ten reasons, Monaco

Monaco,
wow factor

Villa Élise houses the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation, devoted to the Irish-born British artist.
ten reasons, Monaco
ten reasons, Monaco
ten reasons, Monaco
ten reasons, Monaco
ten reasons, Monaco
ten reasons, Monaco
ten reasons, Monaco
ten reasons, Monaco
ten reasons, Monaco
ten reasons, Monaco
ten reasons, Monaco
Say Monaco, and a fairy-tale vision comes to mind. In addition to the yachts and the glitter, this Rock is home to a prince and princesses, all of whom are passionate about art, science and culture. Over time, they have turned this city-state into a special place where people can find the freedom they need to create.

1.

When opera sets the tone

This is where it all started and where everything converges. The extravagant little candy box built by Charles Garnier as an extension to the casino was Monte-Carlo’s first cultural tourist site. The only opera house with a view of the sea was inaugurated with a performance by Sarah Bernhardt, and it was here that Serge Diaghilev and his famous Ballets Russes staged productions that marked the Rock’s cultural life forever. Only Maria Callas is missing from the line-up. Jean-Louis Grinda, director of this 600-seat theater, sees its smallness as an asset for artists performing for spectators who don’t miss a thing, as it forces the former to seek perfection. All of the Principality’s cultural institutions collaborate here, from dancers of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo to scenography students at the Pavillon Bosio.

Opéra de Monte-Carlo

Place du Casino. Tél. +377 98 06 28 28.

www.opera.mc

2.

Maritime curiosities

The Musée Océanographique, the brainchild of Albert Ithe “sailor prince”has been overlooking the Mediterranean since 1910, its spectacular Belle Époque facade towering above the sheer cliff face, built up against the Rock. Its aquariums, collections and fabulous early 20th-century interiors and its exciting temporary exhibitions (from Damien Hirst to Philippe Pasqua) attest to the passion for the arts and sciences shared by the two Prince Alberts. A century after the museum opened, artist Mark Dion built and filled the largest curiosity cabinet in the world; covering 180 m2, it reflects the astonishingly rich history of this temple to the sea.

Musée océanographique de Monaco

Avenue Saint-Martin. Tél. +377 93 15 36 00.

www.oceano.mc

3.

Great minds

It started with the encounter of a high school student, Charlotte Casiraghi, with philosophy, and also with her teacher, Robert Maggiori. A few years later, together with Joseph Cohen and Raphael Zagury-Orly, they created Les Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco, providing the discipline with a platform for expression that is open to all. The Rencontres organizes workshops and gatherings around an annual theme, and also self-publishes quality books. After Love, then The Body, the 2017–2018 season focuses on Violence. Some of the Rencontres will be held in Paris.

Atelier «Esthétique de la violence»

Le 18 janvier. Théâtre Princesse-Grace. 12, avenue d’Ostende, Monaco.

Table ronde «Préserver, défis de l’écologie»

Le 23 janvier. Maison des Océans. 195, rue Saint-Jacques, Paris.

www.philomonaco.com

4.

The dream studio

The poetic imaginary world of Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon was a feature of the French landscape in the 1970s and 1980s, from his Everymen flying through the air and melancholic music on TV to tricolor birds on stamps and numerous magazine covers. In 1983, he settled in Monaco, in a studio-apartment made available to him by Prince Rainier III. There, Botero, Adami, Sosno and Arman came into his orbit. In 2005, Folon himself flew off, departing to join his characters, and since then, time has stood still. Neither the plates in his kitchen, nor the tubes of paint by his canvases seem to have moved in this touching little museum peopled by his creations. And once a month, you can sit at the artist’s table and learn how to watercolor.

Atelier Folon

Visite sur rendez-vous. 8, quai Antoine-Ier. Tél. +377 93 50 06 10.

www.fondationfolon.be/atelierfolon

5.

