Piano recital raising funds for those with mental disability

Monaco will host this year’s L’Arche à Grasse annual charity gala, with a star performance by the brilliant Rainier III Academy alumni and world-renowned pianist and composer, Nicolas Horvath.  

 The Théâtre des Variétés will be hosting a night of exquisite piano playing for a good cause on 4th February, giving music lovers a good reason to get out on a frosty winter night.  

Starting at 6pm, Nicolas Horvath, a native Monegasque who has made a name for himself on the worldwide stage, will be playing a selection of pieces by composers as diverse as Frédéric Chopin, Erik Satie, Philip Glass and Claude Debussy before heading off to Rome where he is playing three performances.  

Proceeds from the concert, tickets to which cost €30 for adults and €15 for those under 26, will benefit L’Arche à Grasse. Run by Jean Vanier for the past 13 years, he had created a safe space for mentally disabled adults, and the funds from the concert will help pay for necessities like household appliances and its upkeep, as well as for computer equipment. Past donations have paid for a multi-sport area, much loved by the patients. 

For more information, please visit the website


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Photo source: Isaac Martin for Unsplash

Monaco Real Estate: A resilient market returns to near record-breaking levels

In Part II of Monaco Life’s Real Estate Report for 2022, we look at the strength of the market in the post-Covid era as well as where the best price-per-square-metre deals can be found.

Residential property covers almost two thirds of developed land in Monaco’s 2.1km² and a considerable 43% of that is concentrated in the Monte-Carlo and La Rousse neighbourhoods. So it’s no surprise that the majority of resale and previously owned property sales – the focus of Part II of this report – took place in these two quartiers.  

According to the latest figures by IMSEE, of the 432 transactions recorded during the last 12 months, 158 were signed for property in the famous central Monte-Carlo district, the home of Monaco’s iconic Carré d’Or, and a further 118 in La Rousse, the slice of land located just above the seaside Larvotto neighbourhood. Monaco-Ville, better known to most as Le Rocher or the Rock, and Larvotto both recorded the lowest number of sales, with 16 and five apiece.  

Near-record breaking year

Overall, sales came close to toppling the 2019 record of €2.48 billion, coming in at €2.35 billion. This is a 12.1% progression on the 2021 figures, demonstrating a return to the trends of pre-Covid years. Profits made in Monte-Carlo alone neared the €1 billion mark at €930.6 million, a more than 20% increase on the previous year.  

In the past decade, real estate sales in the Principality have increased by almost 100% and the average price has climbed 80.7%. Now is sits at €5.4 million, closing in on the lofty levels set in the industry’s benchmark year of 2019.

Monaco is attracting families

As discussed on Monaco Life’s latest ‘This Week in Monaco’ podcast, the Principality is trying to build its attractiveness to families and it’s a strategy that appears to be working.

In the four-bedroom and over category, 43 properties were sold, including nine villas. Their combined sales reached €730 million. Villas are in high demand and despite the numbers being similar in 2021, when seven such homes were sold, the prices that were fetched last year more than doubled on those of the previous period.  

Monaco’s price-per-square-metre continues to hover around €51,000, but in the four-bedroom+  segment, the price-per-square-metre now exceeds €55,000. Larvotto, where sea views and space come at a premium, was the most expensive district for this marker, with the price-per-square-metre reaching €62,351. The lowest in this range is in the Jardin Exotique, where the average property sells for just under €35,000 per-square-metre. 



Monaco Real Estate: New build sales top €1 billion for first time ever


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Photo by Monaco Life

Profligate Monaco held in Marseille

AS Monaco came away from the Stade Vélodrome with a point but will have been disappointed not to have earned more for their impressive efforts against Olympique de Marseille on Saturday.

By any team’s standards, a draw away to Marseille is considered a solid result. However, Monaco’s 1-1 draw is a scant reward for a match largely dominated, particularly in the first half.

The Principality side should have headed into the break three goals up, not just one. Jordan Veretout’s own goal from a Caio Henrique free-kick gave Monaco the lead, however, that should have been supplemented by at least another goal, and would have been if not for some profligate finishing from the usually prolific Wissam Ben Yedder.

Ruben Blanco, in for the injured Pau Lopez, got the better of the striker, who during the last match scored a hat-trick. Vanderson was also just inches away from adding to the score, but going in just one up at the break, the game was still very much alive.

Alexis Sanchez reminded them of that just two minutes into the second half. Alexander Nübel parried a Nuno Tavares shot right into the past of the Chilean international, who in one swift blow undid all of Les Monégasques’ good work.

Marseille, with the cauldron that is the Stade Vélodrome ignited, began to push. Leonardo Balerdi struck the bar later in the second period, but neither side could find a winner. Monaco couldn’t avenge their late defeat to Les Phocéens back in November, but they at least prevented them from increasing the gap between themselves and the podium.

