Inside the two rare apartments on sale at the jaw-dropping Palais Maeterlinck  

palais maeterlinck

Take a look inside the two apartments – one a penthouse, the other with an incredible sea view terrace – located at the Palais Maeterlinck on the Cap de Nice that are being listed exclusively by Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty.  

The story of the Palais Maeterlinck, and how it came to get that name after many others, requires some telling.  

A history 

It was originally to be a home for the American hotelier and casino owner Frank Jay Gould, who famously helped establish the French Riviera town of Juan-les-Pins as a destination, but the magnificent plot, which dominates the Cap de Nice, would eventually be bought by the Count de Miléant in the 1920s.  

The Russian aristocrat also had dreams of casino ownership, and that was his goal for Castellamare – his name for the four-hectare property. He wanted it to be a rival to the Casino de Monte-Carlo, which was growing in popularity and fame year-on-year, but abandoned his project when the Palais de la Méditerranée opened on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais in 1928.  

Two years later, at auction, the vast estate, an unmissable feature on the coast between Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer, was purchased by Nobel Prize laureate Maurice Maeterlinck and his wife Renée Dahon for two million Belgian francs, according to Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty.  

The generously sized outdoor pool shared by residents of the Palais Maeterlinck. Photo courtesy of Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty

However, it was still not yet called the Palais Maeterlinck, that would come after the literary legend’s death. To Maurice and Renée, it was the Villa Orlamonde, a name chosen in reference to a poem from ‘Ariane et Barbe-Bleue’ by Maeterlinck and Paul Dukas.  

Maeterlinck continued with the development of the property during his tenure as its owner, and his heir would later transform it further with the help of a property developer. It was during this stage that it was separated into some 20 different apartments.  

The Swiss businessman Henri-Ferdinand Lavanchy slowly bought up these flats from 1987 onwards and would eventually unite them into a hotel, which opened in 1990 with the name we know most now: the Palais Maeterlinck. 

The modern day 

Today, the Palais covers a mind-boggling 6,000sqm. It stopped operating as a hotel in 2008 and was redeveloped and renovated – all while preserving some of its iconic features, like the frescos, onyx bathtubs and coffered ceilings – in 2012.  

Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty was awarded the exclusive opportunity to market each of the now 18 apartments, two of which have come back up for sale. 

The first is a €4.5 million bright white and contemporary three ensuite bedroom penthouse on the top floor of the Palais Maeterlinck. It measures 213sqm inside, plus a 21sqm terrace enclosed by the sophisticated signature columns of the building. 

The second apartment, currently listed at €3.9 million, is a generous 175sqm and two-bedroom property with a dedicated office space and impressive sea-facing terrace that measures almost 100sqm itself.  

Both have access to a secure garage and parking as well as the sumptuous, landscaped gardens and immense outdoor swimming pool. Add on top of that the views, which simply cannot be met or beaten in the area, and this setting is quite simply a dream.  

Click on the images below for a closer look…


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Photos courtesy of Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty


New-look Cap d’Ail triathlon to return for 21st edition

The 21st edition of the Cap d’Ail Triathlon, which will take place later this month, will look a little different this time round as the distances for the three disciplines have been doubled. Here’s everything you need to know. 

The Cap d’Ail Triathlon is therefore no longer taking place in its original ‘sprint’ format, but in the Olympic format, allowing participants to experience something that resembles the test faced by Olympic athletes, just months before the 2024 Games in Paris.

The race will now begin with a 1.5km swim at the Plage Marquet then it’s on to a 40km bike ride, taking the 250 participants along the Basse Corniche and onto the Moyenne Corniche, before descending once again onto the Basse via St. Laurent d’Èze. To finish off, there will be a 10km run, tracing the coastal path all the way up to the Monaco border.

“The Cap d’Ail Triathlon is very popular with the region’s athletes”

The event brings together 250 athletes, including 50 youths, who will compete in the shortened ‘Animathlon’, which entails a 100m swim followed by a 400m run. This event is open to kids between the ages of eight and 12.

“The Cap d’Ail Triathlon is very popular with the region’s athletes, as well as Italian athletes, and for the past few years has seen 250 competitors participate. This challenge is a sporting showcase for our town, labelled since 2016 as an ‘Active and Sporting Town’,” said the mayor of Cap d’Ail, Xavier Beck.

Registration for the event, which will take place on Sunday 17th September, closed at the beginning of the summer, but it is still possible to sign up for the waiting list either by phoning +33493789640 or by emailing


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Photo source: Mairie de Cap d’Ail

Sotheby’s unveils treasures from the most important Viennese Imperial and Royal jewellery collection ever to come to auction

This November, Sotheby’s will present ‘Vienna 1900: An Imperial and Royal Collection’’, the most important and largest Viennese Imperial and Royal Jewellery collection ever to come to auction.

