the rise of the Yacht Club de Monaco and testament to its unique position on the international yachting scene. The new building designed by Lord Foster is located in the heart of Port Hercule, opposite the YCM Marina. The YCM Gallery is a new area open to the public.

La Condamine. is the second oldest district in Monaco, after Monaco-Ville. Here you can stop and admire the many luxurious yachts and cruise ships that usually adorn the docks in the marina. La Condamine is a thriving business district where you can visit the Condamine Market and the Rue Princesse Caroline pedestrian street. Offering pleasantly landscaped areas and modern buildings, La Condamine is certainly worth a visit.

Grimaldi Forum, 10, Avenue Princesse Grace. Tel.: +377 99 99 20 00, email: The Grimaldi Forum is the Monaco Convention Center. Completed in July 2000, the sun-filled oceanfront building features a remarkable glass entrance, two meeting restaurants, an auditorium for ballet and opera, and two other auditoriums for meetings and other affairs. The forum also offers two large exhibition halls that can be used for trade fairs or other exhibitions. It is also within walking distance of the surrounding hotels.

Champions Promenade (Golden Foot). The Golden Foot Footballer of the Year winner leaves a permanent form of his footprints here on the beach.

Japanese Garden (jardin japonais de Monaco). The garden is 0.7 hectares and features a stylized mountain, hill, waterfall, beach, stream and a zen garden for meditation. The garden was designed by Yasuo Beppu, winner of the 1990 Osaka Flower Show, as a miniature representation of Shinto philosophy.

Rose Garden Princess Grace

Marlborough Fine Arts Gallery, 4 Quai Antoine 1er. Tel: +377 (0)97 70 2550. The Marlborough Fine Arts Gallery was founded in London by Frank Lloyd and Harry Fischer. A second gallery opened in Rome, another in New York and another in Monaco. The gallery has a large collection of post-war artists and even paintings by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Jules Brassai, Louise Bourgeois, Dale Chihuly, David Hockney and Henri Matisse. The gallery also offers group exhibitions. Price: free.

New National Museum - Villa Sauber, 17 Avenue Princesse Grace. Tel: +377 98 98 91 26, email: Art exhibition in one of the last Belle Epoque villas in Monaco. Open: 10:00-18:00 during exhibitions. Price: 6€ (Villa Paloma + Villa Sauber).

Nouveau National Museum - Villa Paloma (Nouveau musée national de Monaco, New National Museum - Villa Paloma), 56 Boulevard du Jardin Exotique. Tel: +377 98 98 48 60, email: Art exhibition at the second location of the New National Museum. Open: 10:00-18:00 during exhibitions. Price: 6€ (Villa Paloma + Villa Sauber).



Cultural and sporting events

In addition to the Monaco Grand Prix, the city also hosts the prestigious Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, a well-known tennis competition that has taken place every year since 1897 in April. In addition, numerous other international cultural events take place including concerts by major international artists, trade fairs and art exhibitions; they mainly take place at the Grimaldi Forum, the multifunctional exhibition center located near the beach, or at the exclusive Sporting Club.

All events are always held under the high patronage of the reigning prince.


Major recurring events

Monaco Grand Prix
Monaco Red Cross Grand Gala
Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival
Monte-Carlo Television Festival
Monaco Film Festival
Printemps des Arts


How to get here

Since Monaco is completely surrounded by France, except on the coast, entry is only possible from France. Border controls do not take place.

By plane
The nearest airport is in France, Nice Aéroport Nice Côte d'Azur (IATA: NCE). From there there is a helicopter shuttle to Monaco. However, you can also travel from the airport to Monaco by train or taxi, which is much cheaper.

By train
Monaco has only one train station, Monaco-Monte Carlo. This is very modern and is located near the city center. The architecture is spectacular and sometimes confusing: the station was built into the rock together with a huge parking garage and is almost completely underground. It is accessed from the city via escalators and elevators - the main entrance is seen from the tracks "above", from there it goes to the city center - the exit with daylight directly on the platform leads to "nowhere", at least for tourists.

The following lines operate here:
ter on the (Grasse–) Cannes–Antibes–Nice–Monte Carlo–Menton–Ventimiglia line (regional train with all intermediate stops, runs every 30 minutes during the day; only 2nd class)
TGV inOui on the Paris-Gare de Lyon - Marseille - Nice - Monte Carlo - Menton line (high-speed train, runs only 1-2 times a day)

By bus
There are several bus routes running along the coast between Menton and Nice, serving Monaco.

In the street
From North and West Germany you use the Autobahn via Trier - Luxemburg - Metz - Nancy - Dijon - Lyon - Orange - Cannes - Nice up to the Monaco exit of the French Autobahn A8. Don't forget to fill up in Luxembourg.

Between Nice and Monaco there are three more scenic roads: the Basse Corniche (Low Coast Road - Highway 98), along the sea, the Moyenne Corniche (Middle Coast Road - Highway 7), which runs through Eze-Village, and the Grande Corniche (Great Coast Road) passing through La Turbie and Col d'Eze (Eze Pass). All are pretty drives with spectacular views over the coastline. For extra indulgence, rent a convertible sports car from the many airport rental companies and enjoy the French Riviera in style.

Taxi rides to and from Nice cost around €90. So if you're on your own, the helicopter is a viable alternative.

By boat
Monaco has two ports (Port Hercule and Port de Fontvielle) which are year-round destinations mainly for luxury yachts from all over the world. West of the heliport is the port of Cap d'Ail.

