We continue our journey through some of the most interesting countries in the world with a reading visitation to the second- smallest and arguably the richest micro- country in the world and namely Monaco. Monaco has the highest GDP per capita in the world, and it is the home of some of the world’s most posh events and people. Sort of a zoo for celebrities, royalties, millionaires and billionaires, where the normal travelers can see an extremely expensive sports car on virtually every street corner of the two square kilometers city- state. The richest prefer this small city state, because of the mild Mediterranean climate and the tax haven that it is, as long of course as you can afford to buy or rent a place to live here.

Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco (French: Principauté de Monaco), is a sovereign city-state, country and microstate on the French Riviera in Western Europe.
France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco is also located close to Italy, although it has no direct border. Monaco has an area of 2.020 km2 and a population of about 38,400, according to the last census of 2016. With 19,009 inhabitants per square km, it is the second-smallest and most densely-populated sovereign state in the world. Monaco has a land border of 5.47 km, a coastline of 3.83 km, and a width that varies between 1,700 and 349m. The highest point in the country is a narrow pathway named “Chemin des Révoires” on the slopes of Mont Agel, in the Les Révoires Ward, which is 161 meters above sea level. Monaco's most populous Quartier is Monte Carlo and the most populous Ward is Larvotto/Bas Moulins. Through land reclamation, Monaco's land mass has expanded by 20 percent; in 2005, it had an area of only 1.974 square km(0.762 sq mi). Monaco is known as a playground for the rich and famous, due to its tax laws. In 2014, it was noted about 30% of the population was made up of millionaires, more than in Zürich or Geneva.

Political model,
Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state. Although Prince Albert II is a constitutional monarch, he wields immense political power. The House of Grimaldi has ruled Monaco, with brief interruptions, since 1297. The official language is French, but Monégasque, Italian, and English are widely spoken and understood. The state's sovereignty was officially recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861, with Monaco becoming a full United Nations voting member in 1993. Despite Monaco's independence and separate foreign policy, its defense is the responsibility of France. However, Monaco does maintain two small military units.
Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with the opening of the country's first casino, Monte Carlo, and a railway connection to Paris. Since then, Monaco's mild climate, scenery, and gambling facilities have contributed to the principality's status as a tourist destination and recreation centre for the rich. In more recent years, Monaco has become a major banking centre and has sought to diversify its economy into the services sector and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries. The state has no income tax, low business taxes, and is well known for being a tax haven. It is also the host of the annual street circuit motor race Monaco Grand Prix, one of the original Grand Prix of Formula One. The principality has a club football team; AS Monaco, who have become French champions on multiple occasions.
Monaco is not formally a part of the European Union (EU), but it participates in certain EU policies, including customs and border controls. Through its relationship with France, Monaco uses the euro as its sole currency (prior to this it used the Monégasque franc). Monaco joined the Council of Europe in 2004. It is a member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).
Monaco has been governed under a constitutional monarchy since 1911, with the Sovereign Prince of Monaco as head of state. The executive branch consists of a Minister of State as the head of government, who presides over a five-member Council of Government. Until 2002, the Minister of State was a French citizen appointed by the prince from among candidates proposed by the French government; since a constitutional amendment in 2002, the Minister of State can be French or Monegasque. However, Prince Albert II appointed, on 3 March 2010, the Frenchman Michel Roger as Minister of State.
Under the 1962 constitution, the prince shares his veto power with the unicameral National Council. The 24 members of the National Council are elected for five-year terms; 16 are chosen through a majority electoral system and 8 by proportional representation. All legislation requires the approval of the National Council, which is currently dominated by the conservative Rally and Issues for Monaco (REM) party which holds 20 seats. Union Monégasque holds three seats while Renaissance holds one seat. The principality's city affairs are directed by the Communal Council, which consists of 14 elected members and is presided over by a mayor. Unlike the National Council, councilors are elected for four-year terms, and are strictly non-partisan; however, oppositions inside the council frequently form.

Administrative divisions

Monaco is the second-smallest country by area in the world; only Vatican City is smaller. Monaco is also the world's second-smallest monarchy, and is the most densely populated country in the world. The state consists of only one municipality (commune), the Municipality of Monaco. There is no geographical distinction between the State and City of Monaco, although responsibilities of the government (state-level) and of the municipality (city-level) are different. According to the constitution of 1911, the principality was subdivided into three municipalities:
Monaco-Ville, the old city on a rocky promontory extending into the Mediterranean, known as the Rock of Monaco, or simply "The Rock";
Monte Carlo, the principal residential and resort area with the Monte Carlo Casino in the east and northeast. (We wouldn’t recommend gambling here, of course if you are not extremely rich. This is where James Bond tried his luck against the arch- villains, on two occasions in the series.)
La Condamine, the southwestern section including the port area, Port Hercules.

