The Principality of Monaco is located on the Mediterranean Sea, along the French Riviera, about twenty kilometers east of Nice and 8.1 km from Menton, in France, on the border of Italy . Surrounded by the French cities of Cap d’Ail, Beausoleil, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and La Turbie, the Principality has direct access to the sea and territorial waters joining international waters.
Monaco occupies an area of 2.02 km². It is the second smallest independent state in the world, the first being the Vatican (which you can discover in the article about Rome by clicking here). At the time of the last census of 2015, Monaco had 38,400 inhabitants. With 19,009 inhabitants per km2 and an urbanization which covers almost all its surface area, it is the most densely populated country in the world.
It has been a constitutional monarchy since 1911 and the state has been ruled since 2005 by the sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco. It is part of the Grimaldi dynasty which is one of the oldest reigning dynasties in the world!
The Grimaldi are a family of genoese origin which has several branches remaining. The most famous branch is that of the lords and princes of Monaco, but the family has also produced other branches which have given counts of Beuil, lords of Antibes, counts of Puget, lords of Nice, marquises Of Beaufort, & c. Several of its members have also been bishops, archbishops and cardinals.
Here is the chronology of the princes of Monaco:
The principality benefits from a particularly clement Mediterranean climate and has many luxurious hotel facilities. I went there for a few days in the spring and it was very nice to walk around the little streets of the city, discover the luxury shops (in which you can not afford anything!), Stroll around the Parks or along the sea taking advantage of the sun …
The Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place there and the Monte Carlo casino, the Oceanographic Museum, the Prince’s Palace, the city tour, attract many tourists throughout the year.
Tourism generates about 25% of the Principality’s revenues and the turnover of the hotel sector was € 357 million in 2005. Monaco is the second most expensive city in the world (behind London) for Real estate prices (35 000 euros per square meter in the most exclusive neighborhoods, such as the Carré d’Or in Monte-Carlo).