"Where is Monaco?" If you answered "France," you'd be almost correct but not altogether accurate. While the tiny principality or sovereign city-state of Monaco is closely associated with its larger neighbor, it actually gained independence under French guardianship in 1861. Surrounded by France on three sides and by Italy on the fourth, Monaco measures only 2.02 km2 (0.78 sq mi.) in size. It is the second smallest country in the world next to the Vatican; however as a sovereign state it has earned the right to have its own currency.
To be more accurate, the answer to "where is Monaco" is as follows. Monaco lies 18 km east of Nice on the Mediterranean coast of Southern France known as the Côte d'Azur (literally "the blue coast"). While Monaco's population numbers about 33,000, the Monegasque make up only 16% of the people, outnumbered by the 47% French nationals in the country (with the remainder made up of Italians and other nationalities).
However despite the fact that most people can't accurately answer "Where is Monaco?", there is no doubt that some 1.5 million tourists find their way to Monaco every year to enjoy its warm, dry summers and beautiful beaches, its luxury accommodations and high standard of living, and its designer shopping venues.
Photo by: arnaud 25
What really attracts the masses to Monaco, however, are its two premiere features: The famous casino and gaming tables of Monte Carlo, which have been a fixture in Monaco since the 1800s, and the Monaco Grand Prix, held in May. The latter rates right up there with the Indianapolis 500, bringing thousands of spectators to watch the four-day event from both public seating and rented-out private viewing terraces. In terms of car racing, the 77 laps which traverse the winding streets of Monaco are considered some of the most technically difficult and dangerous in the sport.
"Where is Monaco" is one of the first questions you should ask your travel agent or tour guide when you visit France. Throughout the year, Monaco's many cultural offerings never fail to deliver. Here is a rundown of activities and events to keep you busy during your stay in Monaco:
Now that you know all about Monaco and why it is considered one of the world's premier destinations, show off your genius by asking your friends and family who can successfully answer: Where is Monaco?