Monaco’s iconic Sass Café celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2023

It’s been announced that Monaco’s most famous nightspot Sass Café will be marking a three decade milestone later this year. 

In the late summer of 1993, Salvatore Treves, known by friends as Sassa, was given free rein to create a new nightclub on the ground floor of the Columbia Building on Avenue Princesse Grace.  

The energetic and already successful nightclub entrepreneur wasted no time. Starting out as a piano bar and restaurant, Sass Café was born, and with the help of his equally impressive wife Yolande, they turned it into a Monaco institution almost overnight.  

Just a few years later, in 1997, the couple’s 19-year-old son Samy joined the family business and brought with him a youthful outlook. He helped breathe new life into Sass Café, modernising it both in concept and in the aesthetics.

sass café monaco
Sassa, Yolande and Samy of the Treves family. Photo provided. 

From elegant dining to trendy nightclub in the blink of an eye

Sass’ special appeal has always been in the way it transforms itself from an elegant dining experience to a trendy nightspot in the blink of an eye each night. Live music at dinner is followed by thumping tunes pumped out by a DJ. The party seemingly never ends.  

The eclectic interior is a riotous party in itself: a mix of leather and velvet furnishings, walls painted in gold and red, fanciful artwork and classic chandeliers hanging from the ceilings.  

But this doesn’t distract guests from the food, which is a Mediterranean and Italian blend designed by Corporate Chef Shahar Dahan. Dishes include all-time favourites like pasta, risotto, and salads, but the menu also features high-end offerings such as Wagyu beef and caviar.  

Elegant dishes against the backdrop of that signature Sass style. Photo credit: Fabbio Galatioto

All the celebrities go to Sass Café

The Sass Café allure has attracted countless international personalities over the years and the restaurant’s Wall of Fame shows snaps featuring the likes of Sean Penn, Sharon Stone, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bono all enjoying the scene.  

It is a rich history that will be celebrated in style every night this year, as they have done for three decades, with Sassa, now 85-years-old, still seated in the first row, where he has been every evening since 1993.



Click on the gallery below for more photographs of Monaco’s Sass Café:


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Photos courtesy of Sass Café / Fabbio Galatioto



Rewilding: Monts d’Azur sends a herd of Europe’s last wild horses to the Spanish plains

rewilding monts d'azur

A herd of Przewalski horses have left the hinterland of the Côte d’Azur for the Iberian peninsula as part of a Rewilding Europe project to reintroduce wild horses to the plains of Castille-La Mancha and Aragon. 

Three males and seven females have been rounded by rangers at La Réserve des Monts d’Azur, a free-ranging park of 700 hectares that is home to a variety of native and introduced species, from bison, moose, deer and boar to wolves, chamois and golden eagles. They are now en route to their new home in the Iberian highlands.  

It is hoped that this wild breed, one of the last of its kind in Europe, will take to the new surroundings with ease.  

This act of rewilding is something the Monts d’Azur has plenty of experience with, having reintroduced and integrated a number of suitable species to the grasslands and rocky outcrops of its range above the hills of Grasse.   

The reserve is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary and has a special 50% discount offer on until mid-April. Visit the website to find out more.  


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Photo source: La Réserve des Monts d’Azur

The Plan Eau: Macron’s plan to protect France against future water scarcity

water france lac du broc

Climate change will lead to a 30 to 40% decrease in available water in France by 2050. France must act now if it is to stop precious resources from running dry. 

At the end of March, French President Emmanuel Macron travelled to Savines-le-Lac in the Hautes-Alpes to unveil a 53-measure plan to try and keep the country’s water usage and management on track. 

A key part of the measures are plans to improve France’s recycling and reprocessing of wastewater. France only recycles 1% at present, far below most other developed countries, and Macron promised to increase this to 10% by 2030. Public water agency budgets will be supplemented by an additional €500 million per year to help speed up change.  

The cost of water to rise 

Macron also revealed that there will be a gradual increase in the cost of water: enough to make people think twice about the way they use this valuable resource. 

