Monaco

There's more to Monaco than race cars and a luxe casino. Read on for more about this tiny independent nation.

1. Since gaining its independence from the Republic of Genoa in 1297, Monaco has been ruled by the Grimaldi family, making that line the oldest ruling family in Europe. In 2002, the constitutional monarchy signed a treaty with France allowing it to remain an independent nation, even if the family should stop producing heirs.

2. At just 0.75 square miles, Monaco is the second smallest country in the world. (The smallest, of course, is Vatican City.) Monaco's total land area is about the size of New York City’s Central Park. It takes just under an hour (about 56 minutes, actually) to walk the width of Monaco.

3. Although you'll see both Monacan and Monegasque listed as acceptable demonyms for residents of Monaco, they prefer the latter.

4. However you refer to them, those who live in Monaco have a life expectancy of almost 90 years on of the longest in the world. Meanwhile, the literacy rate hovers around 100 percent.

5. Despite its small size, there are several higher education institutions within the country, including the Rainer III Academy of Music and the Nursing School at the Princess Grace Hospital Complex.

6. Monaco’s red-and-white flag look exacatly like Indoensia’s except there’s one slight difference: Indonesia’s is wider. Yes, that’s it.

7. The city’s biggest attraction is the Casino de Monte Carlo. Citizens, however, are not allowed to gamble --- or even enter!—the establishment. Its most notable, and perhaps most frequent, visitor: James Bond. The international spy hits the casino in Never Say Never AgainGolden Eye, and Casino Royale.
 


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