Football: Schoolchildren to compete in the first ever Munegu Cup

Almost 300 schoolchildren from across the Principality will be donning their boots and team colours next week for the first ever edition of the AS Monaco-backed Munegu Cup.

On Monday 5th June, CE2 pupils from the Révoires, Fontvieille, Condamine, FANB and Saint-Charles schools will head down to the Stade Louis II to compete in Monaco’s inaugural Munegu Cup.

The event has been co-created by AS Monaco, at the behest of President Dmitry Rybolovlev, and the Department of National Education, Youth and Sports (DENJS) as a way of promoting sport and team playing amongst young people as well as to highlight the “educational values of sport”.

In line with these goals, older pupils from Monaco high schools will be brought in to referee the matches as the teams bid for a shot at the Munegu Cup trophy.

“AS Monaco occupies a large place in the sporting life of the Principality and, in particular, in that of young Monegasques,” said Rybolovlev, who has thrown himself behind the planning of the competition as well as that of the wider Kids Tour, which has seen AS Monaco and its players travel the breadth of the region to meet young fans since September 2022.

“The practice of sport is essential for their growth and development, whether in terms of physical health, team spirit, dedication, character [or] discipline. AS Monaco deploys various actions for our young supporters and I am very happy that a new event for schoolchildren can see the light of day: the Munegu Cup,” he added, before thanking Isabelle Bonnal, the Commissioner General of DENJS, for her support in the project.


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Photo by Monaco Life

Health: new cutting-edge laser and hair transplant treatment centre in Monaco

Complimenting Monaco’s strong health sector is a new clinic offering local laser and transplant treatments called La Clinique Monte-Carlo Eyes and Hair Surgery. 

Monaco is renowned for its centres of expertise when it comes to health and wellbeing, among them: the Princess Grace Hospital Centre, the IM2S, and the cardio-thoracic center.

Entering that realm now is the Monte-Carlo Eyes and Hair Surgery Clinic.

From a newly refurbished space in the Gildo Pastor Centre in Fontvieille, the co-founders of La Clinique Monte-Carlo Eyes and Hair Surgery, Doctor Enrica Segond-Romeo and Doctor Philippe Berros, offer the latest methods in hair transplant and laser eye surgeries. 

Among the technology being used by Doctor Enrica Segond-Romeo is the TrichoLAB studio, the first device of its kind that combines standardised global imaging and precise microphotography for both surgical and non-surgical use, to work with men and women looking for hair transplants.

Doctor Philippe Berros is an ophthalmologist and surgeon specialised in refractive and laser surgery who has been practicing at the International Medical Centre of Monaco for several years. He offers patients laser techniques or implants for vision disorders, including myopia, presbyopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. 

They have enlisted Doctor Cecilia Marcacci, who has 15 years of surgical experience, as the Medical Director of the facility, as well as a team of other professionals to provide on-site consultations, postoperative care and personalised follow-ups.


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Photo supplied

Basketball: Monaco begin Betclic semi-finals with a win

Mike James v Bourg-en-Bresse

AS Monaco Basketball are one step closer to the Betclic Elite final after beating Bourg-en-Bresse (96-79) on Monday in the first match of a five-match semi-final series.

The Roca Team made light work of Strasbourg in the quarter-finals to advance after a comfortable 2-0 series win. Now they find themselves on the right side of the draw: Monaco’s two closest challengers, Boulogne-Levallois and Lyon-Villeurbanne, will face off against each other in the other semi-final.

Kevin Durant once again in attendance

Monaco’s team is therefore a strong favourite to reach the final. The first match against Bourg-en-Bresse was wrapped up before halftime, and the Roca Team headed back to the dressing rooms with a 16-point advantage (48-32). That lead was never eaten into.

Donatas Motiejunas (20 points) inflicted much of the damage, whilst Mike James (12 points), Elie Okobo (13 points) and Jordan Loyd (12 points) shouldered the creative burden in front of Kevin Durant, who is becoming something of a regular at the Salle Gaston Médecin.

“From the opening minutes, we played with the aggression that we needed. The players have really come into this match in playoff mode,” said Sasa Obradovic post-match.

