I receive a question for my Ask Journeys column that talked about plans to travel to Cannes this year. The writer always followed the love story of Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco. She wondered if it was worth taking the extra time to spend a day or two there?
For the uninitiated, Grace Kelly was an Academy Award winning actor who fell in love and married Prince Rainier of Monaco. This 1950’s actor gave up acting completely and her story was what romance novels are made of.
I have been to Monaco twice. This principality is on the border of France and still draws the rich and the famous. While the communities nearby bring up the numbers to over one hundred thousand, the population of Monaco itself is under 30 thousand.
Its gambling casinos are still popular and its harbour is always loaded with the most expensive yachts you are likely to find anywhere.
While it is also one of the safest areas in the world, if you do decide to go it should be noted that thieves do occasionally target out-of-Monaco vehicles to break into looking for valuables.
Accommodations in Monaco are very expensive, although they are in Cannes as well. However, Monaco has fewer options.
Because of your yearning to experience the Grace Kelly history I think it is definitely worth visiting. There are a number of day tours you can take that travel through some of the quaint communities in the region as well.
Whether you drive or take a tour, you are sure to be impressed by the many panoramic views along the coastline.
Until recently, Monaco was head office for many international associations because of a policy of taxes and low rents that were attractive. This was done to keep the flow of high level tourists to the principality.
It was for such an association meeting that took me to Monaco for my first visit. It coincidentally was timed around Valentine’s Day.
That evening we were dining in one of the better hotel restaurants in the city.
As I looked at the many well-heeled, grey-haired gentlemen around the room, I could not help but make the facetious observation that “It was really nice that all these men had decided to take their granddaughters out for Valentines dinner.” And drinks back at the yacht, I presume.