“The score could have been 0-2, 0-3, or 0-4 at half-time, but we lacked efficiency. We should have killed the match, but we should still be proud of what we did,” lamented Philippe Clement post-match.

The fixture list doesn’t get too much easier for Monaco, who face Auxerre at the Stade Louis II on Wednesday before facing Paris Saint-Germain, OGC Nice and Bayer Leverkusen twice in a hectic February schedule.


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Photo by AS Monaco

Hugo Nys loses out in Australian Open final

Alongside Jan Zielinski, Monaco’s Hugo Nys reached his first Grand Slam final in Australia on Saturday, but couldn’t overcome Jason Kubler and Rinky Hijikata, who won in straight sets. 

Despite the loss in the Australian Open final, Nys nonetheless made Monégasque sporting history by becoming the first Monaco player to reach a Grand Slam final.

After an impressive run to the final, Nys and his Polish partner Zielinski came unstuck against an Aussie duo, who had the home crowd behind them. Kubler and Hijikata only got one chance to break, but took it, allowing them to take the upper hand and win the first set.

There was little separating them on the hard court of Melbourne, but the Aussie pairing got the job done in the second set, winning on a tiebreak (6-4, 7-6).

Nys’ exploits Down Under have been reflected in the ATP rankings. Going into the tournament ranked 40th in the world in doubles, the Monaco player is now 22nd.

His focus will now turn to Monaco’s upcoming Davis Cup tie against the Dominican Republic, which takes place at the Monte-Carlo Country Club next weekend, with the country’s place in Group II on the line.


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Photo by Monaco Life

Prince Albert appoints new head of EU negotations

Isabelle Costa, currently an advisor in the Prince’s cabinet, has been appointed High Commissioner for European Affairs. She will oversee negotiations between the Principality and the European Union.  

Since 18th March 2015, Monaco has been officially engaged in negotiations with the European Union (EU) that aim to reach an equitable agreement allowing Monaco to participate as fully as possible in the EU’s internal market whilst ensuring respect for the Principality’s vital and separate interests.  

The person now in charge of these talks for the Principality is the new High Commissioner for European Affairs, Isabelle Costa, under the direct authority of Minister of State Pierre Dartout. Her job will be, in addition to dialogues with the EU, to oversee diplomatic services.  

She will step into the role previously held by Gilles Tonelli.

Isabelle Costa has been appointed High Commissioner for European Affairs in Monaco. Photo source: LinkedIn

A graduate of Sciences Po Aix, the College of Europe and the National School of Administration, Costa has held various positions in the Monegasque diplomatic corps, followed by a stint at the General Inspectorate of Administration, before being appointed Deputy Secretary General of the Government in charge of the Europe Cell in 2016. 

Monaco’s affiliation with the EU is marked by common values, such as basic human rights, the rule of law and environmental concerns, but no formal agreement is in place securing the roles each side plays with the other.   

In June 2022, the Council of the European Union, under France’s presidency, noted that the negotiations were set to enter into a decisive phase, and said that it was looking forward to further substantial progress, including on politically sensitive issues. Costa will be instrumental in these discussions bearing fruit.  


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Photo source: Monaco Life


Photos: Princess Charlene and twins thrill crowds at Sainte Devote celebrations

In Prince Albert II’s absence, Princess Charlene stepped into the leading role for the traditional Sainte Devote celebrations alongside her children Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella.

The Princely family – minus the Prince who is under quarantine with Covid – kicked off Thursday evening’s Sainte Devote festivities with the annual arrival of the boat, representing the one that brought the body of Monaco’s patron saint to its shores.  

A procession followed to bring the boat to the courtyard in front of the Sainte Devote Chapel, where the Princess, dressed smartly in a black jumper with trousers and a long grey coat, and eight-year-old twins Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, used long red and white candles – the colours of the Principality’s flag – to set the boat alight as tradition dictates.


The spectacle, always something to experience, was made all the more special by seeing it through the eyes of the twins, who looked on in wonder, periodically hugging each other in delight and waving goodbye to the burning vessel.   

All eyes then turned to the skies as a magnificent eight-minute show featuring a hundred drones lit up the night with images related to the event.  

The celebrations continue on Friday with a high mass held in the Saint’s honour, followed by a church and Princely family processional around the Rock.  

Later in the day, from 4pm to 530pm, the Department of Cultural Affairs is organising an organ concert by Silvano Rodi, resident organist at the Church of Sainte Devote, in collaboration with the Diocese of Monaco.  

All are welcome, but space is limited.  



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Photos credit: Eric Mathon, Palais Princier de Monaco