The Roca Team were wasteful in the final quarter, unnecessarily losing possession on multiple occasions and being hit in the transition, but there was no chance of a comeback as Obradovic’s men professionally sealed the win (96-79).

Monaco will be hoping to double their lead at the Salle Gaston Médecin on Wednesday. A victory would leave them within one win of the Betclic Elite final, which will take place later this month.


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Photo by AS Monaco Basket

How secure is the future of the Monaco Grand Prix?

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

The chequered flag has only just been waved on the 80th edition of the Monaco Grand Prix, but the future of the iconic race is already being called into question and Prince Albert II has admitted that “compromises” may have to be found.

Since Liberty Media’s takeover of Formula One early in 2017, the sport has made a discernable departure from its past strategy. It is notably less Europe-centric, with an increasing number of races taking place in the Middle East and, this season, there are three races in the United States alone.

“With our American friends, tradition doesn’t mean a lot to them. We’re facing people from a different culture,” said Michel Boeri, who has been the head of the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) since 1972, during an interview with L’Équipe. “Until then [when Liberty Media took over], there was always a European tradition. Money was money, but only to a certain point.”

Indeed, Monaco, like many of the classic and rightly iconic European races such as Spa-Francochamps, cannot compete with the explosion of costs in recent years, which has notably been driven by the hosting of Grand Prix in the Middle East.

Photo source: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

While the exact figure that Monaco pays to host the Grand Prix is unknown, rumours in the paddock suggest it is between €18m and €20m. Qatar pays €50m, as does Saudi Arabia.

The specificities of hosting a Formula One race within the tight, narrow streets of the relatively small Principality mean that rivalling such offers will be impossible.

Italy’s Monza can pack between 300,000 and 400,000 people into the grandstands over the course of the race weekend, but Monaco can only host 27,000 per day, and 7,000 of which are standing only.

“There is a disproportion that everyone can understand. It’s violent to make us pay the same amount,” said Boeri.

Compromises have already had to be made, and as revealed by Monaco Life, the superyachts within Port Hercules have already been targeted to raise further income. Given that over the course of the three-year contract, signed last year, Monaco will face “significant increases” in the cost of hosting the Grand Prix year-on-year, in the words of Boeri, further streams of income may need to be found going forward.

“If you don’t align with our prices, there won’t be a Monaco,” Boeri was reportedly told during tough negotiations to retain Monaco’s place on the calendar.

Michel Boeri to be sidelined in future Formula One negotiaitions

Being priced out of hosting the Grand Prix in the future is an omnipresent fear, but one that the ACM and Prince Albert II are hoping to avoid. There remain two Grand Prix events before the end of the current contract, at which time a new contract will have to be drawn up and a new relationship defined.

“There will be a re-evaluation of everything as far as I know on the sponsors’ side of things, the production and the merchandising,” said Prince Albert II in a recent interview with Monaco Matin.

The negotiations will look different next time in the hopes of avoiding the same clash of cultures that mired the last round of talks, and Prince Albert has confirmed that Boeri won’t be leading the future negotiations.

“We are no longer in the Bernie Ecclestone era. Boeri hasn’t managed to adapt and maybe didn’t want to have sustained discussions,” said the Prince, who nonetheless expressed his “respect” for the man that has headed the ACM for over half a century. Michel Ferry, the vice president of the ACM, is likely to take the lead, as he did at times during the previous talks.

On Prince Albert II’s part, there is also an admittance that certain concessions may have to be made in order to conserve Monaco’s place on a growing Formula One calendar.

“If we are able to make compromises, we will find compromises,” he said.

Will Las Vegas replace Monaco?

However, Liberty Media ultimately holds all the cards, and the future of the Monaco Grand Prix may ultimately hang on the importance attributed to continuing tradition.

“They (Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media and Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula One) told me off the record that they can’t envisage an F1 season without Monaco. They can’t say that publically, but I can,” said Prince Albert II.

Actions will speak louder than words, and money ultimately rules the roost at Liberty Media, while the ACM is increasingly aware that it cannot compete financially.