With provenance from all the most prominent European royal houses linked to the Austrian Habsburg dynasty, the auction will offer an extraordinary jewellery journey through the lives of Central Europe’s most influential ruling families across the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Comprising over 200 pieces, the collection will be resurfaced for the first time in nearly a century, astonishingly pristine and with all its pieces in their original design, having only been recently discovered hidden away in a bank vault.

Carrying an estimate of €3 to €5 million, this extraordinary single owner collection will be offered in two dedicated auctions on 6th and 7th November, alongside the Magnificent Jewels sale taking place on 8th November during Sotheby’s Luxury Week in Geneva. Before the auction dates, the collection will be exhibited at Sotheby’s locations around the world: New York, Cologne, Paris, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai, Taipei and London.

Natural pearl and diamond devant de corsage circa 1865 estimate, chf 270,000-450,000.

Sotheby’s has worked in collaboration with the Philipp Württemberg Art Advisory GmbH to bring this collection to auction.

“This collection is arguably the most important Noble Jewels auction since the landmark sale of the Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family held by Sotheby’s in Geneva four years ago. The collection is truly exceptional, boasting a unique combination of magnificent ceremonial court jewels, as well as important assemblage of men’s dress accessories, cigarette cases and objets de vertu,” said Andres White Correal, Deputy Chairman and Jewellery Senior Director, Sotheby’s. “Presented together, their superior craftsmanship and exquisite design brilliantly showcases the style and grandeur of the Habsburg court and permit us a rich glimpse into the private lives of these European ruling Houses.”

Ruby and diamond necklace Kochert circa 1890-1895, estimate chf 110,000-160,000

Sale Highlights

Following the fall of the monarchy in France, Vienna saw its rapid rise as the ultimate royal and imperial court in Europe, welcoming royal families from across the continent.

The collection fascinatingly depicts the grandeur of Viennese court life and affords a wonderful insight into the alliances, the tastes and styles of the Houses of Habsburg, Bourbon Parma, Bourbon-Two Sicillies and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha when they were setting fashion trends at the Court that radiated across Europe from early 19th century and for the next 100 years. The collection features outstanding jewels from the collections of Archduchess Margarete Sophie of Austria (1870-1902), Archduchess Maria Immaculata of Austria-Tuscany (1878-1968) and Archduchess Marie Therese of Austria-Teschen (1845-1927) as well as of Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria (1861-1948) and Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma (1870-1899).

Natural pearl and diamond necklace attributed to Kochert, late 19th century, estimate chf 140,000-220,000.

Fashions at the Viennese court were dictated by Emperor Franz Joseph (1830-1916) and his legendary consort Empress Elisabeth (1837-1898), best remembered by her nickname ‘Sissi’ and her famed beauty. When German court portrait artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter immortalised Sissi in 1865, wearing an arrangement of star-shaped diamond jewels in her elaborate hairdo, she started a trend for versatile star-shaped jewellery that lasted all through the late 19th century. The sale features a charming suite of three diamond stars which can be worn alternatively as brooches, hairpins or on a tiara frame.

Natural pearls reigned supreme during the 19th century. The collection is led by an extraordinary corsage ornament designed as a garland supporting exceptional natural pearls. It was presented to Archduchess Marie Therese of Austria-Teschen (1845-1927) as a wedding gift in 1865. This is without a doubt the most significant 19th century jewel to come to auction in recent years. Other highlights include an important brooch featuring a button- and drop-shaped natural pearl, a natural pearl and diamond tiara by Köchert and a five-strand natural pearl necklace.

By Monaco Life with press release. All images supplied by Sotheby’s.

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Featured photo: Natural pearl and diamond tiara, Kochert, circa 1900 estimate chf 270,000-450,000.

Young dancers from around the world flocking to Monaco’s Académie Princesse Grace

Académie Princesse Grace

Almost 50 young dancers from 17 different countries have come to the Principality and its Académie Princesse Grace this year hoping to hone their skills as the ballet stars of tomorrow. 

Every year since 1975, joinging the Académie Princesse Grace, the competitive and highly respected dance school created by Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III, has been a dream of many young ballet dancers looking to improve and polish their art as well as gain an excellent education.  

For the 2023-24 academic year, starting on 11th September, this dream will be realised by 47 pupils from around the world aged 13 to 18 and representing 17 nationalities.  


The school, led by Artistic Director Luca Masala, hosts students for four to five years and offers classical and contemporary dance classes, composition courses and Pilates along with History of Dance and a traditional school education, which is done online under the supervision of Valérie Projetti.  

For this new intake, the first public performance of the season will take place in November at L’Atelier des Ballets de Monte-Carlo. 

Académie Princesse Grace
Dancers from the Académie Princesse Grace. Photo credit: Alice Blangero


The Académie Princesse Grace habitually produces the names of the future in the dance world; last year, seven of its alumni went on to join international companies after graduation.  