On foot
A pleasant way to arrive in Monaco is to walk the Sentier du bord de mer (from the Cap d'Ail). (Coastal path), about 45 minutes walk on a concrete path in a natural and quiet environment. Take the train and stop at Cap d'Ail train station (the last one before Monaco if you come from Nice; not all trains stop there). Outside the train station, follow the road a few meters and take the stairs on the left to pass under the tracks. Arrived at the small road, turn left and walk a few meters, then take the stairs to the right of the "La Pinède" restaurant to get on the path. If you want to take the route from Monaco to Cap d'ail train station, go west of the Fontvieille district, cross the French border to reach Cap d'Ail port and follow the coast. After a few minutes you will reach the Sentier du bord de mer (from Monaco) just after a last parking lot. It can be dangerous and closed in bad weather. In this case, you will either have to go back and take the train, or walk on the street. There is no lighting at night.



On foot
Walking is by far the best way to explore Monaco; however, there are some areas, such as B. the Exotic Garden, which have a large difference in height and therefore allow for rather strenuous hikes. There are also seven public escalators and elevators (all free) that help negotiate the city's steep slopes. If you're on foot and want to reach the opposite shore from Port Hercule, look for the little Bateau Bus, a pedestrian ferry that runs every 20 minutes or so during daylight hours; it costs €2.

By bus
Monaco has a municipal bus service, operated by the Compagnie des Autobus Monaco, through the city's five bus routes (designated 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6) serving 143 stops. Each stop has the bus number(s) that stop there, and most stops have a real-time display showing waiting times for the next service. Each stop has a name and a network map. Service usually starts around 6am and lasts until around 9pm. Tickets can be bought on board the buses themselves (€2) or from many news vendors and shops around the city and from machines at the bus stops (€1.50) - they often point out where you can do this. A day pass allows you to use the buses all day for €5.50 (9/2016) and can also be purchased on board the bus. A night bus runs from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. in the roundabout.

You can easily rent a scooter in Nice and take a short trip east along the sea to Monaco. The views are beautiful and the drive along the winding coastal road is fun. There is plenty of free parking. Theft is not a problem as there are cameras and police everywhere. To rent one you must be at least 16 years old.

In the street
Private vehicles are uniquely useless for getting around Monaco as you will spend more time parking than if you walked or took a taxi.

International car rental companies have offices at Nice Airport and also in Monte Carlo City. These include Avis, Gare Monte Carlo, Europcar and Hertz - drivers must have held a national driving license for at least a year and charges are usually required to be paid on the driver's credit card. Driving in the city center can be intimidating in Monte Carlo with heavy traffic - but it's often worth driving alongside the more expensive vehicles in the city!

Taking a taxi in Monaco is rather nonsensical, since the distances are very small and everything can be reached on foot in a very short time. In addition, taking a taxi in Monaco is very expensive and even if you drive for a few minutes, it can happen that you have to pay extortionate prices.

Taxis cannot be hailed on the streets (they won't stop) and there are two main taxi ranks open 24 hours a day on Avenue de Monte Carlo and the train station, although it's always best to agree a fee beforehand or make sure the counter is running. Most hotels offer taxis or taxi drivers. It is best to get the taxi service phone number to call a taxi wherever you are.



The colloquial language and sole official language is French. In addition, a Ligurian dialect is spoken, which is called "munegascu" and can also be heard in a similar form in Liguria in Italy. Due to the proximity to Italy, one often hears Italian as well.


Small fashion boutiques and souvenir shops can be found throughout the city. Most of these can be found in the old town.

Shopping in Monte Carlo tends to be quite exclusive and certainly not a place for a cheap vacation. There are plenty of ways to melt the credit card alongside Europe's high rollers. The chic clothing stores are located in the Golden Circle, framed by Avenue Monte Carlo, Avenue des Beaux-Arts and Allées Lumiéres, where Hermès, Christian Dior, Gucci and Prada are represented. The area around Place du Casino is home to high-end jewelers such as Bulgari, Cartier and Chopard. However, you'll find that most tourists will just enjoy wandering the area and window shopping, even if they don't buy anything. Normal opening hours are 9am to 12pm and 3pm to 7pm.

For more sophisticated shopping in Monte Carlo, visit the Condamine Market. The market, located on the Place d'Armes, has existed since 1880 and is lively and attractive - many hours can be spent just wandering around buying souvenirs from the many small shops, boutiques and friendly locals. However, if your shopping tastes are more modern, just take a short stroll along the promenade to the pedestrianized Rue Princess Caroline.

The Fontvieille Shopping Center is also a 'normal' shopping experience with 36 shops selling electronics, CDs, furniture and clothing, as well as a Carrefour supermarket and McDonald's. The Tourist Office also publishes a useful free shopping guide to the city.



The food in Monaco is varied but generally expensive, and even very simple meals will often set you back over 20-30 euros. Check out the menu before you visit even shabby restaurants, or be in for a surprise. There are places where you can find decent bang for your buck, but they often require you to know beforehand. Restaurants where the locals often dine a bit off the waterfront and often serve up better food at lower prices (though since you're in Monaco: nothing beats a bargain).

There are many restaurants for tourists, from the Cafe de Paris opposite the casino to the waterfront restaurants along Port de Fontvieille. During the winter months you will find that the restaurants have a slightly lower price. Bouillabaisse is a good tip.



If you absolutely want to stay overnight in the small principality, you should inquire about the prices beforehand. Most hotels are in the 4 to 5 star category.

