Archbishop Emeritus Bernard Barsi: “He knew how to provide advice and comfort to everyone”

Tributes have come in from the Palace, the Prince’s Government and the National Council for former Archbishop of Monaco Bernard Barsi, who passed away on Wednesday aged 80 years.

An official communication from the Palace reads: “HSHs Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene learned with deep sadness and great emotion of the sudden death of Monsignor Bernard Barsi, Archbishop Emeritus of Monaco…

“The Principality keeps the memory of a passionate man of faith, attached to the priesthood and to the values of the Gospel, who, thanks to his benevolence and his ability to listen, knew how to make himself appreciated by everyone in the diocese.

“In these hours of sorrow, the Prince and Princess wish to honour the memory of the man who, for more than 20 years, accompanied the Sovereign Family, spiritually and pastorally, in the most significant moments of the Principality’s recent history.”

The Princely Couple sent their condolences to the family of Monsignor Barsi “as well as to the people, clerics and laity, who were dear to him.”

Rentrée des Tribunaux 2018, photo courtesy Prince’s Palace.

The Government of Monaco also released a public statement, saying, in part: “During all these years, until his retirement in 2020, Monsignor Bernard Barsi guided the Catholic community of Monaco with benevolence and fraternity. Always attentive to the faithful, he knew how to provide advice and comfort to everyone. His human qualities were unanimously recognised and appreciated.

“Since his episcopal consecration on October 8, 2000, he has been the actor and the privileged witness of the moments of joy and sadness of the Monegasque community and of the major religious events that have accompanied the Princely Family and the population of the Principality.”

The Mairie de Monaco, in its homage to the Archbishop Emeritus, said “Deeply attentive and accessible, Monsignor Barsi has also always shown great availability, especially during traditional celebrations organised by the Mairie, testifying to his strong attachment to Monaco and its population.”

Bernard Barsi was born in Nice and was appointed Archbishop of Monaco in 2000 by Pope John Paul II where he served for two decades before retiring in 2020. He died at the L’Archet Hospital in Nice on Wednesday 28th December after suffering a heart attack on 24th December.

The funeral will take place on Wednesday 4th January in the Cathedral of Monaco. Like his predecessors, Bishop Bernard Barsi will be buried in the bishops’ vault under the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

His coffin will be on public display at the Chapel of Mercy, opposite the Town Hall of Monaco, on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd January.


Photo above taken during Sainte Devote 2017, courtesy Prince’s Palace

Early spring festivals for the whole family

With the New Year fast approaching, Monaco Life picks out some of the region’s best family-friendly festivals for early 2023. 

Monte-Carlo Circus Festival 

First up for family attractions is the incredible Monte-Carlo Circus Festival, which is the biggest of its kind in the world! The breath-taking display is back after a Covid hiatus and will be celebrating its 45th anniversary in the Fontvieille Big Top from 20th to 29th January. A great number of international acts, from magicians and unicyclists to horseback riders and jugglers, are also returning to the spotlight. Don’t forget the New Generation side event, which champions young and emerging talents from the industry. For more information, please click here.  

Nice’s famous Carnival 

From 10th to 26th February, the streets of Nice will come alive with parades, dance troupes and music for the annual carnival event. With this year’s theme of King of World Treasures, the crowd can expect a particularly vibrant show. It’s also officially 150 years since the tradition of the carnival began in Nice, starting back in 1873, so it’s a momentous occasion in the history of this beloved festival that is famed for its colossal structures still made by artisans in the city. A special anniversary parade has been programmed for Saturday 11th February – book tickets now for your chance to attend!  

Menton’s Fête du Citron 

The lemon festival, as it’s widely known, is an iconic event on the French Riviera and regularly attracts over 200,000 people, young and old. Due to be held from 11th to 26th February with the quirky theme of rock and opera, the festival holds both day and night-time parades through the decorated streets and gardens of this seaside town. Side events include the spectacular orchid market and crafts fair. A Pink Floyd-inspired night on Saturday 18th February, entitled The Dark Side of the Moon, is set to be a highlight of the festival. Here’s the link to tickets and the programme. 

Festival International de Jeux in Cannes 

From 24th to 26th February, Cannes’ famous Palais des Festivals et des Congrès will become the epicentre of the international games industry, with exhibits from studios, publishers, authors, illustrators and professional gamers. Over 45,000m2 of traditional and classic games will be on show, including new releases and some premieres as well as videogames and simulation games. The industry event takes place over a full week, but the general public are invited in for the closing days of the festival, allowing keen gamers opportunities to meet their favourite creators and players. Please click here for more information.



Photo source: Carnaval de Nice/Facebook

E1 commits to Sports for Nature Framework at COP15

The E1 championship, which is set to get underway in 2023, signed up to the Sports for Nature Framework during the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal, Canada. 

The championship, to be hosted in Monaco, and other locations worldwide, is one of the founding signatories of the Framework and aims to deliver transformative nature-positive action across sports by 2030 and protect the natural world and reverse the loss of biodiversity. 

The world’s first all-electric race boat championship will not only promote sustainable politics through its mere existence, by channelling it through the vessel of sport but will also set up coastal restoration projects in cities around the world. 

E1’s chief scientist, Carlos Duarte, said, “I’m delighted to see E1 become a founding signatory for the Sports for Nature Framework. E1 is committed to helping restore aquatic and marine ecosystems at scale in cities and race venues around the world.”

