Three days in Monaco (part 1)
A helicopter came in from the sea to land, and a young gentleman in glasses with red glasses and a light suitcase made of red leather shouted into my ear, squinting from the sun:
“I want to write a book, get a Nobel Prize in literature, and instead of money I’ll ask the Nobel Committee to be made me a monegasque.” I managed, they say it is real.
– And what is the thrill of being a Monegasque? (The young gentleman is a well-known Moscow journalist Valery Panyushkin, it is worth listening to him.)
– Do not pay taxes …
As soon as the helicopter landed on Cape Fontviy, I felt somehow touching. As if in a fairy tale about Cheburashka – everything is like a toy: a micro-kit, fire and police microparticles, a micro-supermarket. The fact is that this bulk cape – Monte Carlo won a hectare from the sea, and we got another independent tiny micro-district in an independent tiny principality. The local monarchs of Grimaldi are satisfied: their princedom has become a little more, and relations with neighbors France and Italy are in order. It turned out very intelligently. For such intelligence, in particular, Monaco is a full-fledged member of the UN, even though the area of the principality is less than the territory of Moscow within the Garden Ring.
The Promenade is walking in the casino square – a concept for Monte Carlo year-round, daily and hourly. The main “podium” of the principality is the area of the casino. A little colder than twelve to fifteen degrees of heat – so everything is already in luxurious fur coats (winter!). Ladies are not very hot, because under a fur coat an evening dress with an open back, and on legs with a thorough pedicure – weightless mule shoes. If sneakers and pants, then Hermes or Louis Vuitton. The square itself and the pavements are so licked and cleaned up as if they are being given as thorough and regular pedicures as the legs of the ladies and gentlemen walking along them. The public is clearly facing the casino building in the style of belle epoque, the work of the architect Garnier – the very one who built the Paris Grand Opera.
And the bridges, and the square, and the casino, and everything else that is on the square – Hotel de Paris and Cafe de Paris – is the property of the Society of Sea Bathing (so elegantly, in the style of the turn of the XIX and XX centuries, Societe des Bains de Mer is translated )
In addition, the company owns: twenty-two of the best restaurants in Monte Carlo, of which one, Louis XV, has three Michelin stars and chef Alain Ducasse, as well as three more five-star hotels and a beach.
And society itself is sixty percent and already more than a hundred years owned by the state. And the state of Monaco, as you know, completely and for almost seven hundred years belongs to the Grimaldi family.
The princely family of Grimaldi is from Genoa. In Monaco, he reigned supreme in 1419, after the Genoese owned a fortress here for two centuries. Like all small states (remember Malta), Monaco passed … no, not just from hand to hand, but from the guardianship of some rulers to the shade of others.
The hall of the Louis XV restaurant of the Genoese was replaced by the Spaniards, then it was time for the French, and then the Sardinians. During the period of regular revolutions, reigning was generally abolished, but not for long. The spirit of the Monegasques conquered difficulties, but when it got really bad, they sold the land. So the French overhanging the cliffs of Roquebrune were given to the French, and at the same time the wondrous town of Menton. But today, almost the richest part of humanity rushes to the remaining couple of square kilometers. Indeed, in Monaco, some tax privileges for the rich continued to be preserved, although under the unequivocal pressure of Europeans, local banks are now forced to become more transparent.
Most of the decisions in Monaco still depend on the will of the Serene Highness Prince, who was pretty much weakened by numerous family scandals (the bodyguard, as a son-in-law and, moreover, an infidel, is indeed not enough). The prince is assisted by 18 deputies who make up the National Council, as well as the Minister of State proposed by the French President Grimaldi. Since Monaco does not have its own border and customs, the role of France is almost decisive in many areas of local life. But wherever possible, Monegasques recall their identity and statehood.
Hotel de Paris smells like green orange
A pointless question to the ancestors: well, why am I not a Monegasque? Or at least not a rich heiress to anything? Otherwise, I would relish the freshest mozzarella lunch every day with a glass of Chateau Margaux, throw my lemon “lamborghini” open at the Cafe de Paris.