Fairmont, 12 Avenue des Spelugues, 98000 Monaco. Tel: +377 93 506500, +888 270 6650 (toll free, for room reservations only), Fax: +377 93 300157, Email:



Apart from the Vatican State, Monaco is probably the safest country in the world. There are police stations on all access roads, and all major intersections are secured by uniformed police officers who also ensure that traffic flows smoothly. In addition, there are several hundred video surveillance cameras, including in all public elevators and underpasses. The police officers are friendly but determined.



The European health insurance card is not valid.



Even today, Monaco has stricter dress codes than neighboring regions. Attempting to visit the city in swimwear or similar will end up at the first cop! The dress code for the cathedral is similar to that for St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.


Post and telecommunications

If you want to send a postcard from Monaco, you should also buy a Monegasque stamp, because French stamps are not valid in Monaco. Therefore, you have to throw in the card again directly in Monaco.

Monaco is not part of the EU and therefore not part of the EU roaming zone - making calls with your local SIM card can therefore be very expensive. However, French networks, to which the EU roaming regulation applies, can also be received in many parts of Monaco - so it may help to switch off the automatic network selection and dial the French roaming partner manually.



Inhabited since the Neolithic, the fortress and the natural harbor already represented a safe haven for primitive populations; later it was inhabited by the Ligurian tribes.

After the presence of the Phoenicians, the Monegasque territory was conquered by the Greeks, who called it Monoïkos (Μόνοικος), giving rise to the toponym "Monaco". This name was later Latinized into Portus Herculis Monoeci (pronunciation: portus hèrkulis mònoeki) by the Romans, who settled permanently in the surrounding area in 122 BC, as also testified by the Thropheum Alpium, erected by the emperor Augustus in the nearby municipality French from La Turbie.

The territory was part of Liguria under the Roman Empire, in the Lombard Kingdom and in the Kingdom of Italy of the Carolingian age (therefore as part of the Empire "of the Franks and the Romans").

Between the seventh and eighth centuries there were numerous foundations, the abbey of San Martino of the Gallinara Island of Albenga, which had possessions in Italy, in Catalonia and Barcelona, in Provence especially in the Fréjus area (including the church of San Leonzio ) and in Corsica, the monastery of Villaregia di Santo Stefano al Mare, the abbey of Nostra Signora del Canneto di Taggia, and in Nice between the 7th and 8th centuries the monastery of Cimiez to which the jurisdiction of the Monegasque territory depended, which after the damage by the Saracens it was rebuilt by the monks of the abbey of Saint-Pons of Nice founded by the monks of Lérins towards the end of the 8th century and to which the territorial jurisdiction will pass in 1075, together with the ancient church of Santa Devota di Les Gaumates (now La Condamine).

In the 9th century the incursions, looting and destruction by the Saracens became pressing and destructive and towards the 10th century they occupied a part of Provence establishing a fortified operational base in Frassineto (today the Garde-Freinet, near Saint-Tropez) from which carry out raids in a large maritime area from Marseilles to Genoa and in the Provençal, Nice, Ligurian and Piedmontese hinterlands, with extensive destruction of entire cities, houses, churches and monasteries. Because of the Saracen raids, the remains of Santa Devota were saved in the monastery of Cimiez (today in the municipality of Nice); having escaped the danger of profanation, they returned again to his church. In 941 the Byzantine fleet destroyed that of Frassine; in 973 there was the battle of Tourtour with the subsequent destruction of Frassineto, fought by the combined forces of Ligurians and Provencals organized by Count William I of Provence with the help of the Marquis of Turin Arduino il Glabro, Pope John XIII and the emperor Otto I of Saxony, who definitively put an end to the raids and the Saracen occupation in Provence.

The information in the High Middle Ages is fragmentary; it is mentioned in an imperial diploma from Federico I Barbarossa, who in 1162 allowed Genoese merchants to use the Monegasque territory to increase their commercial traffic. In 1215, to guard the port, the merchants of the Ghibelline faction built the first nucleus of the fortress on the rock, seat of the current Palazzo dei Principi. Soon the contrasts between the Guelph and Ghibelline factions of the nearby Republic of Genoa increased; therefore the independence of the territory dates back to the conventional date of 8 January 1297, when the Guelph Francesco Grimaldi, known as Malizia, seized the castle with a stratagem: he entered the fortress disguised as a monk and, at the right moment , with the help of his cousin Ranieri I, lord of Cagnes-sur-Mer, assumed control with the title of Lord.

Since then their Lordship was opposed and disputed by the major Genoese aristocratic families, who however had to face several times the French and Spanish armies rushed to its defense.

It was only in 1489 that King Charles VIII of France recognized the autonomy of the Monegasque territory, officially guaranteeing its military protection. However, in 1524, the King of Spain Charles V imposed Spanish rule on Monaco, but a few decades later the Kingdom of France was again the guarantor of him.

In 1612 the Grimaldis obtained the title of Princes and Monaco legitimately became a Principality.

Surrounded for decades by territorial disputes between the Kingdom of France, the Kingdom of Spain and the Duchy of Savoy, the Monegasque territory was larger than the current one. In 1794, in the wake of the revolutionary uprisings, the Principality of Monaco was annexed to republican France. It was only in the period of the Restoration that the Principality regained its independence with the support of the Savoys. Until the mid-nineteenth century, the Principality of Monaco also included the neighboring municipalities of Menton and Roccabruna, bordering on three sides with the province of Nice in the Kingdom of Sardinia.

