Monaco’s art scene is gear­ing up for an eclec­tic cal­en­dar of events

Bloomberg Pursuits - - Editor ’s Note -

Even mun­dane na­tional sta­tis­tics take on an air of glam­our when you’re talk­ing about Monaco. Un­em­ploy­ment rate? Zero. Tax rate? Zero. Num­ber of mil­lion­aires per capita? High­est in the world, at 30 per­cent of its 37,800 res­i­dents. Real es­tate? The world’s most ex­pen­sive, at $5,300 to $5,900 per square foot. That’s a lot of lux­ury packed into 499 acres—half the size of New York’s Cen­tral Park. But for all of its wealth and luxe rep­u­ta­tion, Monaco is wel­com­ing to more than 300,000 vis­i­tors an­nu­ally.

“Since it’s sit­u­ated in the South­ern Alps, I like to think of Monaco as hav­ing South­ern hos­pi­tal­ity,” says Cindy Hod­de­son of the Monaco Govern­ment Tourist Of­fice. “It's a very in­ter­na­tional pop­u­la­tion. Al­most ev­ery­one speaks French, English and Ital­ian.”

Of course, Monaco hosts the most pres­ti­gious For­mula 1 race, the Monaco Grand Prix, and it’s home to the ex­trav­a­gant James Bond fa­vorite, Casino de Monte-Carlo. But per­haps less well known is that Monaco has al­ways been a cul­tural par­adise of fes­ti­vals, mu­sic, art ex­hi­bi­tions and galas.

The sum­mer of­fers an eclec­tic cal­en­dar of events that adds to its al­lure as one of the most sought-af­ter des­ti­na­tions of­fer­ing vis­i­tors a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence. July’s ac­tiv­i­ties kick off with the Monte-Carlo In­ter­na­tional Mu­si­cal Fire­works Com­pe­ti­tion, which at­tracts thou­sands to Port Her­cule to view stun­ning fire­work dis­plays. Once night falls dur­ing the sum­mer, Monte-Carlo sparkles even brighter with fab­u­lous sum­mer con­certs at the ex­clu­sive Salle des Etoiles of the Monte-Carlo Sport­ing Club. And what could be bet­ter than to es­cape un­der the stars as you sit in the main court­yard of the Princely Palace and lis­ten to the mu­sic of the Monte-Carlo Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra?

In ad­di­tion, this sum­mer Monaco of­fers two ma­jor art ex­hi­bi­tions: the Grimaldi Fo­rum’s “Fran­cis Ba­con, Monaco and French Cul­ture,” which will be on dis­play from July 2–Sept. 4 and ex­plores his Mone­gasque pe­riod; and the New Na­tional Mu­seum’s cel­e­bra­tion of the late Amer­i­can sculp­tor Duane Han­son at Villa Paloma un­til Aug. 28.

“Monaco is so small, ex­plor­ing by foot is one of the best ways to see it,” Hod­de­son adds. “For peo­ple at­tracted to the story of Princess Grace, the Amer­i­can who found her prince, one can take a self-guided tour that stops at points of in­ter­est in her life.” Ev­ery vis­i­tor should also tour the Oceano­graphic Mu­seum, founded in 1910 by Prince Al­bert I and home to Jacques Cousteau, the mu­seum’s di­rec­tor from 1957 to 1988. And per­haps the most royal thing you can ex­pe­ri­ence in Monaco? “Don’t miss the door-to-door he­li­copter trans­fer from France’s Nice Air­port,” Hod­de­son says. “It’s truly spe­cial.”

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