The commitment means that even before an E1 boat has taken to the water, the championship will have already worked towards tangible and positive environmental goals, that are key to protecting the world’s oceans and their biodiversity.   


Photo by E1 Series/ Lloyd Images

Smart Yacht Rendezvous: An event uniting sustainability and innovation in Monaco

la belle classe

Yachts, a symbol of luxury synonymous with Monaco, but also one that can clash with the Principality’s drive for sustainability. The upcoming Smart Yacht Rendezvous seeks to change that juxtaposition.    

The first ever edition of Smart Yacht Rendezvous (SYR) is set to take place at the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) between 23rd and 24th March 2023, slotting neatly into the wider Monaco Ocean Week.

The concept seeks to highlight the need for sustainability-focused innovation at each stage of a yacht’s life cycle, from the research and development phase to construction, maintenance, retrofits and, ultimately, disassembly. 

Organiser Monaco Marina Management (M3), itself an environmentally-aware yachting consultancy based in the Principality, hopes the networking event will help bring owners and players from yachting together so that the challenges of remaking the industry can be discovered and discussed in a balanced forum.  

“It is imperative to involve the entire ecosystem to make it more virtuous by encouraging exchanges and bringing on innovations that can effect major changes to the industry. Today it’s a priority,” said Jose Marco Casellini, the CEO of M3, in announcing the event. “We started with infrastructures, the Monaco Smart & Sustainable Marina Rendezvous, and logic dictates that we continue with yachts as the two are inextricably linked.”  

The SYR comes on the heels of two successful editions of the Smart & Sustainable Marina Rendezvous, also held at the YCM, the third of which is being planned for 24th and 25th September 2023.  

“Monaco is not only the capital of luxury yachting, but most importantly, the capital of sustainable yachting,” Prince Albert II and also the president of the YCM has said.  

It is a sentiment echoed by Bernard d’Alessandri, the president of Cluster Yachting Monaco and the general secretary of the YCM: “For many years, the Yacht Club de Monaco and its president, Prince Albert II, have supported any action promoting sustainability in the yachting world. We need to act together and fast. YCM is a platform to present tangible solutions that can make a difference.” 

Tickets are now available for the event and cost €500, including access to all roundtable events and networking sessions. 

For more information, please visit the website. 



Photo by Monaco Life

‘Rent Map’ shows high price of property rentals in French Riviera

Beausoleil and Cap d’Ail have some of the highest rental prices in France, close to that of Paris and more than St. Jean Cap Ferrat, according to the latest ‘Rent Map’. Here are the other cities that make up the top 10 in the French Riviera.

The latest update of ‘la carte des loyers’, the new digital tool launched by the French government in collaboration with the National Agency for Housing and the SeLoger and Leboncoin groups, shows that on average, one square metre in Cap d’Ail costs €27 to rent, while in Paris the figure is not far off at €28.6 a square metre.

Beausoleil, at €25.1 per square metre, comes second out of all the municipalities in the Alpes-Maritimes where the rent of a typical apartment is highest.

These are the top 10 municipalities in the Alpes-Maritimes with the highest rents:

Cap d’Ail: €27/m²

Beausoleil: €25.1/m²

Eze: €23.7/m²

La Turbie: 23.4 €/m²

Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin: €21.4/m²

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat: €21.1/m²

Villefranche-sur-Mer: €20.3/m²

Biot, Roquefort-les-Pins, Valbonne: €18.3/m²

Villeneuve-Loubet: €18.2/m²

Menton, Gorbio and Saint-Agnès: €18/m²

The map is interactive and is available to all online. It shows the prices per m2 of different categories of properties, for example an apartment with one or two rooms, or a single-family house. The indicators use advertised rents for properties rented in the third quarter of 2022 and include charges.

For the French Government, the “knowledge of rents contributes to the proper functioning of the private rental market and represents a major challenge in the conduct of national and local housing policies”.

In France, the most expensive apartments (three rooms or more) are in Neuilly-sur-Seine at €29.4 per m2, Paris at €28.3, and Levallois-Perret at €27.1. Meanwhile, in many rural municipalities, the rent drops to €5 per m2.


Photo by Thierry Ilansades

Major overhaul of PACA TER trains in the works

train nice ter

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region has announced a grand plan to renovate and modernise its TER rail network with the goal of increasing comfort and environmental performance.  

Within the 2023-2028 budget, €30 million has been set aside for the project: a “large-scale operation” to update 60 trains and thus improve comfort for passengers and reduce emissions.  

The first stage of the renovation plans will focus on modernising the 29 trains that operate between the Alps and the west of the region, focusing on optimum comfort internally and the installation of particle filters to improve environmental performance. These works will take place in the period from 2024 to 2030. 

The second overhaul will take place as part of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) project. The concept will bring innovative technology to the 31 trains and signal service on the Marseille-Ventimiglia line, resulting in a higher level of service and reduced overall costs.  

“Our ambition is to strengthen the positioning of our region as an innovative and exemplary territory in the implementation of the Climate Plan, without forgetting of course the well-being of our inhabitants,” explained Muselier. “For us, it is essential that regional transport be accessible to all, with modern equipment that respects the environment”.  

In line with its aim of providing accessible transport, the region has also announced that it would cover the majority of the anticipated cost increase to transport for 2023, with only €6 million, of €30 million in total, being passed onto users.  


Photo by Monaco Life