On 20 March 1848 Mentone and Roccabruna declared themselves "free cities" and placed themselves under the protection of King Carlo Alberto; the territory of the Principality was therefore resized and grouped under the sole municipality of Monaco, assuming the current border lines.

Already a popular tourist destination since the beginning of the 19th century, the principality underwent great development under the reign of Charles III, who was the first to want to make the Principality a place of elite tourism. In 1858 he commissioned the construction of the Grand Théâtre and the annexed Casino, as well as the famous Société des Bains de Mer, created in 1863 to enhance the beautiful Mediterranean beaches and the particularly mild climate of the place. In 1868, taking advantage of the construction of the French railway line, Charles III also had a first station built, which stood in the La Rousse-Saint Roman district. Founded following the opening of a first gambling house to restore the state budget, the new Casino soon became a prestigious attraction which achieved such a turnover that it allowed Charles III to opt for the abolition of all direct taxes. The surrounding neighborhood was also born with the Casino, which was named in his memory with the name of Monte Carlo.

In 1860, following the Plombières Accords of 1858, Savoy, the territories surrounding the Principality and the County of Nice were again annexed to France with the Treaty of Turin, as territorial compensation for the military support given by France to the Italian Risorgimento ; since then the Principality of Monaco borders only with France, with which it maintains close ties, sanctioned by the Treaty of Versailles of 1919.

In 1911, following a series of street protests defined as the Monegasque revolution, the Principality revised its system of government, establishing the form of constitutional monarchy, and was divided into the three municipalities of Monaco Vecchia, Monte Carlo and La Condamine. After 1917, the three municipalities became four districts, with the addition of Fontvieille, and were again merged into the single municipality of Monaco.

During the Second World War, Louis II of Monaco was forced to manage the delicate issue of the Italian and German occupation from November 1942, while maintaining the neutrality of the small state.

The most recent and radical transformation of the Principality is due to Prince Ranieri III who, having ascended the throne in 1949, continued with the realization of the ambitious project of creating a high-level international tourist centre; this intention was facilitated by the meeting with the famous American actress Grace Kelly, who became his wife in 1956.

Princess Grace Kelly managed to confirm the prestige of the Monegasque royal family. Thus, Charles de Gaulle's France had one less reason to annex the micro-nation. Subsequently Monaco became a coveted place for numerous celebrities, with the consequent increase in requests for prestigious properties. The work of Prince Rainier III was characterized by the growing real estate development and expansion of the areas of Larvotto and Fontvieille, a district built in the seventies on land reclaimed from the sea. In addition to increasing the size of the Monaco territory by 40%, he also concentrated on the promulgation of favorable financial laws, which contributed to increasing the international aura of the "dream" Principality. To counter the flight of capital and residents in the Principality of Monaco, the neighboring nation France imposed the promulgation of a law that still today prohibits particular privileges to those who obtained Monegasque citizenship after 1957.

From the marriage of Prince Rainier III with Princess Grace Kelly three children were born: Caroline, Albert and Stéphanie; unfortunately, on 13 September 1982, the tragic death of his wife following a serious car accident deprived the Principality of Monaco of the figure of Princess Grace, to the great dismay of the Monegasque population and the entire international entertainment world.

However, Prince Ranieri III continued with his family in his ambitious development project, also supported by his son-in-law Stefano Casiraghi, husband of the eldest daughter Caroline. Unfortunately Stefano Casiraghi also died suddenly on October 3, 1990 following a nautical accident that occurred during the offshore world championships, while he was off Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, piloting his catamaran.

In 1993 the Principality of Monaco became a member of the United Nations and, although it is not part of the European Union, it has aligned itself with the economic and customs policy of Europe, also adopting the Euro.

In the spring of 2005 the health conditions of the old Ranieri became critical and his son Albert II took over the regency. On 6 April of the same year, after the death of his father, who died at the age of 82, Albert II became the new ruler of the Principality of Monaco.

On 1 July 2011, Albert II of Monaco was civilly married to former Zimbabwean athlete and model Charlène Wittstock; the religious function was celebrated by the Archbishop of Monaco, Monsignor Bernard Barsi on 2 July 2011 at the Palace of the Princes of Monaco, in the presence of representatives of the major noble houses of Europe, as well as celebrities and financial figures.



Physical geography

Remnant of the ancient Italian states, the Principality of Monaco with its 2.02 km² is, after the Vatican City, the second smallest sovereign state in the world.

Its territory is a narrow strip of land on the Côte d'Azur at the foot of the Alps whose highest point is at the top of the Chemin des Révoires, 163 meters above sea level. It falls within the Italian geographical region, overlooking the Riviera di Ponente, on the coast of the Ligurian Sea, 18 kilometers east of Nice and 14 km southwest of Ventimiglia and on the border with Italy.


Political geography

It is surrounded on three sides by the French department of Alpes-Maritimes in the French region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and borders the French communes of Cap-d'Ail, Beausoleil, La Turbie and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, of which it shares part of the urban agglomeration.

From an administrative point of view, the principality consists of a single municipality, divided into ten administrative districts (Quartiers) which cover the entire national territory.



The principality's climate is typically Mediterranean, characterized by mild, wet winters and hot, dry, windy summers with a high percentage of sunny days.

The average temperature, according to the last 75 years of observations, varies from 10.2 °C in January to 23.7 °C in August, while the days of sunshine are around an annual average of 107 and those with rain do not exceed 62. Snow precipitations are very rare.


