Registrations open for UTMB Côte d’Azur event

An UTMB event

The UTMB series is coming to the Côte d’Azur next month and registration for two of the ultramarathon events are still open.

After a successful first edition in 2022, the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc Nice Côte d’Azur returns on 28th September as part of the UTMB World Series Finals.

What is UTMB?

The first UTMB event was held in 2003 and followed the route of the Tour du Mont Blanc. The 171-kilometre event, which includes a total elevation gain of over 10,000 metres, is considered one of the most competitive ultramarathon trails in the world.

The event has since expanded into a World Series, with competitions across the world. For the UMTB, one of the most challenging footraces in the world, entry is strict and many of those who start the race fail to finish.

Ultra Trail Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur – 100M

Registration is still open for two events. The Ultra Trail Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur – 100M begins in Auron on Friday 29th September and is a 102.5-mile trail, which will lead participants from the Mercantour to the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Participants will quickly reach 2,650 metres above sea level before gradually descending as they approach the Riviera. It will cost €230 to sign up for the event, which participants have just 48 hours to complete.

Roubion – Nice 100K

It is also still possible to get involved in the Roubion – Nice 100K – a 115-kilometre route beginning in Roubion on Saturday 30th September. This route is shorter than the Ultra Trail Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur – 100M, but there is less time allotted to complete it. Participants must reach the Promenade des Anglais in just 29 hours.

This route, which entails over 4,800 metres of climbing, takes participants from the Mercantour village of Roubion through the Niçois hinterland and onto the Promenade des Anglais, all the while offering spectacular views of the Côte d’Azur region. The entry fee for the event is €165.


Make sure you’re never left out of the conversation.

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Instagram and LinkedIn.  

Photo credit: akunamatata 


The story behind the €200 million fund to destroy France’s surplus wine

france surplus wine

It might sound totally crazy for a wine-loving country, but France is co-supporting a €200 million fund with the EU to destroy more than 300 million litres of its wine stocks. Here’s why. 

The demand for wine has been slowly dropping off all around Europe in recent years. According to statistics from the European Commission (EC), consumption has fallen by 15% in France so far in 2023, but as much as 34% in other European Union (EU) member states.  

That, combined with prices so low that some producers say are tipping the balance from profit to loss, has led to a massive surplus of wine: an estimated 300 million litres or three million hectolitres. The regions of Bordeaux and Languedoc have been particularly affected, where as many as one in three winemakers are facing financial difficulties.  

On Friday 25th August, Minister for Agriculture Marc Fesneau announced that an initial fund of €160 million, which is being financed by the EU, would be topped up to the tune of €200 million by the French state.  

An industry that needs to adapt

The money will go towards helping wine producers pay for the distillation of their surpluses, transforming the wine into ethanol suitable for use by the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, such as for the production of hand sanitising gel, cleaning products or even perfumes.  

Fesneau went on to add that the fund “aimed at stopping prices collapsing and so that winemakers can find sources of revenue again”, but emphasised the need for adaptation in the wine industry, stressing that producers should consider “consumer changes”.  

This is not the first time that the EU and France have had to step in to support the wine industry in this way. Another ways of reducing the excess of wine before it is bottled and put on sale is encouraging producers to pull up vines and replace them with more “in-demand” plantations, such as olive groves.  

According to EU figures, the EU spends in the region of €1 billion on supporting its wine industry – the biggest in the world – each year.  


Make sure you’re never left out of the conversation.

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Instagram and LinkedIn. 


Photo source: Sigmund, Unsplash

French pharmacists now authorised to prescribe and administer vaccines

pharmacists vaccines

Two new governmental decrees have expanded the roles of pharmacists in France, allowing them to not only prescribe vaccinations, but also to administer them.  

Gone are the days of needing to get a prescription filled for jabs only to have to schedule another appointment with a health care professional to administer it after a trip to the pharmacy to pick up the vaccination. 

Thanks to a change in the law, the door has been opened for pharmacists to take on the dual tasks of fulfilling and giving vaccines to anyone over the age of 11.  


Pharmacists have been able to administer injections for 14 common shots since November 2022, but the rules were quite restrictive. Patients had to be at least 16 years of age and a prescription from a doctor of midwife was required.  

Now, they can both offer mandatory and recommended inoculations to anyone 11 years and older, bypassing a trip to the doctor’s office altogether.  

The pharmacists allowed to perform this service will have undergone practical and theoretical training. They will also have been required to sign a declaration to the pertinent authorities at the College of Pharmacists to which they are members.  


The list of what jabs are now available at a pharmacy is quite extensive and includes diphtheria, tetanus, polio, flu, Covid, pertussis, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcus C, pneumococcus, tuberculosis, HPV, yellow fever, rabies, chicken pox, monkeypox and shingles.  

Pharmacies will provide patients with a “confidentiality area”, have a refrigeration unit with proper temperature recording and monitoring of vaccines, and the computer software necessary to trace each jab.  

People should visit their local pharmacy to see if they are handling all requests and whether an appointment is required.   


Make sure you’re never left out of the conversation.  

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Instagram and LinkedIn.  


Photo source: Ed Us, Unsplash 

Year’s biggest super moon to rise this week

A rare lunar event is set to take place on 31st August: a super moon and a blue moon occurring at the same time. Here we explain what that means as well as the best time to look up into the night sky.

After the month’s first super moon on 1st August, the second lunar event is due to grace the skies on 31st August.

Because it is the second full super moon in the month, it is also called a blue moon. And it will be the largest of all four super moons occurring this year.

