Monaco Life

CFM Indosuez extends its support for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo with renewed partnership

With the signing of a new multi-year agreement, wealth management specialists CFM Indosuez and Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo are set to continue a long-standing partnership that already spans more than 25 years.

CFM Indosuez Wealth Management has officially renewed its partnership with and support for the La Compagnie des Ballets de Monte-Carlo by signing a new three-year agreement that will last from 2024 to 2026.

Following the announcement, Jean-Christophe Maillot, the Choreographer-Director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and who is pictured to the right of Princess Caroline of Monaco, remarked, “25 years of unwavering support, once again renewed, is unique and exceptional in the Principality of Monaco, particularly in the current climate. CFM Indosuez gives us the means to innovate in the art of choreography with Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Our relationship is based on deep mutual trust. This is precious to us and explains why CFM Indosuez is our longest-standing official partner.”

Mathieu Ferragut, the CEO of CFM Indosuez Wealth Management, has also shared his enthusiasm for the continued partnership, saying, “The internationally recognised quality of La Compagnie des Ballets de Monte-Carlo is a source of pride for the Principality. For CFM Indosuez, it is an honour and a pleasure to continue our 25 years of support. This three-year renewal of our partnership is perfectly in line with the Indosuez group’s ambition to promote excellence, know-how and passion, and to support talent. We look forward to many more years of shared history with the Ballets de Monte-Carlo.”

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, a historic artistic and cultural institution in Monaco that has been revitalised over the last four decades thanks to the enduring support of Princess Caroline, has gained substantial international recognition under Maillot’s direction. La Compagnie is uniquely positioned in Monaco to combine the creation, teaching and showcasing of world-level ballet in its many forms under one roof.

Explore Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s upcoming schedule here.

 

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Photo credit: Alice Blangero

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Junk Kouture World Final 2023: Irish design #TagMe triumphs in Monaco

Making its Monaco debut, the recent Junk Kouture event at the Grimaldi Forum dazzled with a fusion of global talent and sustainability, and put a spotlight on a collective creative journey towards an eco-friendlier fashion future.

Founded by Troy Armour, the first Monaco-based Junk Kouture competition was held on 22nd February.

It was an international showcase of creativity and dedication to environmental sustainability that was judged by an eclectic panel featuring the likes of fashion designer Stephen McLaughlin, content creator and model Lise Pierron, and Junk Kouture 2019 winner Lara-Jane Doherty. Hosting duties were managed by TV and radio presenter Louise Cantillon and TG4’s Daragh Ó Caoimh.

Event highlights

It was the official World Final of the Junk Kouture concept and championed innovative talents from across the globe. Six designers were honoured as the ‘Designer of the Year’ for their respective countries: Bubblefish from Paris, Medias Jiometri from London, Mother of Poison from New York, Bloody Mary from Milan, War of Woman from Abu Dhabi, and Dublin’s own #TagMe.

The Irish entry – ‘#TagMe’ by Eva Donlon, Evie Nugent and Méabh O’Shea from Moate Community School – won the ‘World Designer of the Year’ title. Their design, made from over 2,500 repurposed plastic colour samples to limit landfill waste, perfectly captured the competition’s focus on sustainability and creative reuse. Upon receiving the award, Donlon said, “Everyone who partook in the creation of this piece is a winner tonight.”

Representing the French Riviera, Vega Beroud of the International School of Nice, presented an eco-conscious design called From Coastline to Waistline that was inspired by the beaches of the south of France and was constructed from recycled materials.

Beroud shared her motivation for the collection, saying, “Our goal was to capture the essence of the south of France, bringing its sunshine and coastlines into the competition”.

Her design won the ‘Performance Award’ that had been backed by the Kate Powers Foundation.

A special mention goes to Tonnes of Tradition by Aisha Khan, Khadija Bibi and Harjass Kau of Coláiste Nano Nagle, Limerick, which won the ‘Cultural Couture Award’ that had been judged by the International School of Monaco. Their garment blended European and Asian influences, and was crafted from upcycled materials such as eco-friendly wool and curtains, as well as featuring 400 hand-sewn triangles on recycled bed sheets. It was hailed as a piece demonstrating a rich cultural tapestry.