Land grab

Some 37,000 inhabitants share 2 km2 of rock squeezed between mountain and sea, enjoying an exceptional quality of life. A unique city-state, Monaco is a textbook example of urban development. On the seafront, cranes are busy: 6 hectares are being claimed from the sea, the only place to expand outward, while carefully respecting the ecosystemno fish will be disturbed here. People will soon be walking on water in this new neighborhood, which is to feature a complex by Renzo Piano. The leading names in architecture have produced buildings here: Norman Foster designed the Yacht Club de Monaco in 2014, while Rudy Ricciotti has planted five greenhouses and five glass cubes in the Jardin Exotique. And soon, perhaps, a cable car will give residents even greater mobility.

6.

Starred cuisine

In his organic kitchen garden at the foot of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel, Marcel Ravin cultivates his native Martinique: taro, pepper elder, chili peppers, allspice . . . His restaurant the Blue Bayawarded a Michelin star in 2015is the personal story of this kid from the islands. The first chapters can be read in the plates, the work of ceramicist Peggy Desmeules, which evoke his initiatory journey, from crab pot fishing to the lagoons and their different shades of blue, which he spotted from the airplane he left in. At the Blue Bay, Ravin serves spontaneous, seasonal cuisine that is a blend of influences, like the Caribbean, infused with memories of the grandmother who raised him. At La Table de Marcel, a perch for two overlooking the kitchen, experience the beautiful tale through 14 dishes, in a tête-à-tête with the chef and his team.

Le Blue Bay

Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, 40, avenue Princesse-Grace. Tél. +377 98 06 03 60.

fr.montecarlosbm.com

La table de Marcel

Tél. +377 98 06 03 60.

7.

School’s out

There’s a fine view from the tip of the Rock. On one side stretches the Mediterranean, on the other, Port Hercules dotted with masts. The setting of the École Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques de la Ville de Monaco is as special as the relationship between the institutions of this capital, where everyone knows everyone else. The students, who specialize in scenography, or performance and exhibition design, have easy access to the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, the Nouveau Musée National and the Rencontres Philosophiques, for which they can create new landscapesfurther evidence of Monaco’s extraordinary cultural wealth.

Pavillon Bosio

Ateliers publics tout au long de l’année. 1, avenue des Pins. Tél. +377 93 30 18 39.

www.pavillonbosio.com

8.

Francis Bacon: the mysteries of creation

Who was Francis Bacon? The only place specifically devoted to the Irish-born British existentialist artistwho lived in Monaco from 1946 to the early 1950sprovides clues to understanding his turbulent life in the Principality, and later in France. In a setting that evokes a gallery of the period, in the colors of his palette at the time, the foundation created by Majid Boustany holds one of the largest collections relating to the artist, with photo archives, working documents, letters, personal objects and exhibition catalogues. It reveals that Bacon was an interior decorator prior to becoming a painter, and most of the few items remaining from this period are on display here. An intimate experience in an atmospheric space.

Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation

Visite sur rendez-vous. 21, boulevard d’Italie. Tél. +377 93 30 30 33.

www.mbartfoundation.com

9.

New cultural beacons

Reopened in 2010 after a hiatus of half a century, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM) has put a collection together out of virtually nothing, divided between two sites. The Villa Paloma, a stately residence overlooking the Principality, offers the ideal place from which to explore the theme of region and landscape in relation to art. Meanwhile, the splendid Belle Époque Villa Sauber, located amid the hustle and bustle of the seafront, is devoted to art and performance. Both strive to be welcoming places open to all. “A museum without visitors is a museum that has failed in part with respect to its vocation,” says Marie-Claude Beaud, the NMNM’s director. There is no permanent display here, but rather a program of temporary shows intended to surprise the curious visitor. Mission accomplished.

nmnm–Villa Paloma

56, boulevard du Jardin-Exotique. Tél. +377 98 98 48 60.

nmnm–Villa Sauber

17, avenue Princesse-Grace. Tél. +377 98 98 91 26.

www.nmnm.mc

10.

