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The title Monte Carlo officially refers to an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco. This isn’t France, but is located within France on the south coast near to Nice. Specifically, the ward of Monte Carlo-Spélugues is where the Monte Carlo Casino is located. Informally, the name also refers to a larger district, the Monte Carlo Quarter. Monaco has four traditional quarters. From west to east they are: Fontvieille (the newest), Monaco-Ville (the oldest), La Condamine, and Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo is situated on a prominent escarpment at the base of the Maritime Alps along the French Riviera. At the eastern border is the French town of Beausoleil, which is sometimes referred to as Monte-Carlo-Supérieur. The western border of Italy is just 5 miles (8 km) further east.
Near the western end of Monaco is the world-famous Place du Casino, the gambling centre which contributes greatly to the economy of the area. It is also the location of the Hôtel de Paris, the Café de Paris, and the Salle Garnier. The Salle Garnier is the casino theatre which is the home of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo. There are many serviced office choices in the area. The eastern part of the quarter includes the community of Larvotto with Monaco’s only public beach, there is also a convention centre - the Grimaldi Forum, and the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.
Entertainment And Dining Out
If you like to shop, you will love Monte Carlo’s Golden Circle Monaco. This the spot to window shop and people watch. Start on Avenue des Beaux Arts, on the southern side of the casino gardens. Here you can drift through designer paradise and immerse yourself in the likes of Chanel, Christian-Dior, Céline, Louis Vuitton, Yves St-Laurent, and Sonia Rykiel. You will find the Italian fashion house, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo inside Hôtel Hermitage. Nearby, Avenue de Monte Carlo offers a short, chic street with a luxury line-up that includes Gucci, Valentino, Hermès, Lalique (crystal), and Prada. The Parisian jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels has a store inside the casino, while Kenzo, Marina Rinaldi, D&G, and Christian Lacroix are scattered throughout the area. When you can’t face another shop without sustenance, stop at Louis XV Monaco. Reputed to be the Riviera’s best restaurant, this restaurant is set inside the opulent Hôtel de Paris. The dining room sparkles with gold and Nice-born head chef Franck Cerutti uses seasonal ingredients in his themed French menus. Here you will find hints of Italy, Bavaria, Scotland, and the Far East. The restaurant houses the world’s largest wine cellar with over 250,000 bottles of wine, many priceless, stashed in a rock cave. Reservations are required and men will need a jacket and tie.
Monte Carlo has close ties with France and it participates in the EU customs territory. There are no border formalities crossing to and from France. The Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport links the Principality of Monaco to more than 86 worldwide destinations. The Principality of Monaco is 25 minutes by road and 6 minutes by helicopter from the Nice airport. All trains stop at the Monaco/Monte-Carlo station. The TGVs to and from Paris have a trip time of 5 and a half hours. There are overnight trains to Strasbourg, Paris, Toulouse, Irun, Port-Bou, Milan, Venice, Pisa, and Rome. Regional Express Trains connect the towns on the Côte d’Azur.