“If a Middle Eastern state puts six times more money on the table than us, we’re dead,” said Boeri.

2023 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, source Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

The Middle Eastern money is a threat, but so is the growth of the sport in the USA, which is, at least in part, due to the popular Netflix series Drive to Survive.

Eyes are already being drawn to the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix later this year, which is a potential future competitor for the Monaco Grand Prix. Both bring together street racing and glamour, and amongst the paddock, it is questioned whether the former could replace the latter.

“We still believe in tradition,” concluded Boeri. Whether or not Liberty Media does too could prove pivotal for the future of the Monaco Grand Prix, the crown in Formula One’s calendar.


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Photo from Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Former Stars’N’Bars to become hybrid/multi-purpose eco-wellness eatery

‘Conscientiae’ is the name of the new establishment being created at the former Stars’n’Bars site, a “crossroads of communication” with healthy eats and a dedication to the environment.

Didier Rubiolo and Kate Powers had a vision with their enormously popular American-themed restaurant, Stars’n’Bars. Going from a party spot in the early days to a pioneer of Monaco’s sustainable development movement more recently, the hot spot never lost its edge. What it did lose, sadly, was Powers, who passed away in 2021, causing Rubiolo to rethink their landmark establishment’s future.

Rather than trying to make it a shrine, the restauranteur decided to close up shop and reinvent the space as a tribute to the ideologies they both held dear.


Now, in an interview with Monaco Matin, the new plans have been made public. The space, which has been christened ‘Conscientiae’, is being described as a hybrid and will feature three levels, each with their own focus.

The top floor will be used as a community gathering place where environmentalism and sustainability reign supreme, with scientists, start-ups and concerned citizens meeting for discussions and information exchanges.

The mezzanine level will feature five areas available to rent by the hour to practice gentle sporting activities, under the supervision of a trained coach.

And the ground floor will be the restaurant, showcasing fresh, locally grown and seasonal food choices, some directly from their own vegetable garden. Eat-in and take-away options will be available, and the space can take up to 60 guests.

Aesthetically, the space will be bright and airy, with Moroccan style tile works, light wood and mirrors.

Conscientiae is expected to open its doors by the end of June.

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End of an era: Stars ‘n’ Bars to close at 30-year mark



Everything you need to know about the Rendez-Vous aux Jardins

rendez-vous aux jardins

This weekend, the Rendez-Vous aux Jardins festival will see over 2,000 spectacular parks and gardens open up to the public, with everything from guided tours to workshops on the programme.  

For two decades, the Rendez-Vous aux Jardins event has given the public a chance to visit thousands of parks and gardens in full bloom, many of which are usually private. This year, some 580 extra never-before-seen sites are also joining the roster. 

This year’s theme, Music of the Garden, invites guests to come and listen to the sounds of the great outdoors, from the wind in the trees to the buzzing of bees, and to enjoy the richness and beauty of these unique green spaces. 


Locally, in the Alpes-Maritimes, the public can enjoy several spots including: the Jardin Exotique d’Eze in Eze; La Citronneraie, the Jardin Serre de la Madone, the Jardin Botanique Exotique du Val Rahmeh and the Jardin Fontana Rosa, all in Menton; and the Villa Arson, the Jardin Botanique and Parc Pheonix in Nice. Additionally, just over the border in Italy, the Giardini Hanbury, also known as the Villa Hanbury, is welcoming visitors.  

Originally a French-conceived event, the idea has spread like wildflowers and now includes 400 green spaces from 19 other European nations. An interactive map of all locations is available here


Far from simply wandering around these lush landscapes, the event’s organisers have countless activities planned – workshops, guided tours, how-to demonstrations, musical walks, concerts and more – for garden enthusiasts of all ages and levels.  

Awareness raising is also on the agenda, with opportunities to learn more about ways to restore and create gardens, as well as conservation methods to keep them looking beautiful and productive all year round.  

The Rendez-Vous aux Jardins festival runs from 2nd to 4th June. For more information, please click here


Do you have an event in Monaco or the French Riviera that you would like us to include in our What’s On section and events calendar? Please email  


Photo source: Veronica Reverse for Unsplash