Fragments of grace

A few notes of piano music punctuated by the constant stream of instructions. “Arabesque, piqué, coupé, brisé . . .” One by one, the dancers, who hail from all over the world, leap into the air, repeating the same aerial gestures. High up, tucked away in a balcony, Jean-Christophe Maillot, the iconic choreographer and director of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, scrutinizes the dancers’ movements with an expert eye as they rehearse. Since 1909, when the Ballets Russes enchanted Monte-Carlo high society, dance has become an institution in the Principality, and its company, which tours for six months of the year, is its most graceful ambassador.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo

La mégère apprivoisée

Du 2 au 5.01, Grimaldi Forum.

www.grimaldiforum.com

Cendrillon

Du 19 au 21.01, Opéra de Lausanne. www.opera-lausanne.ch. Les 31.01 et 1 et 2.02 Deutsche Oper Berlin.

www.deutscheoperberlin.de

Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo

This understated luxury hotel near the casino, divorced from the hubbub by a long drive, has 126 rooms. Time seems to stop in the heady decor by Jacques Garcia. The entrance hall has a huge bouquet by way of welcome. There’s an outdoor pool styled by Karl Lagerfeld, a Givenchy spa (a rarity) and a Joël Robuchon restaurant with an open kitchen, where you can sample his famous langoustine ravioli with truffles while watching the cooks in action.

HÔTEL MÉTROPOLE MONTE-CARLO

4, avenue de la Madone. Tél. +377 93 15 15 15.

www.metropole.com

   

Fairmont Monte-Carlo

This American-style grand hotel by the sea, an icon of the city, boasts a modernist design. It offers a unique vantage point, enabling you to enjoy the extraordinary spectacle of the Monaco Grand Prix from your room. The cars negotiate the legendary hairpins in front of the Fairmont, before shooting into the famous tunnel running under the hotel. Or you can turn your back on the frenzy and sample Japanese cuisine overlooking the sea at Nobu.

FAIRMONT MONTE-CARLO

12, avenue des Spélugues. Tél. +377 93 50 65 00.

www.fairmont.fr/monte-carlo

© Mark Dion, «Oceanomania» © Le Cahier des Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco, photo Karl Blossfeldt - Jean-Michel Folon, ADAGP Paris 2018 © Rudy Ricciotti © Francis Bacon, ADAGP Paris 2018 © Kasper Akhoj - Saâdane Afif, collection NMNM © Miss Rose

Carnet d’adresses

Opéra de Monte-Carlo

Place du Casino. Tél. +377 98 06 28 28.

www.opera.mc

Musée océanographique de Monaco

Avenue Saint-Martin. Tél. +377 93 15 36 00.

www.oceano.mc

Atelier «Esthétique de la violence»

Le 18 janvier. Théâtre Princesse-Grace. 12, avenue d’Ostende, Monaco.

Table ronde «Préserver, défis de l’écologie»

Le 23 janvier. Maison des Océans. 195, rue Saint-Jacques, Paris.

www.philomonaco.com

Atelier Folon

Visite sur rendez-vous. 8, quai Antoine-Ier. Tél. +377 93 50 06 10.

www.fondationfolon.be/atelierfolon

Le Blue Bay

Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, 40, avenue Princesse-Grace. Tél. +377 98 06 03 60.

fr.montecarlosbm.com

La table de Marcel

Tél. +377 98 06 03 60.

