The Vatican is the smallest country in the world. The second smallest, at 200 Hectares is Monaco.
Located in the southern part of France is the Principality of Monaco. It is home to notorious tax havens and the annual Formula One Grand Prix. The James Bond movie GoldenEye was filmed at the Casino de Monte Carlo. Prince Albert II from the House of Grimaldi have ruled Monaco since the 13th century. And, while Monaco is located in Europe, and along the French Riviera, this country is not formally a part of the European Union but participates in some EU policies.
But Monaco caught the spotlight of the world when Prince Rainier married the American actress Grace Kelly in April 1956. She would become Princess Grace of Monaco to the world, after retiring from acting at the age of 26. Prince Rainier and Princess Grace had three children – Caroline, Albert and Stephanie. In 1982, Princess Grace met a fatal car accident on her way back to Monaco from a vacation with her daughter Stephanie. According to the doctors, Princess Grace had a stroke while driving which caused the accident. Another stroke in the hospital was the cause of her demise. The other theory, which was never popular, was that Stephanie was driving that fateful day.
Princess Grace was buried in the Grimaldi family vault at the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco. Prince Rainier never remarried and was buried alongside her in 2005.
It’s a 20 minutes train ride from Nice to Monaco, and a visit to this lovely enchanting opulent city in the French Riviera is a must when you’re in this part of the world.