State order

Government system

The Principality of Monaco has been a hereditary constitutional monarchy since 1911. Its system of government is a unicameral one and, according to the Constitution of the Principality of 17 December 1962, the legislative power belongs to the reigning sovereign in the role of Head of State, who since 6 April 2005 is Albert II of Monaco, son of Rainier III and Grace Kelly, already regent since March 31 of the same year.

Executive power is exercised by the Government (Gouvernement Princier), made up of the Minister of State (Ministre d'État), the second office of the State, appointed by the reigning prince from a list of candidates proposed by France, and by the Council of Government (Conseil du Gouvernement Princier) which in turn presides; this body is made up of five Ministries (Départements), represented by as many ministers (Conseillers du Gouvernement Princier). The current Minister of State is Pierre Dartout.

Legislative power is exercised by the reigning prince and by the National Council (Conseil National), the parliament made up of 24 members elected every 5 years by direct universal suffrage elections and by list ballot by Monegasques over the age of 21. This assembly votes the laws and the state budget, meeting twice a year in ordinary session, and can be convened in extraordinary session by the prince or at the request of 2/3 of the members. The meetings are public and the report of the debates published in the Official Gazette of Monaco. The prince has the initiative of the law; therefore, bills are prepared by the Government and voted by the National Council, but only the prince has the power of promulgation.

The judicial power belongs to the sovereign, who delegates its full exercise to the courts and tribunals. In Monaco there is no Minister of Justice, whose functions are managed by the Directorate of Judicial Services (Direction des Services Judiciaires); the judges are independent and the judicial organization of the principality is complete. The judicial system refers to French law and makes use of the activity of a Supreme Court (Tribunal Suprême), which deals with constitutional aspects, administrative disputes and conflicts of jurisdiction.

Then there are other administrative bodies:
Crown Council (Conseil de la Couronne): appointed by the Prince, it includes 7 members of Monegasque nationality. The president and three members of the Council are appointed by the sovereign. The three remaining members are appointed on the proposal of the National Council. It meets at least twice a year to deliberate decisions on matters concerning the best interests of the state. It is compulsorily consulted for international treaties, the dissolution of the National Council, applications for naturalization and cases of pardon or amnesty;
Council of State (Conseil d'État): it is a consultative assembly made up of 12 members designated by the prince, whose mission is to issue, at the request of the prince, an opinion on draft laws and sovereign ordinances.
Economic Council (Conseil Économique et Social): made up of 30 members appointed by the prince and upon presentation by the Government, the Patronal Federation and the Workers' Union (Union des syndicats de Monaco). The Government can consult him on State economic matters and his essential function is to foster dialogue between the social partners.


The dynastic question and the succession to the throne

A peculiarity about the principality concerned its fate in the absence of direct heirs of the reigning prince: in their absence, in fact, the Monegasque territory would have become French. Until 2002, to make up for this legislative loophole, it was only possible to issue an ordinance (Ordonnance Souvraine) which legitimized the assumption of the Grimaldi surname and coat of arms, for all male members who married a descendant of the aforementioned family. However, in 2002 an amendment to the Principality's Constitution issued by the Conseil National established that "in the absence of direct and legitimate descendants, the succession takes place for the benefit of the brothers and sisters of the reigning prince and their direct and legitimate descendants, in order of primogeniture, with precedence given to males with the same degree of kinship". This will allow the Principality of Monaco to remain a sovereign state even in the absence of direct heirs to the throne.


Public security

The Principality of Monaco is one of the few autonomous states in the world that does not have a national army.

However, the Police de Monaco, as the only police force in the principality, carries out a widespread service throughout the territory. The body of the Police de Monaco was founded in 1902 at the behest of Prince Albert I and since 1962 it has depended directly on the Minister of State. With over 500 police officers at its disposal, the Police de Monaco incessantly patrols (by car or more often on foot) the streets and places of greatest affluence and, supported by a complex system of video cameras, constantly keeps the entire town under control and all the accesses to it.

There is also a division named Police Maritime which operates every year in the summer to patrol the waters and the major public beach located in the Larvotto district.

Then there is the Prince's Company of Carabinieri (Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince) which is a special ceremonial military unit in service at the Palazzo dei Principi, founded by Prince Honoré IV in 1817 with the name of Company of the Guards. The military corps assumed its current name on 26 January 1904 following a reorganization desired by Prince Albert I and its task is to protect the person of the sovereign prince and his family, especially on solemn civil, military and religious. It is therefore present on every public occasion within the principality where a member of the Grimaldi family is present and often also makes use of the collaboration of the Police de Monaco.

The principality can also count on the Corps des Sapeurs-Pompiers, the firefighters, who have two operations centers: in the Fontvieille and La Condamine districts.

The number to dial for any type of emergency is 17.



Political parties

There are mainly three parties: Union of Monegasques (Union Monégasque), Grouping & Betting (Rassemblement & Enjeux) and Primo! Priority Monaco (Primo! Priorité Monaco). Other parties are the National Union for the Future of Monaco (Union nationale pour l'avenir de Monaco) and the Union for the Principality (Union pour la Principauté), gathered in the coalition Union for Monaco (Union pour Monaco). There are also minor parties, the most important of which are Promotion of the Monegasque Family (Promotion de la famille monégasque) and Monegasque Synergy.

Elections to the National Council (Conseil National) take place every five years; the last legislative elections in 2018 assigned the absolute majority of votes to Priorité Monaco (21 seats), to the outgoing coalition (mainly made up of Raggruppamento & Scommesse members) 26.1% (2 seats) and to Union Monégasque on 16 .2% (one seat).



