Monaco has long been a magnet for the rich and famous. Now a beautiful new book gives readers an unrivalled glimpse into this rarefied world

Words: Jonathan Whiley

Flash cars, flashier yachts and eye-watering prices; Monaco is not for the faint-hearted. The principality has long been a destination for the international elite with the creme de la creme seduced by its staggering glitz and glamour. An eternal “playground for the rich and famous”, the city-state has become a byword and benchmark for luxury.

“High-rollers, professional athletes and international stars flock to Monaco in droves,” writes Ségolène Cazenave Manara, resident of Monaco since 2010 and author of Assouline’s beautiful new book, Monte-Carlo.

“Although packed with flashy sports cars, luxury apartments, superyachts and unlimited entertainment, this rocky promontory does not lack for culture and history. The sovereign family ensures that the principality’s distinguished heritage is preserved and appreciated. Its over-the-top opulence is merely equal to its charm.

“The newly designed Foster + Partners Yacht Club de Monaco stands in contrast to the monumental baroque building housing the Musée Océanographique de Monaco. The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, which showcases the latest in contemporary art, is a complete 180 compared to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, which dates to the 12th-century. Yet it all exists harmoniously within two hundred hectares of land.”

Its most famous star remains Princess Grace, the late Oscar-winning actress Grace Kelly who helped Monaco on the map and radar for the A-list. Ségolène says that the list of Monaco regulars “reads like the guestlist to the ultimate private party.” “Charles Leclerc, Sir Roger Moore, Tyra Banks, Frank Sinatra, Rudolf Nureyev, Bjorn Borg and Ringo Starr to name a few. Whether enticed by the top-tier competitions, can’t miss events, iconic Société des Bains de Mer properties or Michelin-star restaurants, the world’s celebrities continue to return again and again.”

Assouline’s new book puts the spotlight on the prized jewel of the French Riviera with exclusive images from the palace archives and a foreword by Prince Albert II, offering readers what Ségolène says is a “front-seat with VIP access.”

Monte-Carlo, by Assouline, priced £85, is out now. 196A Piccadilly.

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