The Monaco Life Ski Report

As we head into April, the skiing season is drawing to an end. In Monaco Life’s last Ski Report of the season, we bring you the conditions across the region.

Isola 2000 – There are currently 36 ski slopes and 15 ski lifts open in Isola 2000. Despite the end of the skiing season appearing on the horizon, there is a chance of further snowfall next week. It will be cloudy with sunny spells throughout the weekend.

Auron – There are currently 21 ski pistes and 11 ski lifts open at the resort, as levels of snow decrease. There will be some strong winds, perhaps touching 45 km/h on Saturday.

Valberg – Due to the lack of snow, Valberg has now closed for the season.

Limone Piemonte – The Italian resort has currently closed all lifts and pistes, but they will reopen again this weekend before the end of the season. Temperatures are also expected to be high relative to French resorts, with highs of 13°C. Passage through the Roya valley currently isn’t possible. The journey from Monaco is currently approximately three hours by car, although the train line is in operation.

Gréolières-les-Neiges – This popular family resort has closed its slopes for the winter season.

Val d’Allos – The resort, which combines Allos, Seigneus and La Foux d’Allos as well as access to Pra-Loup, is winding down, with 12 out of its 27 lifts in operation and 22 out of 64 pistes welcoming skiers, snowboarders and the rest. Consistent with conditions throughout the region, there will be a mixture of cloudy and sunny skies. Despite entering into April, there is still up to 100cm of snow at higher level.


Note: Snow tyres or other suitable equipment must be used on the roads up to the ski resorts.


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Photo by Fun Radio Côte d’Azur/Facebook

Therapeutic cannabis usage extended for another year in France

therapeutic cannabis france

A trial programme authorising the use of therapeutic cannabis in France has been given an additional year, giving relief to upwards of 3,000 patients suffering with conditions that traditional medicine hasn’t been able to fix.   

Cannabis for therapeutic and treatment purposes has become largely accepted by the medical community as well as governments around the world. France is no exception, and since a law authorising its use as part of an experimental programme was launched in October 2020, it has been a lifesaver for patients suffering from a variety of illnesses who have found no relief from other types of medicines.  

The trial was set to end on 25th March of this year, but has been extended until 2024, giving doctors, researchers and pharmacists more time to study the effects, benefits and drawbacks of usage. So far, the data has been overwhelmingly positive. 


Prescriptions for medical marijuana are not handed out on the whim. They are only given “in the event of insufficient relief or poor tolerance of accessible therapies, whether medicinal or not”, reads the French government’s public service website. Prescriptions are not available to all doctors either, just those involved in the programme.  

Furthermore, doctors can only prescribe cannabis in certain situations, such as if the person has drug-resistant epilepsy, painful spasticity stemming from multiple sclerosis or other central nervous system disorders, refractory neuropathic pain, certain symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatments, and as palliative pain relief.  

This is exasperating for patients who would like, but are unable to qualify for the experiment, and who must endure pain whilst they are given other pain medications that have no effect. It is only as a last resort that cannabis is offered, and many would like to see this change.  

Additionally, there are somewhere between 700,000 and two million patients who could qualify based on the approved conditions, but aren’t given the option.  


Growing marijuana is a whole other business, with it being exclusive to establishments authorised by the French Health Agency (ANSM) to manufacture, import and distribute active substances, including, since 1st March 2022, the growing and production of the drug. Even then, the red tape is pretty strict, with guidelines being specific and narrow.  

This may change soon as the Ministry of Health is finalising a decree that may mean France could see the start of a cannabis industry sprouting up. The easing of administrative hassles could open the door to budding entrepreneurs looking to cultivate the plant in a legal way and thus making it more accessible to more patients.  


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Photo source: Budding on Unsplash

Monaco, as largest donor per capita, welcomes UN Green Climate Fund amid world tour

The UN Green Climate Fund has met with key environmental players in Monaco, including the Prince Albert II Foundation and the Oceanographic Institute.

On 29th March, Hong-Thuy Paterson, Financial Director of the Green Climate Fund, paid a visit to the Principality alongside Gabriel Boc, Specialist in Agriculture and Food Security.

The representatives were first received at the Ministry of State by Isabelle Rosabrunetto, Director General of the Department of External Relations and Cooperation, to discuss Monaco’s partnership, the results of the Fund and its strategic vision for the coming period.

Key environmental players in the Principality then gathered for a deeper discussion on the Green Climate Fund. They included the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Oceanographic Institute, Marine Protected Areas Fund, and the MedFund.

The Green Climate Fund, created in 2015, is the largest multilateral fund mandated to support climate action in developing countries, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Since 2019, the Fund has invested nearly $12 billion in more than 200 projects. With co-financing from other donors, they represent a total value of $45 billion. The projects supported aim to promote low-carbon development that is resilient to climate change in more than one hundred countries, with particular attention paid to the least developed countries.

“Faithful to the commitments made under the Paris Agreement, the Prince’s Government has made climate financing one of the spearheads of its development cooperation policy and has supported the Green Climate Fund since its creation,” said the government in a statement. “Monaco is the leading donor per capita over the 2020-2023 period and intends to continue its support in the future.”

The Fund has entered a mature phase and established itself as an essential element of the global climate finance architecture. Drawing on its experience, it is now well positioned to effectively help the most vulnerable countries to deal with the climate crisis.