The Union des syndicats de Monaco is the only trade union in the Principality of Monaco and brings together all the acronyms of trade unions.



Thanks to the huge revenues of four very famous casinos and the various tourist activities managed by the Société des Bains de Mer group, the economy of the principality is characterized by the absence of direct taxes and by the presence of a highly confidential banking secrecy; this makes it a sort of "tax haven". However, according to a precise agreement stipulated with France, French citizens cannot enjoy this exemption if they obtained citizenship of the principality after 1957.

With over 200,000 visitors annually, its flourishing economy is based on tourism, but also on various financial and real estate activities and on light industry active in the chemical, cosmetic, food, clothing and polygraphic sectors.

Although the principality is not part of the European Union (and will never be able to be part of it until there are direct taxes on citizens), at the customs level it is considered as such, therefore all companies on its territory have their own "VAT" (the European VAT) starting with the abbreviation "FR".

The principality was linked to the French franc for a very long time, but since 2002 the legal tender has been the euro. Similarly to what happened with the franc, even with the entry into force of the euro, the Principality of Monaco has continued to mint its own coins in reduced quantities and for this reason they are also highly sought after by collectors. The face of Albert II is portrayed on the 2 euro and 1 euro coins, the monogram of Prince Albert II is depicted on the 50, 20 and 10 cent coins, while the 5, 2 and 1 cent coins bear the the princely coat of arms of the Grimaldi dynasty.

An example above all, which testifies to the value and rarity of some coins of the principality of Monaco, is the 2 euro commemorative coin minted in 2007 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the death of Princess Grace Kelly. The value of this coin easily exceeds €1000 and is highly sought after by numismatic collectors.




The Principality of Monaco, despite its small size, is a cosmopolitan state. Furthermore, the population density rate is the highest in the world, with an average of 1.86 inhabitants per square decametre. It has a presence of 38,800 inhabitants of which just 7,634 are Monegasques, or 20.1% of the population, so that the Principality of Monaco is one of the European sovereign states with the lowest percentage of native population.

The most important presence is that of the French with 26.3% of the population, followed by the Italians (18.57%) and the British (7.51%).

The remaining 24% includes about 140 different nationalities.

France France, 8 435
Munich Munich, 8 218
Italy Italy, 5 558
United Kingdom United Kingdom, 2 378
Portugal Portugal, 1 003



According to the provisions of the Constitution, Monegasque citizenship is acquired by naturalisation, marriage, adoption or filiation.

In the latter case, article 1 of the Law on Citizenship makes use of the ius sanguinis, therefore the child born of a Monegasque father is Monegasque. As far as the transmission of citizenship from the mother's side is concerned, the legislative framework is more complex; in fact, the person born:
to a mother born in Monaco who still held citizenship at the time of birth;
to a Monegasque mother with a Monegasque-born ancestor;
from a Monegasque mother who acquired Monegasque nationality by naturalisation, by reintegration or by option in application of law number 964 of 8 July 1975;
from a mother who acquired Monegasque citizenship following a declaration preceded by simple adoption.

Unlike in the past, being a resident or born in the Principality of Monaco does not entitle you to acquire Monegasque citizenship. Only individuals born in Monaco of unknown parents obtain Monegasque citizenship by birth; this is the only case in which Monegasque law uses the ius soli, in addition to the usual ius sanguinis.

Residents of the Principality of Monaco benefit from advantageous tax conditions, such as the total absence of any direct tax, with the exception of residents of French citizenship, who are subject to French taxation following the tax convention of 18 May 1963. Hence the considerable interest in obtaining this residency and its rights.


Religion and popular traditions

The Catholic religion is the official cult of the state, however religious freedom is guaranteed.

The principality is the seat of the archdiocese of Monaco, immediately subject to the Holy See and governed by Archbishop Dominique-Marie David, since 21 January 2020. The cathedral of the Immaculate Conception stands in the Old Monaco district.

The patron saint of the principality is Saint Devota, a Roman martyr whose veneration dates back to 300 AD. She is celebrated on January 27 of each year by the faithful who flock to the small and graceful chapel of the same name at the port, to then proceed with the ritual burning of the boat duly filled with olive, pine and laurel branches. Tradition has it that a thief, in ancient times, wanting to take possession of the relics of the saint, was blocked fleeing on a boat by some fishermen and that this was burned; the re-enactment of this event is meant to symbolize the expiation of sins.

Another venerated saint is Saint Romanus, a legionary martyred in 258 AD. during the reign of Emperor Valerian; his anniversary is November 19th.

On the other hand, June 24 is dedicated to the anniversary of Saint John the Baptist and for the occasion on the square of the Palais Princier parades in historical costumes, dances and songs are held, while inside the chapel of the palace, dedicated to Saint John, the Grimaldi family attend a religious ceremony. Subsequently, two valets of the palace light a large bonfire in the center of the square, around which it is customary to dance the farandole, an ancient Provençal dance that symbolizes the human journey through life's experiences.



The official language of the State is French but, due to the international tourist vocation of the principality and the high presence of foreign residents of various nationalities, Italian and English are also widely spoken.

Monaco (monégasque or monéguier/muneghié), on the other hand, is a Ligurian dialect similar to the Ventimiglia dialect. It enjoyed the prerogative of official language together with French until 1962 [citation needed], the year of the entry into force of the new Constitution, and is optionally taught in the schools of the principality. In the alleys of the old town, the street names are shown in both French and Monegasque, as well as on the signs that delimit the national borders.