During his speech in Savines-le-Lac, he pointed to indications that climate change will cause a 30 to 40% decrease in the amount of water available in France by 2050.  No scientific model “tells us that the situation will improve,” the President said ominously, adding, “The objective of the plan must be to guarantee all French people access to quality drinking water for essential needs.”

2,000 French municipalities had serious water shortages in 2022. 340 of these towns required water to be tanked in and another 200 needed bottled water for individual uses.  

Tools to regulate and conserve usage

To make the public aware of consumption, the French government is proposing to create a tool that will give households real-time information on their water consumption levels and thus encourage better, more sustainable practices. 

Major industrial users of water, such as France’s nuclear and energy sectors as well as agriculture, will also have to adapt their usage. 58% of water in France is currently used for agricultural purposes.

Last year, France experienced a record-breaking drought. This winter, the entire country went 32 days without rain in a second dangerous record. The combined effects have left reservoirs at 80% below normal levels, which does not bode well for what it expected to be another dry summer season ahead. 


Drought: Recycling wastewater to become a reality on the French Riviera

2022 weather review: extreme heat and drought are the new norm for Monaco


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Photo of Le Lac du Broc near Nice in March 2023 by Félicie Damiano

Sailing: Team Malizia overcome adversity to win third leg of Ocean Race

malizia Ocean Race

After 34 days, 17 hours, 10 minutes, 28 seconds and 14,714 nautical miles, Team Malizia arrived in Itajaí, Brazil, and claimed victory in the third leg of the Ocean Race.

The third leg, which began in Cape Town, South Africa, over a month ago was the toughest, but also the most rewarding for the crew of the Yacht Club of Monaco (YCM) boat Malizia Seaexplorer.

After initially getting a good launch, Boris Hermann and his crew’s race was almost ended by a severely damaged mast. Team Malizia considered returning to Cape Town to carry out repairs, but instead fixed the mast during a two-day operation at sea.

The setback allowed Team Holcin-PRB to take the lead. However, Herrmann’s crew kept in hot pursuit, and by the time they had passed south of New Zealand, the Monégasque team were within 10 nautical miles of their rivals. They took the lead not long after.

In the heat of the battle in the Southern Ocean, Rosalin Kuiper was thrown from her bunk, hitting her head, which forced her to be rested for the rest of the leg. Team Malizia were therefore on a three-person shift rotation, and they would face some Dantesque conditions before the race was over.

As Team Malizia and Holcin-PRB passed Cape Horn, only 30 nautical miles separated the teams. The final sprint up Brazil’s east coast looked set to be thrilling, and a storm on Friday and Saturday only added to the tension.

“It worked out beyond our expectations.”

“It was pretty tense,” admitted Herrmann, who had to contend with choppy seas and a low-pressure system generating 40-plus knots. However, Team Malizia rode the storm and took the victory in what was the longest leg in the history of this crewed round-the-world race.

“Winning this leg is an unreal moment. It’s taken time to realise what we’ve achieved, that the dream is coming true… Dreaming of doing The Ocean Race, doing this amazing leg through the Southern Ocean, finishing it after all the trouble we had early on, and winning it!” said Herrmann.

The Malizia Seaexplorer skipper continued, “Four weeks ago, if I had been told, ‘Repair your mast because you might win this leg,’ I would not have believed it and said, ‘That’s not possible, we are too far behind and we can’t push the boat anymore…’ But it worked out beyond our expectations. This was a full team win, and I’m very proud of what we achieved.”

Having arrived in Brazil on Saturday night, the flotilla sets sail once more on 23rd April as they head to Newport, USA.


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Photo by Monaco Yacht Club

Tennis: Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz withdraw from Monte-Carlo Masters

Nadal Monte-Carlo Masters

Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz have both withdrawn from the Monte-Carlo Masters, just days ahead of the tournament.

Nadal’s return to the iconic clay courts of the Monte-Carlo Country Club had been the biggest question mark in the run-up to the Monte-Carlo Masters, which begins on Saturday 8th April.

