Shoebox gift drive for the region’s most vulnerable

The Monaco-based charity Semeurs d’Espoir (Sowers of Hope) and Carrefour Monaco have once again teamed up to ask for donations that will be distributed to the needy on Christmas Eve. 

Semeurs d’Espoir and Carrefour Monaco have launched their annual Christmas Box operation, aimed at offering those in need a surprise box of items to alleviate their worries during the festive period, which can be a particularly difficult time of year for many.  

The public are being encouraged to drop off a shoebox of certain non-perishable items at the entry to Carrefour Monaco between 14th November and 19th December. The items will be distributed on Christmas Eve to the area’s most needy.  

Suitable items include: treats like chocolates or other sweets; something to keep them warm such as hats, gloves, socks, jumpers; a hygiene or beauty product like lip balm, hand cream or shower gel; and something for fun, such as playing cards, a book or a magazine. Additionally, a holiday card, note or drawing is also suggested.   

Items should be geared toward either a man or a woman, and clearly labelled as such. Boxes are available at the Aldo shoe store in the Fontvieille Shopping Centre for those who don’t have one handy.  

Last year, 350 boxes were collected and distributed. The goal for 2022 is to reach 500 boxes and spread even more Christmas cheer. 



Photo source: Kira auf der Heide

Paul Mitchell reacts to AS Monaco’s “exciting” Europa League draw

AS Monaco have drawn German side Bayern Leverkusen in the first round of the Europa League knockout stages, in what sporting director Paul Mitchell has described as an “exciting game.”

Last Thursday’s comfortable victory over Red Star Belgrade consolidated Philippe Clement’s second place in their Europa League group, meaning that unlike last year, they will face against a dropout from this year’s Champions League competition.

During Monday’s draw, Monaco drew German side Bayern Leverkusen, who have been struggling in their domestic division so far this season.

“I think it’s an exciting draw. Their league position is a bit false, to be honest,” began Mitchell. “I spent time in Germany, and they were always a great rivals of ours at RB Leipzig (one of Mitchell’s former clubs). They were always fighting for the podium, fighting for the top four. I actually, fortunately, and maybe intuitively, was there last week for their game against Club Bruges so I have seen first-hand the quality that they have. They’ve just changed coach to Alonso, so they have someone implementing a different style and they’ve just had a massive win against Union Berlin at the weekend, who are having a fantastic season. It will be a tough challenge, but I think it will be an exciting game,” he continued.

Asked by Monaco Life whether Alonso’s recent arrival at the German club makes them a bit of an unknown entity, Mitchell replied, “Everyone is going to get this kind of micro pre-season again. That will give [Alonso] time on the grass with his team. Any new coach wants as much of that as they possibly can. I think we’ll see a different Leverkusen in the second half of the season when we play them. Seeing the quality of their squad list, the dynamism of their team, it’s going to be a tough challenge for us for sure.”

Monaco visit Leverkusen on 16th February, before hosting the return leg one week later, with Clement’s men looking to better last year’s performance in the competition.


Photo of Paul Mitchell by Monaco Life


Covid cases remain stable in Monaco

Good news out of Monaco’s health department this week as the circulation of Covid-19 in the Principality has changed little in a week.

According to the government’s weekly communication, there were 64 new cases of Covid detected in Monaco among residents and non-residents in the week ending Sunday 6th November.

The Princess Grace Hospital Centre is caring for 10 Covid patients, including five residents, while the Home Monitoring Centre is following 33 people with mild symptoms.

The incidence rate has remained steady at 163, compared to 161 the previous week, while in the neighbouring Alpes Maritimes department the incidence rate is 211.



Photo by Monaco Life





Prince Albert receives honorary doctorate in Calabria

Hot on the heels of a successful trip to the United States, Prince Albert II has headed to the Calabria region of Italy to tour locations historically linked to the Grimaldi family and receive an honorary doctorate. 