Finally, Occitan is a known language, especially until the mid-nineteenth century, when the territory of the principality was more extensive, but in recent decades it has been spoken very little.


School system

Monegasque education depends on the Départment de l'Intérieur and is free and compulsory from 6 to 16 years of age. Organized on the model of the French one, it includes primary schools and seven-year lycées.

The principality of Monaco has its own university: the International University of Monaco, founded in 1986.

In the Fontvieille district there is also a private university with courses exclusively in English, mainly oriented towards economic disciplines.

Sanitary system
From a medical point of view, the principality offers an excellent level of health care service but, not being part of the European Union, requires specific documentation or health insurance policy for all non-resident foreign citizens.

The modern Center Hôspitalier "Princesse Grace" polyclinic is located in the La Colle district, made up of the hospital which is located in the principality and of Cap Fleuri, located across the border in Cap-d'Ail. The facility specializes in cardiac surgery and overall hosts 17 wards with over 600 beds.

In addition, the following private structures are based in Munich:
Institut Monégasque de Médecine et Chirurgie Sportive (clinic specializing in sports medicine)
Center Cardio-Thoracique (a world renowned private cardiology clinic)
Center d'Hémodialyse (specialized hemodialysis clinic)
Clinique "Ranieri III" (geriatric clinic)
Finally, the Monegasque Red Cross (Croix-Rouge Monégasque), or the National Society of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, founded on 23 March 1948 by Prince Louis II, is located at 27 Boulevard de Suisse.



Vehicles and license plates
The Principality of Monaco issues its own vehicle registration plates for all motor vehicles and motor vehicles registered in its territory by persons or companies residing there and on which road tax is in force.

They are recognizable by their smaller size compared to other European plates and the blue alphanumeric characters on a white background; to the side there is a box, where the receipt of the road tax is applied annually in the form of a sticker bearing the coat of arms of the principality and the current year.

In addition to a whole series of plates intended for particular uses (public transport, diplomatic corps, vintage cars, test plates, temporary plates), there are also plates intended for vehicles used by the Grimaldi family, distinguished by the letters "MC" before the numbering and by the Grimaldi coat of arms next to it.

Since 2013, plates also include the initials "MC" in a blue rectangle, in compliance with European Community standards.

Roads and highways
The Principality of Monaco has no motorway section within it and the closest motorway exit is the La Turbie exit "58" of the Autoroute A8 "La Provençale", which is connected to Monaco via the Autoroute A500, of owned by Autoroutes Esterel-Côte-d'Azur (ESCOTA); the toll booth of the A8 is 8 km from the Principality of Monaco.

The other connections with France are with the following departmental roads:

D 53 Monaco - Beausoleil
D 6307 Monaco - La Turbie
Furthermore, the D 6007 which goes from Menton to Mandelieu-la-Napoule passes not far from the border with the Principality of Monaco.

The principality has its own urban transport company managed by the CAM (Compagnie des Autobus de Monaco), founded in 1936.

The company is made up of a fleet of 34 buses that manage 5 ordinary urban lines, for a total of 43 km and 142 ordinary stops.

For users over 65 years of age, the service is completely free.

The Principality of Monaco is also crossed for 1.7 km by the railway line, managed by the French company SNCF, the only station is that Monaco - Monte Carlo which is partly located in the neighboring French municipality of Beausoleil.

You bring
Renowned marina for decades, destination of celebrities from all over the world, Port of Hercules Port Hércule is the main port of call of the principality. During the first years of the 21st century it underwent a major expansion, which now also allows large cruise ships to dock, thanks to the construction of a semi-mobile quay partly anchored in the water and partly fixed to the mainland.

Not far away there is also a second minor port, the port of Fontvieille, built in the seventies together with the district of the same name.

Air connections
The nearest airport is Nice Airport, 32 km away. In the principality there is a well-equipped heliport on the seafront in the Fontvieille district with two transport companies which guarantee capillary connections by helicopter with the nearby "Nice Cote d'Azur" airport in just a few minutes.

Another helicopter landing pad is located on top of the Center Hôspitalier "Princesse Grace".


Media and communication systems

Postal Service
A first Monegasque postal delivery service began as early as 1640 following a Franco-Monegasque friendship treaty.

The first Monegasque stamps were only printed from 1885 at the behest of Prince Charles III. Since 1937, the postal service of the principality has been managed by the company La Poste Monaco.

Founded at the behest of Prince Louis II, the historic headquarters are at the Palais de la Scala, in Avenue Henri Dunant and consists of 7 branches within the principality.

The postal code of the Principality of Monaco is, similarly to the French system, distinguished by the number 98000.

As early as 1890, the principality was equipped with the first public telephones managed by the Office Monégasque des Téléphones.

In 1997 Monaco Telecom was born, which supplies the principality's residents and businesses with the full range of products and services of a telecommunications operator, holding a monopoly on fixed-line telephony, internet access and television according to a concession agreement stipulated between the Monegasque State and Monaco Telecom.

The telephone company is a member of Eurecom and has also developed on the international market by establishing various commercial agreements with other players in the telecommunications sector.

All calls made within the territory of the principality are completely free.

Press and newspapers
There is only one newspaper in the principality:
Monaco Matin (local edition of Nice Matin)

Three weekly:
Le Journal de Monaco (the equivalent of the Official Gazette)
Monk Hebdo
Five monthly:
The Principality
The Observer of Monaco
The Monaco Gazette
Montecarlo In (in Italian language)
WAP Munich
In addition to numerous other periodicals.