 

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Left to right: Bloody Mary, Bubblefish, #TagMe, Mother of Poison, Medias Jiometri, War of Woman. Photo by Monaco Life

 

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MoNa Residence: proving that opulence and sustainability can go hand in hand

Welcome to the world of MoNa, a remarkable eco-friendly marvel nestled in the heart of Monaco. With an innovative blend of luxury and sustainability, this residence building offers a unique living experience that is both opulent and environmentally conscious.

MoNa Residence, delivered by the Groupe Michel Pastor in September 2021, is defined by its unique wallflower design that was inspired by the name of the street in which it stands – Rue des Giroflées. Located in the east of Monaco, it sits above the Principality city and towers 22 floors high.

Inside, the building is decorated with the finest materials: Calacatta Caldia white marble, light oak, glass and brushed brass. It is a harmonious symphony of elegance from the bespoke lobby to the penthouses, all imagined by internationally renowned designer Oraïto, whose aim was to “create a true sensory experience”.

The curved building is not only aesthetically pleasing, it is useful for conserving energy

Each of the 66 apartments offer jaw-dropping views of the Mediterranean Sea and a perception of being suspended between light and air, thanks to Architects Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Rainier Boisson.

But it is deep in the foundations of this 86-metre-high tower where the true magic lies.

Below the state-of-art sauna and heated indoor pool hides an innovative network that feeds geothermal energy to the towering structure above. Combined with the building’s solar panels and rainwater harvesting system, MoNa is almost completely energy self-sufficient.

Sustainable luxury: exceptional residences redefining eco-living

MoNa Residence manages to achieve environmental sustainability without compromising on the quality of life. The building was constructed with eco-friendly materials, including recycled steel and concrete with low CO2 emissions.

Meanwhile, the interiors are decorated with eco-friendly materials, such as natural wood and stone, which not only add to the aesthetic appeal but also reduce the use of harmful chemicals. The developers made a point to source as many building materials locally as possible, and from sustainable sources.

The MoNa Residence has also implemented smart technology to optimise energy efficiency, such as motion sensors to control lighting and temperature.

The result is a luxurious living space that is not only beautiful but also eco-friendly.

Mobile shutters allows residents to control the amount of sunshine that enters the apartment without compromising on light

Cutting-edge technology for energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is at the core of operations at MoNa Residence. The luxury complex is fitted with cutting-edge technology that helps to reduce energy consumption while maintaining a comfortable living experience for residents.

The building’s façade has been designed to maximise natural light, which minimises the need for artificial lighting during the day. The large, circular balconies serve as a “basketball cap” of sorts, shielding the interior from the direct sunshine that is generated 300 days of the year here in the Principality of Monaco, while movable shutters make it also possible to control the sunlight.

Smart sensors are used throughout the building to regulate temperature and lighting automatically, sensitive to occupancy and external conditions.

The air conditioning system is equipped with heat recovery units that extract heat from exhaust air and use it to preheat incoming fresh air. The building is able to maintain a constant temperature of 26°C in the summer months, and 20°C in the winter months, with a real feel of around 23°C.

Residents also have access to a mobile app that allows them to monitor their energy consumption in real-time, encouraging them to make more conscious decisions about their energy usage.

All these innovative measures help MoNa Residence to achieve an impressive energy efficiency rating, and make it a model for sustainable living in Monaco.

The solar panels, geothermal energy loop and rainwater harvesting system make MoNa almost completely energy self-sufficient

BREEAM Certification: a first in continental Europe

The MoNa Residence has been recognised for its energy efficiency and climate goals, receiving several awards for its sustainable design and practices. Among the highest, it achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first residential project in continental Europe to receive BREEAM certification at the ‘Excellent’ level. BREEAM, which stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, is a globally recognised sustainability assessment system for buildings. But it is certainly not a template.

“The regulation tells you how the performance of your building must be, but it doesn’t tell you how to achieve that,” says Serge Ginesy, Head of Sustainable Development Division at Groupe Michel Pastor. “So, there is a lot of work to do in designing the technical assets to choose the best way to reach the performance you want to reach.”

The key to achieving a successful sustainable building, says Ginesy, is team work, and a constant dialogue between all the players.

“All of the developers need to work together to achieve the same goals – to create something that is aesthetically pleasing, reaches sustainability goals, and meets the high standards that Monaco residents expect.”

