Monaco in mourning after death of former Archbishop Barsi

Archbishop Emeritus Bernard Barsi, who served Monaco for two decades, has died after suffering a severe heart attack on Christmas eve.

It was announced on Wednesday evening by the current Archbishop that 80-year-old Barsi had died in Nice.

Bernard Barsi suffered a heart attack on Christmas Eve after celebrating mass for the inmates of the Nice prison. He passed away on Wednesday 28th December at around 5pm at the L’Archet Hospital in Nice surrounded by his family.

“It is with great emotion that we give thanks to God for the life of Archbishop Bernard Barsi”, said Archbishop Dominique-Marie David, who succeeded him in 2020, in a public statement. “He who has worked for so many years for the proclamation of the Gospel in Monaco.”

Details of the funeral are yet to be revealed.

Archbishop Barsi was very close to the Princely family, most notably conducting the funeral of Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 2005, the wedding of Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock in July 2011, and baptising Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella in May 2015.



Photo source: Diocese of Monaco

Prince Albert to found Académie de la Mer with full support from PACA region

Pioneered by Prince Albert, a project to build an Académie de la Mer has been given unequivocal support by the PACA region, heralding a new age of collaboration and partnership.

The recent Act V of Mediterranean of the Future, a major conference involving European Mediterranean territories and stakeholders who come together to address the negative effects of climate change, was the scene for the announcement.

President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region Renaud Muselier and Prince Albert had met to discuss the broad spectrum of issues related to climate change in the Mediterranean and, more specifically, the marine zone that borders southern France and the Principality, but it was the Monaco sovereign’s plans to found an educational institution – the Académie de la Mer – that proved to be the biggest highlight of the event.

The concept is a place of learning that focuses on three key areas: maritime law, international relations on issues related to the oceans and the sea, and major environmental themes.

The PACA region has thrown its support behind the plans, with Muselier complimenting the Principality for its efforts and insight on ecological issues in the Mediterranean.

“If there is one state that is ahead in the maritime field, it is the Principality of Monaco,” he said. “For more than a century, it has been equipping itself with infrastructure, tools and major institutions. As the pilot region for ecological planning in France, committed to a 100% climate-focused approach that is unique in Europe, I am keen for the [PACA] region to support this absolutely essential initiative.”

Prince Albert also shared his enthusiasm for the collaboration, saying, “I am delighted by the PACA region’s support for this project, the value of which must be viewed in light of the challenges that the Mediterranean, like all the other seas and oceans, will have to face in the future.”

The inspiring project is yet to be formalised, but the two men will meet again in March, this time in Monaco and during Oceans Week, to hash out the details and determine how exactly the PACA region will contribute to its design as well as the role it will play in the future institution.



Photo source: Monaco Communications Department

Monaco ranked one of most expensive destinations in the world in 2022

Monaco has been ranked as the 10th most expensive destination in the world in 2022, with the average cost of a trip to the Principality totalling over €10,000.

Based on travel insurance policy sales for trips insured between January 1st and November 27th 2022, Monaco is one of the most expensive destinations in the world, according to However, for the second consecutive year, it is African destinations that top the list. 

Congo has been ranked as the most expensive destination. The average cost of a trip to the Central African nation is nearly €32,500. The next most expensive is Botswana, where the average cost of a visit is nearly €18,000.

Antarctica remains a popular and expensive destination, whilst Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the Marshall Islands, Kenya and the Central African Republic are all more expensive destinations than the shores of Monaco. 

In 2019, the last non-Covid affected calendar year for tourism, an estimated seven million tourists visited the Principality, although only around 600,000 of those spent the night within Monaco’s borders, according to Monaco statistics source IMSEE. 


Photo credit: Cassandra Tanti, Monaco Life

Covid latest: Winter cases fall as Omicron variant proves less deadly

Both the number of severe Covid cases and circulation in general continue to decline in Monaco, indicating a less dangerous coronavirus season than last winter. We explain why.

Monaco’s health department revealed on Tuesday that there had been 67 new cases of Covid detected in the Principality in the week ending 25th December 2022. Of the 1,201 PCR and antigen tests conducted, 13.5% came back positive, compared to 20% in the first week of December.

The incidence rate has now dropped to 171, down from 258 the previous week and a peak of 536 in early December.

Hospitalisations are also falling, with 25 people, including 13 residents, now being cared for at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre, compared to 46 two weeks ago.

All indicators suggest that the worst of the winter Covid season is over.

It is a very different situation to what Monaco was experiencing this time last year. By 27th December 2021, Covid numbers were rising at such a worrying rate, the government reinstated some restrictions to limit the spread of the virus over the new year and back to school period.

So, what has changed?

It has been one year since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that there was a new variant of concern: Omicron. It would go on to change the trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic across the globe.

Omicron was identified as being more transmissible than Delta. Within four weeks it had replaced Delta as the most dominant variant in the world.

But by March 2022, WHO estimated that almost 90% of the global population had antibodies against the Covid-19 virus, whether through vaccination or infection, and the new variant was causing less severe disease than Delta on average.

Since the emergence of Omicron, the virus has continued to evolve. Today, there are over 500 sublineages of this variant circulating, but not one has been designated as a new variant of concern.


Photo credit: Cassandra Tanti, Monaco Life

PACA approves “100% green” budget in European first

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region took a radical new approach to its latest budget in marking each expense and investment on its ecological credentials. Now it has been approved and the scores are in…

The president of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA), Renaud Muselier, has announced that the region’s budget for 2023-2028 is, in a first for Europe, “100% green”. 

Under a progressive new scheme, the final expenses and investments included in the budget have all been evaluated and given a ranking based on their ecological impact, with Muselier explaining “each euro cent committed by the region will be subject to climate criteria”.  

The evaluation process included five categories, from “very favourable” to “undefined/further analysis required”, based on the climate objectives set by France to achieve carbon neutral status by 2050. Following self-assessment, the region has reported that 36.7% of budget items returned a result of “very favourable” and a further 20.6% as “favourable under conditions”.  

Examples includes the electrification of the region’s ports and harbours, the planting of five million trees in forest and urban settings, and the move to make public transport carbon-free by 2030.  

The region has also announced an objective to only commit to funding programmes that have a minimum ecological rating of “neutral”, although exceptions may be made in complex situations.  

Muselier hopes this focus on the environment will become a benchmark for other regions in the country.   

The budget for 2023 comes to a total of €2.86 billion, representing an increase of 17.4% compared to 2022. Between 2023 and 2028, an anticipated €30 billion will be mobilised in the region, comprising of €15 billion in regional input, €10 billion from the EU and €5 billion from the French state.



Photo source: Thomas Despeyroux for Unsplash

Ring in the New Year with free tickets for Monaco v Brest

After a seven-week absence, AS Monaco return to the Stade Louis II, heralding the New Year with a Ligue 1 fixture against Brest, and fans can attend for free.

The Principality side are celebrating the inaugural French football “Celebrations Week” in style, by offering fans the chance to watch Philippe Clement’s side for free on 1st January. The 17th game of the Ligue 1 season takes place at the Stade Louis II at 15:00 local time.

Tickets for the event can be obtained at the club’s online store, with fans able to reserve up to six places. The site has been modernised during the recent World Cup for easier usage. Fans will be placed in the “first” stand and in the “Munegu Family” stands inside the Stade Louis II.

Les Monégasques will return to their home ground for the first time in seen weeks high on confidence after their victory against Auxerre on Wednesday, and their homecoming will be attended by thousands of Monaco fans, who free of charge, will fill the iconic stadium.


Photo by AS Monaco