“While the Fund’s financing capacity remains limited in view of the trillions needed to achieve the required transition, this unique instrument is called upon to play a catalytic role with a view to mobilising diversified capital on a large scale,” concluded the Monaco government.



Monaco Ocean Week: Prince Albert launches ReOcean Fund to encourage private investors to save the oceans


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Photo source: Government Communication Department



Photos: Grace Kelly’s “architectural gem” in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin listed for €39 million

grace kelly

Dating from the 1890s, this incredible 15-bedroom property at the gates of Monaco has ties to not only Princess Grace, but a history intimately interwoven with the architecture of the Principality.

This “Belle Epoque masterpiece”, as it is described by Sotheby’s Côte d’Azur International Realty, which has a co-exclusivity for its sale, was built back in 1891 by the former mayor of Beausoleil, Camille Blanc. He had commissioned Henri Schmidt, the General Director of Architecture at Société des Bains de Mer, for its design, and together they conceived a magnificent and almost palatial property that has stood the test of time.  

villa l'aiglon
The main house boasts five floors of beautifully-appointed living space. Photo: Sotheby’s

The Villa L’Aiglon later became the private property of Grace Kelly, Monaco’s Princess Grace, and she hosted many a famous face within its walls. The most memorable stay was perhaps that of Joséphine Baker, who became enchanted by the area and Monaco itself, and was buried in the Principality after her death in 1975.  

Over five floors of living space, the main house has 10 bedrooms and 20 further rooms, including a number of stunning marble bathrooms. There is also a 205m2 caretaker’s house – the Villa Colmiane – with an additional five bedrooms.  

villa l'aiglon grace kelly
Uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean to the east and west. Photo: Sotheby’s

Outside, a swimming pool and 2,665m2 of beautifully landscaped gardens are complemented by uninterrupted views over the Mediterranean, Cap Martin and the Principality.  

“Its luxurious materials, its high ceilings, its beautiful volumes typical [of] the Belle Epoque are authentic and make an inimitable asset,” notes the listing. “You will be seduced by its finishings, its unique environment, and rich historical and architectural assets.” 

For further information on the property, which has been listed for €39 million, please click here.


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Photos: Sotheby’s Côte d’Azur International Realty

Basketball: Roca Team winning streak broken in Lithuania

AS Monaco Basketball’s five-game unbeaten run in the Euroleague came to an end at the hands of Zalgiris Kaunas (79-70) on Wednesday, in a detrimental but not decisive defeat in their quest for the top four.

The Roca Team began slowly in the cauldron of Zalgirio Arena, giving their Lithuanian opponents a generous headstart in the first quarter (28-19). Monaco never recovered from it, despite the playmaking efforts of Mike James (six points, four assists) and Joran Loyd (13 points, five assists).

Monaco were made to pay for their inefficiencies outside of the key. Donatas Motiejunas (13 points), back in his homeland for the fixture, found success in and around the basket, but their opponents were finding success from outside the key, which allowed them to keep the scoreboard ticking, and maintain a healthy gap throughout.

Monaco’s destiny within their own hands

The difference in quality between the sides were clear to see, despite Zalgiris being one of the Euroleague’s most profligate sides. The defeat (79-70) was, therefore, a logical one.

However, Monaco remain in control of their destiny in the quest to finish in the top four, synonymous with a home-court advantage in the post-season playoffs. Fenerbahçe’s defeat last night further helps the Roca Team’s cause. Should Milan beat Maccabi Tel-Aviv on Thursday, fourth place would be all but secured.

“We didn’t manage to play like we usually do. The best team won this evening. We need to sit down, watch the video and correct the errors. There were lots of them. It is difficult to have a lucid analysis after such a match. We’ll have to move forward in two days at Bayern,” said Motiejunas post-match.

Monaco face Bayern Munich on Friday, where a victory will as much as confirm their top four position with two games to spare.


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Photo by AS Monaco Basket

Getting a taxi between Monaco and France to become easier

taxi monaco

A new system launched by the Monegasque government could spell an end to the confusion – and confrontations – between taxi drivers in France and Monaco.  

The sticker or vignette system devised by the government is set to be rolled out from 1st April. It will allow non-Monaco registered taxi drivers to legally pick up passengers from within the Principality’s borders. This is something that had previously been prohibited, causing countless issues for passengers and drivers on both sides of the border. 

Minister of State Pierre Dartout says that the new system will put the customer first, adding that it is “a matter of common sense”. 

“We hope that the implementation of this system will be accompanied by reciprocal measures on the part of the French authorities, in order to allow Monegasque taxis to pick up customers heading for the Principality, in particular from the airports of the Côte d’Azur,” he said. 

In total, 320 vignettes will be made available for drivers from outside of Monaco: 300 for VTCs – voiture de transport avec chauffeur or a passenger car with a driver – and a further 20 for taxis. Uber drivers, for example, will only be able to obtain a vignette if they hold a legal VTC license.  

According to Jean Castellini, Monaco’s Minister of Economy and Finance, the number of vignettes available for foreign-registered drivers is three times the number of vehicles with the same classifications that are based in Monaco.  

Each vignette costs €600 for the coming seven months. No plans for after this specific time period have been announced. 


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Photo source: Alias Ezzerrar for Unsplash