The geothermal loop draws energy from the earth to power the building

Using the earth for energy

The building’s innovative measures include the use of geothermal energy for heating and cooling. For this, wells are dug in the first stages of the project to access hot steam and water contained in the underground. Upon rising to the surface, this heat is used to drive turbines that generate electricity.

The complicated task thereafter is knowing how to manage the building, to maximise the technology and to reduce energy usage as much as possible.

It is not possible to source geothermal energy for every building in Monaco, but there are some others utilising this technology, such as the Tour Odéon, La Petite Afrique and Villa Engelin.

For most sites in the Principality, the ocean is used to harvest thermal energy. The Principality now has more than 80 such water pumps operating throughout this coastal nation. With a complete ban on oil fuels for heating currently in force in Monaco, clean and green energy sources are an important energy solution in the Principality.

But MoNa undoubtedly serves as inspiration for pushing the envelope. Together with the solar panels and rainwater recovery system, MoNa has managed to significantly reduced its carbon footprint and become almost completely energy-efficient. It is an exciting lesson in innovation and proves that opulence and sustainability really can go hand in hand.

Read related:

MoNa Restaurant: where familiarity meets flair in new luxury residence building

 

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Photos courtesy of Michel Pastor Groupe

 

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Looking back at a year of Prince Rainier III centenary celebrations

In honour of the final meeting of the Committee for the Commemorations of the Centenary of the Birth of Prince Rainier III on 20th February, we take a look back at the main events that punctuated a very special year for Monaco.

It has been a full nine months of homages, dedications and celebrations of the late Prince Rainier III in commemoration of what would have been his 100th birthday. The events have run the gamut between intimate, solemn, fun-filled and deeply touching with one thing abundantly clear throughout – the trailblazing and extremely modern Prince, who reigned for 56 years, was much-adored by his people and his family.

As it all comes to a close, Monaco Life is looking back on the standout celebrations and events held in tribute to this extraordinary man.

Official celebrations in the Palace Square. Photo source: Prince’s Palace

The kick off

The celebrations started on 31st May 2023, what would have been Prince Rainier’s 100th birthday, with a party at the Prince’s Palace on the Rock. Music, dancing and general merriment punctuated the all-day and evening event and a showcase of vehicles from the Rainier-inspired Prince’s Car Collection were trotted out, with some members of the Princely family taking turns behind the wheel.

Prince Albert, Princess Charlene and their children in a car from the Prince’s Car Collection, a project initiated by Prince Rainier III, on 31st May 2023. Photo source: Prince’s Palace

The commemorations continued with a series of lectures, films, exhibitions and concerts, including a gala hosted by the Rainier III Academy on 14th June featuring students accompanied by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra.

This was followed in July by the premiere of a documentary by Yann-Antony Noghes called Rainier III par Lui-Même and an exhibition entitled Rainer III, The Builder Prince, tracking the Prince’s commitment to modernising his state: physically, politically and economically.

Prince Albert with Princess Stephanie, her son Louis Ducruet and Lara Terlizzi-Enza, Director of the Office of Postage Stamp Issues, during the presentation of the €50 gold commemorative coin. Photo credit: Frederic Nebinger, Communication Department

Some other highlights include the minting of a €2 coin, as well as a €50 gold commemorative coin in his honour, musical shows featuring classical music and his beloved jazz, performances of his favourite ballets by the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, and a fun and well-received window decoration competition.

One of the biggest events was the Bal du Centenaire at the Casino on 20th October. Prince Albert and Princess Stephanie headed up the gala evening, that included a private performance by Leona Lewis on the stage of the Opera de Monte-Carlo.

Prince Albert II and Princess Stephanie dancing at the Centenary Ball in the Opera Garnier of the Casino de Monte-Carlo. Photo source: Monte-Carlo SBM

In November, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene inaugurated two canons from 1881 that have been recommissioned specially to mark the centenary of the birth of the late Prince Rainier III.

As 2023 came to an end, the annual Christmas Village, this year entitled Rainier III, Passionate Prince, was dedicated to him as well, featuring scenes decorated with photos of the Prince enjoying the things he loved most: motor sports, the arts, animals and the sea.

monaco cannons
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene officially inaugurated the recommissioning of two cannons in November. Photo credit: Eric Mathon / Palais Princier de Monaco

But it’s not over just yet. The exhibition Un Prince, Un Musée (One Prince, One Museum) will br running until 31st March at the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology.