In 1933, in the European frequency plan, a radio wavelength was assigned to the Principality of Monaco. At the end of the 1930s Max Brusset, former owner of Radio Méditerranée, asked for authorization to found an entirely Monegasque radio station based in the principality.

Thus was born RMC, national radio of the principality and its exclusive broadcaster from 1943 to 1981. Since then RMC has grown into an editorial group at the head of different radio stations broadcasting from Monaco and Paris to the Principality of Monaco, France and the Middle East.

In 1966 an Italian-language radio channel of the same name was also born which later, thanks to the direction of Noël Coutisson, became the independent broadcaster Radio Monte Carlo with headquarters and studios in Milan, Rome and Monaco, from which it broadcasts simultaneously on Italy, Principality of Monaco and the French Riviera.

Its moment of maximum splendor was between the end of the sixties and the mid-seventies. The private broadcaster, free from the constraints of traditional Italian radios, broadcast songs often censored by Rai, helping to spread an informal language throughout the peninsula.

Purchased by the Finelco S.p.A. Group in 1987, since then it has become part of a network that includes the major Italian private radio stations.

Overall, the following radio stations are present in the principality:
Monaco Info (broadcasts in French)
Radio Monaco (98.2 MHz / 95.4, broadcasts in French language)
Radio FG Monaco (96.1 MHz, broadcasts in French)
RMC (98.8 MHz, broadcasts in French)
Radio Monte-Carlo (92.7 / 101.6 MHz / 106.8 / 107.3 MHz, broadcasts in Italian)
Riviera Radio (106.3/106.5 MHz, broadcasts in English)

In the Principality of Monaco almost all the channels of French television and some of Italian television can be received, in addition there is Télé Monte-Carlo, also known only by the acronym TMC, which is the national television broadcaster of the principality, as well as the oldest broadcaster private television station in Europe, founded in 1954 and inaugurated by Prince Rainier III. His first live television broadcast was on the occasion of Prince Rainier III's Mariage Princier with American actress Grace Kelly.

In the 1980s an agreement was stipulated with France and the signal was strengthened, which could be picked up as far as Montpellier.

After a period of decline and downsizing during the nineties, the channel was relaunched returning to a daily programming. Since 2001, the channel has taken on a new format which has reduced its connotation as a Monaco network and has become available via digital terrestrial.

TMC's target audience is general entertainment and news dissemination.

Similarly to what happened for the Monegasque radio station, in 1974 TMC also began broadcasting its programs in Italian and a television station of the same name was founded with headquarters in Milan, becoming one of the first national networks in the nascent Italian private television market. The Italian TMC was active until 2001, when it changed its name to LA7.

There are also two other private television stations in the principality: Monaco Channel and Monaco Info.


The city

One of the most exclusive destinations in the world, the city is characterized by a densely populated urban area which coincides with the entire area of the Principality of Monaco. In addition to the Rocca (le Rocher) and the Palazzo dei Principi, one of its characteristics is the dense succession of various multi-storey buildings concentrated mainly in the Larvotto district and in that of Monte Carlo, considered the true geographical centre.

It houses the famous Sporting-Club, the Port Hércule and the famous Casino, perhaps the best-known place, visited by tens of thousands of people who try their luck and stay in the exclusive Hôtel de Paris or at the no less well-known Hérmitage.

The urban plan is complex and varied, with more or less pronounced curves and gradients sloping down towards the seafront. However, a good road organization, a series of tunnels and numerous underground car parks make it quite easy to travel and park even with your own means.

The constant need for building space has led since the seventies to a great expansion of its territory by subtracting space from the sea. The most obvious example is the Fontvieille district where, together with an industrial area and a second port, there is also the multipurpose stadium named after Louis II.

Since the nineties, the city, in constant ferment, has been affected by the construction of new accommodation infrastructures and by expansion works in the areas closest to the sea and in Port Hércule itself, which is now able to accommodate even the largest cruise ships . In the La Rousse - Saint Roman district, the Tour Odéon was built (2009-2015), the tallest skyscraper in the principality at 170 m in height.

The city also has several green areas, including the Japanese Garden, which is located near the Grimaldi Forum.

Administrative subdivision
The Principality has no administrative subdivisions, but its entire territory constitutes a single municipality which, however, has a legal personality distinct from that of the State.

The four traditional neighborhoods are:
Old Monaco, the original city, located on a rocky promontory that extends over the Mediterranean, known as le Rocher (the Rock);
La Condamine, the port area (Port Hércule);
Monte Carlo, undoubtedly the most famous area of the principality, known for its famous casino, social life and because its streets host the famous Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix;
Fontvieille, the new residential area that extends southwest, towards Nice, built almost entirely on an embankment conquered from the sea.

Other sub-neighborhoods are counted for statistical purposes:
Moneghetti (in the La Condamine area);
Larvotto (in the Monte Carlo area), the easternmost area, where the beaches and the famous Sporting Club are located;
La Rousse/Saint-Roman (including Le Ténao), in the Monte Carlo area;
Saint Michel, in the Monte Carlo area;
La Colle, in the La Condamine area;
Les Révoires (in the La Condamine area), the innermost area, where the well-known exotic garden is located.

An eleventh district, Le Portier, is being studied and should be built on an expansion area towards the sea, in the area between Monte Carlo and Larvotto. The project was abandoned in 2009 by Prince Albert II due to the state of the principality's finances but new funds were subsequently raised and the project was restarted.