Sights & Attractions in Monaco
It's positively feudal, the idea that an ancient dynasty of aristocrats could still hold fast to its patch of coastline, the last scrap of a once-vast domain. But that's just what the Grimaldi family did, clinging to a few acres of glory and maintaining their own license plates, their own telephone area code (377—don't forget to dial this when calling Monaco from France or other countries), and their own highly forgiving tax system. Yet the Principality of Monaco covers just 499 acres and would fit comfortably inside New York's Central Park or a family farm in Iowa. And its 7,634 pampered Monegasques citizens would fill only a small fraction of the seats in Yankee Stadium. The harbor district, known as La Condamine, connects the new quarter, officially known as Monte Carlo, with the Vieille Ville, officially known as Monaco-Ville (or Le Rocher). Have no fear that you'll need to climb countless steps to get to the Vieille Ville, as there are plenty of elevators and escalators ascending the steep cliffs.
Prince Rainier III, the family patriarch who famously wed Grace Kelly and brought Hollywood glamour to his toy kingdom, passed away in April 2005; his son, the eminently responsible Prince Albert, took over as head of the family and principality.
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