SEE ALSO:

Prince Albert and Princess Stéphanie give glimpse into life with father Prince Rainier III

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March to be Video Game Month at the Médiathèque de Monaco

Throughout the month of March, the Médiathèque de Monaco will be hosting a series of video game-themed events, including tournaments, exhibitions and movie screenings.

It may be hard to imagine, but mainstream video games have been around for five decades now. The first games from back in the 1970s were much less sophisticated affairs than today’s, with simple tennis-style games like Pong dominating the market. A few years later came the explosively popular Pac-Man and Space Invaders, games that really did take the world by storm. 

The gaming world of 2024 is incredibly refined by those standards, with hi-tech advances in imagery and interactivity allowing gamers to enjoy experiences far beyond what was even imaginable in the early days. 

To celebrate this rich alt-world, the Louis Notari Library, the Princess Caroline Library and the José Notari Video-Sound Library will be hosting a series of events focused entirely on video games next month.  

Enthusiasts can attend video game-themed workshops, conferences, screenings, exhibitions and concerts, and there will even be a tournament headed up by The Nice Geek for the more competitive players. 

In all, 19 events will take place over the course of the month. The full programme is available here as well as all the information you need on how to sign up for specific events.  

 

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Photo source: Jeshoots.com, Unsplash  

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How much is the maritime sector worth in Monaco? €1.8 billion to be exact

For the very first time, the real and quantifiable economic impact of Monaco’s maritime sector has been revealed in an official report, confirming the enormous value of this industry in a Principality that “cannot exist without the sea”. 

The sea has been a feature of daily life in Monaco since the very beginning. It is possible that the Principality owes its name to passing Phoenicians of the Ancient Mediterranean, who are believed to have stopped off in its natural harbours sometime around 1,700BCE and brought their style of civilisation to the Ligurian tribes who likely lived in the area.  

In the millennia that followed, fishing boats would have been the most dominant crafts floating in the port, but today they have been largely replaced by sleek sailboats, luxurious motor yachts, giant cruise ships and vessels destined for international waters the world over. 

See more: How did Monaco’s Port Hercule get its name?

In early February, the most important regional players in the yachting industry gathered at the Yacht Club de Monaco for the annual La Belle Classe Superyachts Business Symposium.

A platform for discussion on the trends, influences and challenges of the sector in Monaco and in the French Riviera, this year’s edition also provided Pascal Ferry and Benjamin Cauquil, the deputy director and research manager of IMSEE, with the perfect opportunity to present the statistical agency’s first ever compilation of data on the Principality’s maritime and yachting sectors.  

Understanding the maritime industry 

As explained in the report, Monaco’s maritime economy encompasses all activities that cannot exist without the sea, from trade and design to naval consultancy, repair and maintenance, legal services relating to maritime law, and fisheries and aquaculture, among others. 

In 2022, the year from which the data was gathered, the maritime industry in Monaco was made up of 635 establishments representing a range of major economic sectors. The largest share belonged to the wholesale trade sector, followed by scientific and technical activities, then transportation and storage.  

There were 15 companies dedicated to financial and insurance activities, nine handling retail trade, nine running affiliated information and communications businesses, and six construction entities.  

Combined, these 635 businesses represented 3,268 employees and generated €1.8 billion in revenue in 2022 – almost 10% of the overall revenue produced in Monaco that year.  

Yachting, a thriving sector 

The yachting industry is considered a sub-sector of the maritime economy in the report, but accounted for 411 of the afore-mentioned maritime businesses, equating to 3.7% of all companies registered in Monaco, and employed just shy of 1,500 salaried workers.

The largest sector was, again, wholesale trade. Almost one in two yachting businesses recorded in the report were linked to this area of expertise, with a particular weight given to those involved in the sale of vessels.  

Of the €567.1 million generated by the yachting sector in 2022, close to €310 million was produced by the wholesale trade sector. This influence was summarised in the report as being “largely thanks to the agents involved in the sale of ships, who generate more than half of the yachting turnover: €288.6 million or 50.9%”.  