Pavillon Bosio

Ateliers publics tout au long de l’année. 1, avenue des Pins. Tél. +377 93 30 18 39.

www.pavillonbosio.com

Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation

Visite sur rendez-vous. 21, boulevard d’Italie. Tél. +377 93 30 30 33.

www.mbartfoundation.com

nmnm–Villa Paloma

56, boulevard du Jardin-Exotique. Tél. +377 98 98 48 60.

nmnm–Villa Sauber

17, avenue Princesse-Grace. Tél. +377 98 98 91 26.

www.nmnm.mc

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo

HÔTEL MÉTROPOLE MONTE-CARLO

4, avenue de la Madone. Tél. +377 93 15 15 15.

www.metropole.com

FAIRMONT MONTE-CARLO

12, avenue des Spélugues. Tél. +377 93 50 65 00.

www.fairmont.fr/monte-carlo

Restaurants

Le Grill

Maria Callas loved grilled food so much that Onassis built this restaurant for her atop the Hôtel de Paris. It offers a unique view and has just emerged from the metamorphosis wrought by major reconstruction. For dessert, the soufflé made to Escoffier’s recipe is a must. Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, place du Casino. Tél. +377 98 06 88 88.

www.fr.montecarlosbm.com

Les Perles de Monaco

The Mediterranean’s first oyster hatchery has been transformed into a tasting center by biologists as a fundraising sideline. Left to grow for four months, the mollusks develop unique flavors which make them a favorite among the starred restaurants in the region. 42, quai Jean-Charles-Rey. Tél. +377 97 77 84 31.

www.perlesdemontecarlo.com

Eqvita

The vegan restaurant of Jelena and Novak Djokovic offers a healthy staging post before a trip to the Villa Sauber or the Grimaldi Forum. Everything here is made using seasonal fruit and vegetables, and the fruit juice is cold-pressed on the premises. Tél. +377 97 77 07 49.

www.eqvitarestaurant.com

Sortir

Grimaldi Forum

This vast cultural center resembling a glass iceberg has a huge auditorium below sea level and hosts memorable exhibitions every summer. The gold of the pharaohs will be shining brightly there in 2018. 10, av. Princesse-Grace. Tél. +377 99 99 20 00.

www.fr.montecarlosbm.com

— Orchestre philharmonique de Vienne. Le 12.01. Direction musicale : Gustavo Dudamel.
— Récital Anna Netrebko et Yusif Eyvazov. Le 1.02.
— Peau de vache. Le 3.02. Mise en scène : Michel Fau.

Printemps des arts de Monte-Carlo

One and a half months of classical music spearheaded, this year, by Mozart and Charles Ives. Concerts, roundtables and masterclasses will culminate in the performance of a new work by Jean-Christophe Maillot for the Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Du 16.03 au 29.04. Dans tout Monaco.

www.printempsdesarts.com

Saison des fêtes

Monaco is awash with festivals, from the Bal de la Rose, in decors designed by Karl Lagerfeld, to the Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival, featuring the leading names in pop, and the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival in winter.

fr.montecarlosbm.com
Overview
Overview
Address Book

Going There

www.airfrance.com

Flight frequency

Air France has up to 6 daily flights to Nice from Paris-CDG and up to 14 daily flights from Orly.

HOP! AIR FRANCE has flights year round from Nice with the Navette to Paris-CDG, Orly, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Rennes and Strasbourg. On Navette flights, you can order your meal up to 24 hours prior to departure.

KLM has 28 weekly flights to Nice from Amsterdam.

Arrival airport

Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur.
À 7 km.
Tél. +33 (0)820 42 33 33.

AIR FRANCE KLM office

10, avenue de Verdun.
Bureaux à l’aéroport.

Bookings

— Depuis la France : tél. 3654.
— Depuis l’étranger :
Tél. +33 (0)892 70 26 54.

Car rental

Hertz, a l'aéroport :
Tél. +33 (0)825 34 23 43.
www.airfrance.com/cars

Further reading

Provence Côte d’Azur
Gallimard, coll. Encyclopédies du voyage.
Côte d’Azur Monaco
Michelin, coll. Guide Vert.
Côte d’Azur
Gallimard, coll. GEOGuides.
Monte Carlo, Helmut Newton
Éditions Louis Vuitton, coll. Fashion Eye.

© Antoine Corbineau / Talkie Walkie.Map for illustration purposes only