The tournament director, David Massey, said back in February that he expected the 22-time Grand Slam winner to compete, alongside the rest of the world’s top 20 players.

Rafael Nadal had already cast doubts over his participation

On the full list of participants in the ATP Masters 1000 tournament, released in mid-March, Nadal’s name was featured, but his presence was caveated. In order to compete, he would need a mandatory physical and competition clearance form.

After featuring on the Monte-Carlo Masters socials sites, Nadal reacted and sought to allay expectations of his participation in the tournament.

Photo by Monaco Life / Luke Entwistle

“I don’t know who released this information, but clearly if it was true, I’d confirm it. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm it. I am continuing my journey and I don’t know when I’ll return. That’s the truth,” said Nadal in Mallorca last week.

Posters of Nadal are plastered around the Principality as anticipation for the event grows. However, fans attending at the MCCC won’t see the Spaniard in the flesh.

On Tuesday, Nadal revealed on social media that due to an injury that has sidelined him since the second round of the Australian Open, he was withdrawing from the tournament. “I am not yet ready to compete at the highest level. I won’t be able to play in one of the most important tournaments of my career, the Monte-Carlo Masters. I am not in the condition to play with the maximum guarantees and I am continuing my recovery process. I’m hoping to be back soon,” said Nadal.

World no.1 Carlos Alcaraz misses out

Just moments after Nadal’s withdrawal, his compatriot, Alcaraz, also withdrew. The Spaniard also took to social media to announce that he won’t be participating in the tournament.

Alcaraz is suffering from muscular discomfort in the spine, whilst he also has post-traumatic arthritis in his left hand. “After visiting my doctor in Murcia today and being evaluated, I will not be able to go to Monte-Carlo to start the clay court tour,” said Alcaraz.

The withdrawals of Nadal and Alcaraz are a big blow to the tournament. The competition gets underway at the MCCC on Saturday, but without two of its headline acts.


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Photo by Yann Caradec

“New Gastronomic Destination”: Monaco’s restaurant scene honoured by La Liste

la liste monaco

No stars shone brighter than those of Monaco at La Liste’s Special Mediterranean Awards, which were hosted by the Hôtel Hermitage and attended by Prince Albert II. 

On a night that championed the excellence and diversity of Mediterranean gastronomy, Monaco’s own restaurant scene was front and centre thanks to its role as host of the inaugural event as well as the multiple awards picked up by chefs and establishments within the Principality. 

Creativity and sustainability in Monaco 

Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse, currently ranked 14th Best Restaurant in the World by La Liste, was given the special Award of Honour for its 35 years of culinary creativity. Ducasse was there in person to receive the award in the presence of some 25 former students who are now spread across the region. 

The Ethical and Sustainability Award went to Chef Mélanie Serre of Elsa at Monte-Carlo Beach following appraisal for her renowned approach to seasonality and organic and locally sourced produce.  

The New Gastronomic Destination Award went to Monaco. It was the crowning jewel of the night; a powerful reflection of the reputation this small state has been able to cultivate as a leader of the culinary arts.  

Local French restaurants benefit from the limelight 

Bruno Cirino’s Hostellerie Jerôme in La Turbie was one of three addresses to win the Artisan and Authenticity Award, alongside Dar El Jeld in Tunis and Tenuta Nannina in Campania.  

Meanwhile Le Restaurant des Rois in Beaulieu was named Best Terrace and La Chèvre d’Or of Èze clinched the title of Best Sea View.  

“Food has the power to unite us more than ever before,” said Philippe Faure, the resident and founder of La Liste, on the night. “While the Mediterranean region is vast and diverse, both geographically and culturally, we can all come together at the table.” 

And they did. In all, chefs and restaurateurs from 20 Mediterranean countries attended the event, which served up a menu created by four of the region’s – if not the world’s – best chefs. The result was an inspiring collaboration between Emmanuel Pilon of Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse, Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana, Clare Smyth of Core by Clare Smyth and French pastry chef Jessica Préalpato.  


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 Photo source: SBM