Other yachting sectors highlighted in the report: the scientific and technical activities sector, which generated €84.7 million, with €21.2 million deriving from specialist design services; and the transportation and storage sector, the second-largest after wholesale trade with a 17.8% share of total revenue. This sub-sector includes services such as chartering and transportation organisation (€43.6 million), sea and coastal passenger water transportation (€47.1 million) and service activities incidental to water transportation (€47.1 million).  

Monaco’s role in the regional yachting scene

Alongside the presentation of the IMSEE report, a number of enlightening insights into Monaco’s role in the broader yachting industry of the French Riviera were also revealed. It is estimated that the yachting sector in the ‘Région Sud’ brought in €1.1 billion during 2022, meaning that the Principality contributed close to half of this total.  

Alluding to the positive changes behind made by Monaco’s own yachting industry, namely in the realm of environmental practice, François de Canson, the president of the Regional Tourism Committee, said, “We must embody the yachting of tomorrow, as it is in the Western Mediterranean where everything happens, is invented and implemented. It’s by combining forces with the Principality that we will rise to these challenges, while ensuring we maintain our attractiveness and continue to develop this sector in our region.” 

To read the report for yourself, click here.

Read related:

YCM inaugurates green hydrogen pontoon, plunging further into sustainable yachting

 

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Main photo credit: Yacht Club de Monaco

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Maternity leave rights extended to independent workers in Monaco

In a landmark decision, the Conseil National has voted in a new law enshrining maternity rights for Monaco’s independent workforce.  

The government-inspired bill was presented to the Council just three months ago.

On 22nd February, it became law following a unanimous decision by Council members, without amendment, to offer the same benefits enjoyed by public and private sector employees to independent workers affiliated with Monaco’s Caisse d’Assurance Maladie, Accident et Maternité des Travailleurs Indépendants (CAMTI).  

A full breakdown of the rights accorded to pregnant women and new mothers in Monaco can be found here.

A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT

A collaborative effort between the CAMTI Control Committee, representatives of the Government and the Monaco Social Funds, the new scheme was created not only to benefit independent workers, but to improve the system in general.  

According to Government Advisor-Minister of Social Affairs and Health Christophe Robino, the reforms “will make it possible to further strengthen the social protection system of the Principality”. 

“This system will constitute, at the same time, an additional tool of socio-economic attractiveness in a key sector for the economy and competitiveness of the country,” he said.   

The CAMTI scheme is the latest measure in a series of forward-thinking policies being instituted by the government, such as the establishment of family allowances under CAMTI, the legal sharing of leave among colleagues, and the extension of maternity and paternity leave to all workers, regardless of the sector they work in. 

In the coming weeks and months, a further text on parental leave rights for private law employers is due to be discussed by the Conseil National.  

 

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Photo source: Camylla Battani, Unsplash

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Monaco Oceanographic Institute and AWI join forces to save polar wildlife

In a landmark collaboration aimed at preserving the fragile ecosystems of polar regions, the Monaco Oceanographic Institute and the Alfred Wegener Institute have forged a strategic alliance. The partnership, inaugurated in the presence of Prince Albert II of Monaco, signifies a profound commitment to scientific cooperation and public engagement in the realm of polar, marine, and coastal conservation.

Against the backdrop of the prestigious Polar Symposium hosted by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Oceanographic Institute and Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) penned a historic Memorandum of Understanding on 22nd February.

The AWI conducts research in the polar regions, and provides ships such as the research icebreaker Polarstern, as well as stations to the international scientific community.

This agreement pledges a concerted joint effort over the next five years to advance research, protection, and public awareness initiatives crucial for safeguarding polar biodiversity.

It will include collaborative research projects, the organisation of scientific events, and the exchange of information useful for research.

Shaping the future of polar conservation

The partnership strengthens the actions already being jointly undertaken by the Oceanographic Institute and AWI in supporting the creation of Marine Protected Areas.

An engagement journey organised by the Oceanographic Institute to the Antarctic Peninsula welcomed several scientists on board, facilitating the collection of data on the Danger Islands archipelago, a rarely visited part of the peninsula. This data: biological, ecological, topographical, and pollution-related, will be valuable to AWI and will contribute to discussions surrounding the creation of a Specially Protected Area of Antarctica (SPAA) on the Danger Islands, home to one of the largest penguin colonies in the world.