Let’s move to something more fun. Sports and culture
Formula One
Formation lap for the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix
Since 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix has been held annually in the streets of Monaco. It is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. The erection of the Circuit de Monaco takes six weeks to complete and the removal after the race takes another three weeks. The circuit is incredibly narrow and tight and its tunnel, tight corners and many elevation changes make it perhaps the most demanding Formula One track. Driver Nelson Piquet compared driving the circuit to "riding a bicycle around your living room".
Despite the challenging nature of the course it has only had one fatality, Lorenzo Bandini, who crashed, burned and died three days later from his injuries in 1967. Two other drivers had lucky escapes after they crashed into the harbor, the most famous being Alberto Ascari in the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix and Paul Hawkins, during the 1965 race.
Monte Carlo Rally
Since 1911 part of the Monte Carlo Rally has been held in the principality, originally held at the behest of Prince Albert I. Like the Grand Prix, the rally is organized by Automobile Club de Monaco. It has long been considered to be one of the toughest and most prestigious events in rallying and from 1973 to 2008 was the opening round of the World Rally Championship (WRC). From 2009 until 2011, the rally served as the opening round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. The rally returned to the WRC calendar in 2012 and has been held annually since. Due to Monaco's limited size, all but the ending of the rally is held on French territory.
Football.
Monaco hosts two major football teams in the principality: the men's football club, AS Monaco FC, and the women's football club, OS Monaco. AS Monaco plays at the Stade Louis II and competes in Ligue 1 the first division of French football. The club is historically one of the most successful clubs in the French league, having won "Ligue 1" eight times (most recently in 2016–17) and competed at the top level for all but six seasons since 1953. The club reached the 2004 UEFA Champions League Final, with a team that included Dado Pršo, Fernando Morientes, Jérôme Rothen, Akis Zikos and Ludovic Giuly, but lost 3–0 to Portuguese team FC Porto. Many international stars have played for the club, such as French World Cup-winners Thierry Henry, Fabien Barthez and David Trezeguet. The Stade Louis II also played host to the annual UEFA Super Cup (1998–2012) between the winners of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.
The women's team, OS Monaco, competes in the women's French football league system. The club currently plays in the local regional league, deep down in the league system. It once played in the Division 1 Féminine, in the 1994–95 season, but was quickly relegated. Current French women's international goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi had a short stint at the club before going to the INF Clairefontaine academy.
The Monaco national football team represents the nation in association football and is controlled by the Monégasque Football Federation, the governing body for football in Monaco. However, Monaco is one of only two sovereign states in Europe (along with Vatican City) that is not a member of UEFA and so does not take part in any UEFA European Football Championship or FIFA World Cup competitions. The team plays its home matches in the Stade Louis II.
Rugby
Monaco's national rugby team, as of October 2013, is 91st in the International Rugby Board rankings.
Music
Seaside façade of the Salle Garnier, home of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.
Monaco has an opera house, a symphony orchestra and a classical ballet company.
Visual arts
Monaco has a national museum of contemporary visual art at the New National Museum of Monaco. The country also has numerous works of public art, statues,museums, and memorials (see list of public art in Monaco).
Museums in Monaco
Oceanographic Museum, Monaco
Monaco Top Cars Collection
Napoleon Museum
Oceanographic Museum
Events, festivals and shows
The Principality of Monaco hosts major international events such as :
International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo
Mondial du Théâtre
Monte-Carlo Television Festival

Education; -Primary and secondary schools
Lycée Albert Premier of Monaco
Monaco has ten state-operated schools, including: seven nursery and primary schools; one secondary school, Collège Charles III;
one lycée that provides general and technological training, Lycée Albert 1er;
and one lycée that provides vocational and hotel training, Lycée technique et hôtelier de Monte-Carlo.
There are also two grant-aided denominational private schools, Institution François d'Assise Nicolas Barré and Ecole des Sœurs Dominicaines, and one international school, the International School of Monaco, founded in 1994.
Colleges and universities
There is one university located in Monaco, namely the International University of Monaco (IUM), an English-language school specializing in business education and operated by the Institut des hautes études économiques et commerciales (INSEEC) group of schools.

In the end there is one small stretch of public beach that does not charge for a sunbath on the Monaco’s 2 kilometers long Mediterranean coast. So for the normal traveler this would be probably the last destination after a morning on the streets, riddled with super cars, known and unknown rich people. There is a Starbucks café nearby (to put is to perspective more or less everything is nearby here), and this reportedly is the Starbucks with the best view in the world. Be very careful when visiting the local clubs and restaurants, because the prize for a meal or a bottle of alcohol could be within the hundreds of euros. Partying here is really designed for the people with plentiful opportunities. So even if we feel ashamed about it, it might be the best just to take a sandwich from home, just to show mercy to our own budget here.
Don’t forget that we’re talking about a place where, if the sails of your yacht obscure the view of a millionaire’s apartment towards the Mediterranean Sea, the owner will probably sue you and for a very big amount of money as well. Everything here is expensive and luxurious. Still out there in the open for the eyes of the everyday traveler to see. Everybody of course is very polite, the service is among the best in the world, so we are welcome to visit.

Written and summarized by: Velin Nedkov

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