Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Exciting Place of Monte Carlo

Monte-Carlo (Occitan: Montcarles, Monégasque: Monte-Carlu) is one of Monaco's various administrative areas, sometimes erroneously believed to be a town or the country's capital. The official capital is Monaco-Ville and covers all quarters of the territory.

Monte-Carlo is known for its casinos, gambling, glamour, and for sightings of famous people. The permanent population is about 3,000. Monte-Carlo quarter includes not only Monte-Carlo proper where the famous Le Grand Casino is located, but also the neighborhoods of Saint-Michel, Saint-Roman/Tenao, and the beach community of Larvotto. It borders the French town of Beausoleil (formerly known as Monte-Carlo-Supérieur).

Founded in 1866, Monte-Carlo has a name of Italian origin meaning "Mount Charles", named in compliment to the prince then reigning, Charles III of Monaco. The specific mountain is the escarpment at the foot of the Maritime Alps on which the town stands.

Monte-Carlo is home to most of the Circuit de Monaco, on which the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix takes place; it also hosts world championship boxing bouts, the European Poker Tour Grand Final and the World Backgammon Championship as well as fashion shows and other events. Although the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament is billed as taking place in the community, its actual location is in the adjacent French commune of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Monte-Carlo has been visited by royalty as well as the general public and movie stars for decades. The quarter of Monte-Carlo was served by tramways from 1900 to 1953, linking parts of Monaco. The Monte-Carlo Rally is one of the longest running and most respected car rallies, and marks the start of each rally season as the first event on the World Rally Championship calendar, but the rally takes place outside the Monte-Carlo quarter.

Monte-Carlo is one of Europe's leading tourist resorts, although many of the key tourist destinations are located in other parts of Monaco, including such attractions as Monaco Cathedral, the Napoleon Museum, the Oceanographic Museum and aquarium, and the Prince's Palace, all of which are located in Monaco-Ville.
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