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Photo: Prince Albert II of Monaco with, from left to right, Robert Calcagno (Director General of the Oceanographic Institute), Timm A. Bergold (Honorary Consul of Germany in the Principality of Monaco), Prof. Dr Antje Boetius (Director of the Alfred Wegener AWI Institute), Henry Burgess (President of the International Arctic Science Committee IASC) and Cyril Gomez (Deputy Director General of the Oceanographic Institute). Source: Monaco Oceanographic Institute

SEE ALSO:

Monaco Ocean Week 2024: A quest for viable and achievable solutions

 

 

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New features at Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 2024

Discover what’s new at the 2024 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, including ‘click & collect’ dining and a new broadcasting partnership.

The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters tennis tournament is set to return from 6th to 14th April at the courts of the Monte-Carlo Country Club.

The 2023 tournament saw impressive figures, with over 140,000 attendees, 38.4 million television viewers, and 167.1 million social media views. This year aims to build on that success with several new features designed to enhance the spectator experience. These include the introduction of a ‘click & collect’ service for fast food, modifications to the seaside stands of the Court Rainier III to accommodate additional boxes, a new covered dining area, and a fresh broadcasting partnership with France Télévisions. This partnership will see one match per day aired on the france.tv platform and the final broadcast on France 4, complementing the comprehensive coverage provided by Eurosport France.

Additionally, the tournament will continue its support for the GEMLUC association (Group of Monégasque Enterprises in the Fight Against Cancer), which funds research and cutting-edge technology.

The final list of participating players is slated to be revealed in Paris on 12th March during a press conference, with ticket sales already approaching 130,000.

Organised by the Monégasque Company for the Operation of the Tennis Tournament (S.M.E.T.T.), the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters marks the first Masters 1000 event of the clay court season, setting the stage for the summer tennis season on the French Riviera.

The draw will take place on 5th April at 6pm;

Read also: Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters: Will this year beat a monumental 2023? – Monaco Life

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Photo by Monaco Life

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Trenitalia announces plans for two new train lines through the south of France

Two new train links between Italy and the south of France are in the works: one from Milan to Nice via Monaco and a second through the mountains of the Mercantour to the city of Turin. Here are the details we know so far. 

The Covid pandemic brought an unfortunate end of the popular Thello train route from the south of France to Milan, but it has now been revealed that Trenitalia is keen to revive the service with the support of France’s SNCF network. 

By summer, the Milan to Marseille journey could be a daily occurrence. Although the specific stops along the route are yet to be confirmed, it is very likely that both Nice and Monaco will feature as well as Ventimiglia.  

A scenic link to Turin from Nice via Breil-sur-Roya is also in the works and could be operational by summer 2025. The concept is a service similar to the famous Ferroviaire del Bernina express line from St. Moritz in Switzerland to Tirano in Northern Italy, which offers passengers spell-binding views of the Alps thanks to panoramic carriages.  

CROSS-BORDER ALLIANCE 

The reopening of the Milan connection and the launch new mountain route is something Italy, Monaco and France are keen on. Cross-border tourism benefits all three, and a meeting was held in the Ligurian town of Imperia earlier this month to launch an alliance.  

“Alone, we cannot necessarily release significant resources [to run these lines],” long-time Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi told the press. “Joining our forces will allow us to better finance projects, with very precise timetables.” 

 

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Photo source of the Bernina Express: Andreas Stutz

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Banksy and Invader among the big names at Artcurial’s upcoming urban art auction

A week before the Urban Art Fair in Paris this April, Artcurial will host a vibrant urban art sale of its own in the City of Light. Here’s what to expect from the event. 

Urban art – street art to some – is defined as “artwork that is created in a public space, typically without official permission”.  

Growing out of the politically motivated 1960s graffiti movement, this rebellious visual art form has evolved with the times to become a genre all of its own – one that is highly prized among collectors and connoisseurs the world over. 

In late April, the Carreau du Temple in Paris will be hosting a major street art event, the 8th Urban Art Fair, but fans of the genre will also get an opportunity to snap up some very special pieces a week before at the upcoming Urban Project sale that is being organised by Artcurial Paris. 

Set to take place on 17th April and with acclaimed auctioneer Arnuad Oliveux at the helm, the Artcurial auction will feature works by some of the most celebrated street artists of our time, such as Banksy, Futura 2000, JonOne, Shepard Fairey, Vhils and André.  