What is a supermoon?

This week, the Moon will be 357,344km away from Earth, and because this is closer than usual, the Moon will appear significantly bigger. It will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than a classic super moon.

It will not, however, be blue.

As to why it is called a blue moon, explanations vary. Most use the term to explain this unusual lunar event when two full moons occur in the same month, the second of which is termed the blue moon. Others believe it originated in 1883 after the eruption of Krakatoa, which sent dust into the atmosphere and made the Moon blue in colour.

How often do blue super moons occur?

It takes roughly 29.5 days for the Moon to go through a whole cycle and most months go for 30 or 31 days, so it’s not that common for a full moon to happen twice within the same calendar month.

They occur once every two-and-a-half years, so if you miss this blue super moon, you’ll have to wait until 31st May 2026 to see the next.

Best time to see the blue super moon

To observe it at its best in Monaco and France, you’ll have to take out your telescope on 31st August 2023 at around 3.35am and hope for clear skies.

The next super moon (not blue moon) can be seen on Friday 29th September. It will be the last super moon of the year.


Make sure you’re never left out of the conversation. Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Instagram and LinkedIn. 

Photo credit: Ganapathy Kumar, Unsplash

What’s new for La Rentrée 2023? 

La Rentrée 2023

Students going back to school can expect a few changes to come into effect for the 2023/24 academic year. Here’s what you need to know.  

Several new reforms are being set in motion for the coming school year, all intended to improve the learning experiences of France and Monaco’s young people.  

From weekly support sessions to the option of practical maths classes as well as sweeping updates to the vocational school system, the new academic year features improvements designed to benefit and better equip students for the future.  


First year middle school students, or 6ème collégiens, will now be offered an hour a week of support for French and/or maths as well as homework via the “Devoirs Faits” programme. This is included in the 26 mandatory hours for sixth graders and the move was triggered by recommendations from teaching staff.  

The idea is that sixth grade students will have the chance to work outside the confines of the general maths and French programmes, allowing for different ways of learning concepts and problem solving not taught in class. This means it’s tailor-made to fit each child’s skill sets and needs for a “deepening” of understanding.  

The “Devoir Faits” system, which was formerly optional, is now compulsory for all sixth graders to help ease them into middle school and its less structured days. The key here is to help kids take on an independent approach to completing assignments during out-of-hours study hall sessions. They are meant to work alone, but help is available if needed. 


Maths in première has been reintroduced into the core curriculum for those who have not chosen maths as one of their three specialities. It had previously only been an option. The subject matter will be taught for a total of one and a half hours each week and will consist of practical maths lessons such as learning about statistics, probabilities, data processing and the like.  


The changes in vocational instruction affect terminale or graduating students in particular. For those entering then workforce immediately after graduation, there will be a 50% increase in traineeship to help prepare them.  

For those continuing studies, four intensive weeks of adapted courses are on the cards to ease the transition from high school to higher education.  

The state has also announced it will be paying a traineeship allowance to high school pupils who are preparing for a vocational diploma at secondary level (CAP, vocational baccalaureate, additional mention, certificate of crafts) and to high school students engaged in complementary training of local initiative (CFLI) after a CAP or a vocational baccalaureate. 

The amounts vary depending on the year and level.  

For more information on each of the changes, visit the official French government portal here.  


Make sure you’re never left out of the conversation.  

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Instagram and LinkedIn.  



Photo source: Kenny Eliason, Unsplash

Dates for Monaco Grand Prix, ePrix and Historic Grand Prix revealed

Charles Leclerc at the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix, the Monaco ePrix and the Historic Monaco Grand Prix will all take place within the space of a month again next year.

From 27th April until 26th May 2024, Monaco will well and truly live up to its name as the ‘Home of Motorsport’ with three major events taking place within the Principality.

27th April: Monaco ePrix

The ePrix will return for its seventh edition in late April.

The event has now become a fixture on the calendar; in the early days of Formula E, the ‘electric odyssey’ only visited Monaco every other year. However, the Covid pandemic changed that, and Formula E will come to the Principality for a fourth consecutive year in 2024.

The event is gaining in popularity and thousands watched on from the grandstands as Nick Cassidy took the chequered flag last year.

The 2022 Monaco ePrix podium. Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

10th-12th May: Historic Monaco Grand Prix

Every other year, the streets of Monaco travel back in time as cars that have marked the rich history of motorsport are revived over the course of a weekend of thrilling racing.

For the event’s 14th edition, the format will remain unchanged, with eight series and classes on display. As always, multiple anniversaries and milestones will be celebrated over the course of the race weekend. More information on the cars and drivers competing will be revealed in due course.

Charles Leclerc made headlines at the last edition of the event in 2022, crashing Niki Lauda’s 1974 Ferrari at La Rascasse during an exhibition lap. However, famous modern-day drivers also compete in the main races, with Esteban Gutierrez a notable participant back in 2022.

24th-26th May: Monaco Grand Prix

The 2024 Formula One calendar was released back in July, and Monaco retains its usual place as the final race of May. The season will start in Bahrain on 2nd March 2nd and finish in Abu Dhabi on 8th December.

There have been many changes to the calendar, which have sought to reduce travelling and create a better flow of races within regions. Japan has therefore been moved to April, Azerbaijan to September and Qatar will now be back-to-back with the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

The 24-race calendar, the biggest in the history of the sport, will once again pay a visit to the Principality after the uncertainty surrounding the iconic race’s future was resolved.


Make sure you’re never left out of the conversation.

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Instagram and LinkedIn.  

Photo source: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office