On 7th November, Prince Albert’s trip began at the National Museum of Magna Graecia in Reggio Calabria. Founded in 1882, the museum houses an important collection of items found on archaeological sites in the coastal regions of southern Italy and Sicily. The centrepieces are two bronze statues known as the Riace bronzes, sculptural masterpieces which are considered one of the biggest attractions at the museum. 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of these two bronzes found off the coast of Riace on the site of a shipwreck which occurred in ancient times.

At the end of the day, the Prince was invited to wear the doctoral students gown at the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria where he received a Doctorate Honoris Causa in forest and environmental sciences. This distinction comes through his actions in the fields of biodiversity preservation, sustainable development and the fight against global warming, particularly in the Mediterranean. 

That evening, the Prince and his delegation attended a gala dinner at Villa Fenice organised by the Italian branch of the Prince Albert II Foundation, led by its President Marco Colasanti. 


Click on the images below to see more of Prince Albert’s trip. Photos credit: Gaetan Luci / Palais princier

One billion euros to fund important Mediterranean projects

Speaking from COP27 in Egypt, the president of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, Renaud Muselier, has announced the creation of a one billion euro fund to protect and preserve the Mediterranean.  

In a coup of heroic proportions, Muselier revealed via a press release from COP27 that fundraising has now begun to establish an account available for ventures involving the Mediterranean Sea. Currently in Egypt, where he is joined by a delegation of French politicians and scientists, Muselier said the fund was being put together “so that environmental projects can see the light of day in the Mediterranean”.  

The infrastructure investment fund, called PAMEx Locally Investment Facility or PLIFF, is part of a wider scheme to protect the Mediterranean that was launched at the International Congress for Nature in Marseille in 2021, the Plan d’Action pour une Méditerranée Exemplaire (Action Plan for an Exemplary Mediterranean or PAMEx). The PLIFF represents its financial wing. 

“The challenge is to raise one billion euros of capital by 2024, [which is] to be deployed by 2030,” affirmed Muselier.  

The ambitious plan has a number of projects in the works, including: the creation of greener infrastructure, notably transforming ports into spaces powered by sustainably sourced electricity; to achieve zero emissions for maritime transport by 2030; a zero plastics scheme for coastal cities; and the preservation and restoration of fragile ecosystems around the Mediterranean basin. A consortium has already begun mapping “hot spots” to target.  

Muselier also revealed plans were already in motion for an event this coming December, dubbed the Mediterranean of the Future, which will allow people “to discover the first results of the pilot project for the green electrification of ports in the Mediterranean”.  



Photo source: Antoine Rakotozafy for Unsplash

Major strikes planned for Thursday

A mass national strike is planned across France this Thursday, with marches and widespread transport disruptions being the main features.

A multi-sector general strike planned by several French unions, including CGT, Force Ouvriére, Solidaires and UNSA, will no doubt wreak havoc on local public transport on Thursday.

The 10th November strikes are the continuation of a campaign designed to improve working conditions and obtain pay rises for unionised workers to help off-set cost of living increases.

Locally, this means that the Lignes d’Azur network will be shut down all day. There will be no bus or tramway services available in Nice and the surrounding areas. Additionally, the SNCF rail service will be impacted.

Although unclear how represented these strikes will be, if the previous demonstrations on 18th October are an indicator, there will be significant disruptions to travel, not only due to lack of workers, but also because of marches and protests in the streets.

In Nice, Gaël Nofri, deputy mayor of Nice Parking told Nice Matin, “As every time this is the case, the city of Nice will proceed to offer free on-street parking. A strike being assigned as an emergency situation, we propose an offer accordingly in order to best help the inhabitants.”

A proposal to make the city’s Vélo Bleu service (Blue Bikes) free to all for the day was pushed aside, with Nofri explaining, “It is not planned because we are bound by a contract which does not provide for it.” He did, however, add that “in the future perhaps, the idea is not uninteresting”.

Advice for those who wish to use public transport on Thursday is to check availability ahead of time, or to simply avoid travel on that day.



Photo source: Lignes d’Azur