FRENCH INVADER 

The French urban art scene will be well-represented at the sale, notably through works by Invader, who has been filling city walls and open spaces with colour since 1996. Up for grabs at the auction will be Rubik Killers, a collection of 441 Rubik’s Cubes on plexiglass, which is expected to fetch between €150,000 and €200,000.  

Invader’s Rubik Killers, 2009. Photo credit: Artcurial

Also on the block will be a mosaic by French street art legend Alias PA_810, which is estimated to sell for €60,000 to €80,000.  

OLD SCHOOL 

Old school graffiti will also feature in the sales, primarily from American artists. One such acrylic and spray paint work by Futura 2000 from 1987 is thought be worth between €50,000 to €70,000.  

There will also be a large canvas by JonOne from 1991 that was made during the Hôpital Éphémère period. Estimates for this piece range from €70,000 to €90,000.  

INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS 

Works from artists like Shepard Fairey, Vhils, KAWS, Barry McGee, ROA, EVOL and Todd James will be going under the gavel too, but the biggest sales are expected from Banksy.  

His 2017 Grappling Hook, a wood, shellac, acrylic, aluminum, polyurethane, synthetic hemp rope and steel work could fetch in the vicinity of €100,000 to €150,000.  

Banksy’s Grappling Hook, 2017. Photo credit: Artcurial

For more information about the event, click here.

 

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Images courtesy of Artcurial Paris

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New Restaurant: Lunch in the sun at Mr. Nakamoto in Cannes

The sun was shining brightly in Cannes as Monaco Life headed down to the Mondian Cannes, a five-star hotel that opened on the Croisette last spring, to sample the fresh fusion delights of Mr. Nakamoto.

The walk-up to the doors of this premium lifestyle establishment, along a wooden boardwalk and via a verdant garden that stretches back from the bustling Croisette, passes through the outdoor section of the Mondrian’s in-house restaurant, Mr. Nakamoto – our destination on an exceptionally warm day in late February.  

The Mondrian Cannes is the only hotel on the Croisette to offer direct access to the seafront and the main shopping zone of the Rue d’Antibes. Photo credit: Cubeddu

Mr. Nakamoto, which is headed up by Chef Jean-Baptiste Guillaume, offers an invigorating blend of Mediterranean and Asian flavours.  

The Carte du Midi features a mix of salads, a Poke bowl, a smoked salmon platter with Kalamansi jelly and sakura shoots, and a burger with Kimchi-mayo as well as the highly recommended and beautifully presented sushi range. The Omakase – “I leave it up to you,” in Japanese – plates would be a great choice for a sharing lunch, with a 16-piece platter costing €37 and a larger 32-piece selection priced at €69. 

The lunch options are undoubtedly lighter than the evening menu, where the sushi suggestions – we tried the signature rolls with mango, tuna and asparagus, and the French sourced sea bass nigiri – sit comfortably alongside more classically French steak dishes, five-spiced coquelet, Tonkatsu pork with sour cabbage and a favourite among patrons: the lacquered black cod.

Sushi in an array of forms is well-represented on the lunch and dinner menus of Mr. Nakamoto. Photo credit: Cedou

The fusion marriage of flavours and ingredients is continued into the dessert and even cocktail menus of the chef, who tells Monaco Life that the vision he has for Mr. Nakamoto takes inspiration from his many voyages and experiences across the Asian continent.  

We chose a Matcha Fizz and a Kirin Ichiban to go with our meal, but could easily have been swayed by the Cho Milk Punch featuring Mezcal, yuzu, kiwi and butterfly pea flower or the Plum Manhattan with Nikki From The Barrel, Umeshu, Sakura vermouth and cherry.   

Between sea and shopping 

The Mondrian Cannes, which became the group’s first hotel to open on French soil back in March 2023, is found on the site of the former Grand Hôtel de Cannes, which had been the long-standing luxury hotel in the city.  

The garden is a true haven in a busy, bustling city such as Cannes. Photo credit: Cedou

It counts 75 guestrooms on its plans, each at least 35 square metres in size, and is the only hotel on the Croisette to offer direct access to both the seafront and the main shopping area of Cannes on the Rue d’Antibes.  

Chef Guillaume heads up Mr. Nakamoto while Chef Jérôme Faget is in charge of the hotel’s private beach, Hyde Beach, which is located on the sandy side of the iconic Riviera boulevard. Chef Pierrick Cizeron, who has previously enjoyed a senior position at the Majestic and Gray d’Albion in Cannes, recently joined the team as the Executive Chef of the entire establishment. 

Mr. Nakamoto is open seven days a week from 12pm to 2.30pm for lunch and from 6pm until 10.30pm for the dinner service. Click here for reservations or more information about the restaurant and the hotel.

See more of our experience in the Instagram reel below…

 

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Photos courtesy of Emma Lab

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Winter Carnival: a day of fun, costumes and community spirit in Monaco’s markets

On Wednesday 21st February, the markets of Monaco were filled with colour and celebration as families turned out to enjoy the Principality’s Winter Carnival.

Both the Marché de la Condamine and the Marché de Monte-Carlo on Avenue Saint-Charles were alive with laughter and music as parents and their children gathered to watch the dazzling spectacle.

Troupes of stilt walkers, jugglers, contortionists and acrobats put on an excellent show while bubbles filled the air and balloon makers and face painters set up stands in the marketplaces, bringing much delight to the smiling girls and boys who had come along to join in with the fun.

A princess here, a Spiderman there, dragons, Pokémon and unicorns… The children were stars of the show, and many arrived in their favourite fancy dress outfits.

Organised by the Monaco Mairie and spearheaded by local councillor Axelle Amalberti Verdino, who is in charge of Entertainment and Leisure, the carnival is a favourite among families in Monaco and is a wonderful demonstration of the Principality’s dedication to fostering community ties.

To see more from the event, check out our Instagram reel:

 

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Main photo credit: Mairie de Monaco

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Opéra de Monte-Carlo invites Lang Lang for an evening of magic with Cecilia Bartoli

As a prelude to the Bal de Rose Gala in March, the renowned mezzo-soprano and the director of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Cecilia Bartoli, is to perform at a special sold-out show alongside the internationally acclaimed piano virtuoso Lang Lang.  

Since they first met back in 2008 at a concert series celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Maria Malibran, Italian opera star Cecilia Bartoli and Chinese pianist Lang Lang have found themselves in a mutually appreciative relationship based on their unequalled high energies, an adoration of nuances and the fact that they both see ‘colours’ in the music they love.  

The admiration that the singer and the pianist share for each other has led to the pair performing together on multiple occasions, the latest of which will occur on 23rd March at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo. 

The duo will be performing the opening act for the annual Bal des Roses Gala, the glamourous charity event founded by Princess Grace in 1954, and enterain a full-house with pieces by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and more. 

“I am so grateful that we can do this concert together in Monte-Carlo,” says Lang Lang. “I hope that our concert will give people some new inspiration. I would like to imagine that it awakens your other sense of knowing sound- and that it gives you something you never felt before.” 

To find out more about this spectacular event, click here

Read related: 

The light and the dark of Italian opera on stage in Monaco this month

 

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Photo credit: Marco Borrelli

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Syndicat des Jeux Européens boosts CSM paediatric brain cancer study with €,2000 donation

The Syndicat des Jeux Européens de la Société des Bains de Mer has thrown its support behind two important Monegasque causes: the Centre Scientifique de Monaco’s paediatric brain cancer research study and Princess Stéphanie’s Fight Aids Monaco association. 

At a ceremony held in front of the Casino de Monte-Carlo on Tuesday 20th February, the Syndicat des Jeux Européens renewed its support for the works being undertaken by the Centre Scientifique de Monaco (CSM) to learn more about how, why and when brain tumours form in children with a €2,000 cheque. Another €2,000 cheque was also given to representatives of Fight Aids Monaco, which is presided over by Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.

The donation to the CSM will help fund the critical research being carried out by its Stem Cells and Brain Tumours team. Led by Dr. Vincent Picco, the team is in the midst of a study that seeks to uncover what causes brain tumours to form in children, with a particular focus on the embryonic stage.

Dr. Picco has expressed his gratitude for the renewed support, saying, “This new donation from the Syndicat des Jeux Européens will help us further refine the genetic characterisation of our research models, which are crucial for understanding paediatric cancerisation at the embryonic stage.”

Read also:

CSM’s childhood brain cancer research set to get a huge boost

 

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Photo source: Centre Scientifique de Monaco

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