Alisa Garkavenko went to the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Yui Hakamada joined the Tulsa Ballet in the US, Zane Smith-Taylor found his place in the Royal Swedish Ballet, Anna Sheleg joined Norwegian National Ballet 2, Antony Tcherny went on to the Stuttgart Ballet, and Elliana Mannella and Luca Branca both found new homes at the Staatstheater Nürnberg Ballett.  


The dance courses are provided by a teaching team made up of six respected figures: Lisa Jones, Carsten Jung, Thierry Sette, Roland Vogel, Olivier Lucea and Gioia Masala. 

The students will also receive outside tutelage from guest teachers and choreographers invited throughout the year, such as Stefanie Arndt, Eugenio Buratti, Yannick Boquin, Grigory Chicherin, Lucia Geppi, Yoko Ichino, Elias Lazaridis, Sara Lourenco, Goyo Montero, Michel Rahn and Marc Ribaud. 

To end the year, the Académie puts on an annual gala. The next edition of the popular show is already scheduled for 21st and 22nd June 2024 at the Salle Garnier of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo. 



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Photo credit: Alice Blangero

Photos: Monaco’s Princely family celebrates U Cavagnëtu

An event exclusively reserved for Monegasques and their families, this year’s U Cavagnëtu picnic at the Parc Princesse Antoinette saw nearly 1,000 people turn out and join Prince Albert II and his family in celebrating a special day.  

Every year, the Principality celebrates the end of the summer season with a big family-friendly party. Called the U Cavagnëtu picnic, it’s a day filled with fun and camaraderie for Monegasque citizens, and where appearances by the Prince and Princess are always a highlight. 

This year, Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella were joined by other members of the reigning Grimaldi family for the festivities on Saturday 9th September. The crowd swelled to about a thousand locals of all generations, up considerably from 600 the previous year.  

Long-time Mayor Georges Marsan and many other politicians and dignitaries from the Principality were also on hand to mark the annual occasion.   


The picnic event was opened in a traditional manner, with flowers and an entertaining welcome by the Palladienne dancers of Monaco’s local folk music and dancing group, followed by an open-air mass given by Monsignor Dominique-Marie David, after which the Monegasque national hymn was performed by the U Cantin d’A Roca choir. 

The Prince and his family then gathered with the locals to enjoy an aperitif of delicious local specialties such as socca, tourte and pissaladière, with a barbeque feast afterwards. The Mairie provided traditional Monegasque fougasse and other delicacies, as well as ice cream for those who like a cooling treat after their meal.  

Many opted to bring their own “cavagnëtu” – a picnic basket – to add to the mix of treats on offer, which included the Dolceacqua favourite of fresciœi di baccalà or cod fritters to mark the upcoming twinning of the Principality with the Ligurian town in November.  

Musical entertainment was provided as well, with a jazz quartet headed up by Lionel Vaudano, a professor at the Rainier III Academy, as well as singing by the choir of U Cantin d’A Roca. 

Click on the images below to see more from the special day…



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Photo credits: Éric Mathon / Palais Princier de Monaco

Morocco earthquake: Prince Albert II sends condolences as death toll surpasses 2,000

Over 2,100 people are confirmed to have died and many more thousands are injured after a violent earthquake hit Morocco’s Atlas Mountain region last Friday. Aid and condolences continue to pour in, including touching words from Prince Albert II.  

A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco’s Atlas mountains, just 70 kilometres south of Marrakech, on Friday 8th September. The quake has left a devastating body count in its wake, which currently sits at over 2,100, although that is expected to rise.  

In addition to those killed, thousands have been injured. Mercifully, some people are still being pulled from the rubble alive, but countless have been left homeless and frightened with no choice but to sleep in open spaces for the fear of aftershocks that could crumble structures already in a precarious state.  


It has been reported entire villages in the Atlas range, where houses are traditionally built using nothing more than mud bricks, have been levelled, and that Marrakech’s ancient medina and other historic sites have suffered serious damage.  


Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has reacted to the deadliest earthquake in his country since the 1960 Agadir quake, which killed 12,000, with three days of mourning and public words of thanks to the countries who have rushed in to offer assistance. 

“The Moroccan authorities conducted a careful assessment of the needs in the field, taking into account that a lack of coordination in such cases would be counterproductive. On this basis, the Moroccan authorities responded, at this particular stage, to the offers of support made by the friendly countries of Spain, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, which suggested mobilising a group of search and rescue teams,” said the King via state-run broadcasters Al Aoula on Sunday 10th September.  

Additional sources of assistance may be added to rescue efforts as time goes on, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying he will send aid “the second” Morocco asks for it. 

Inside the country, civil protection units have been deployed to ensure basics such as food, water, blankets and tents are dispatched to affected areas. These groups have also been tasked with the job of increasing blood bank supplies to help the injured.  


Prince Albert II wrote to his Moroccan contemporary the day following the disaster: 

“It is with deep emotion and deep sadness that I learned of the tragedy affecting the friendly Moroccan people following the powerful earthquake which struck your country last night and which claimed many victims. In these painful times, allow me to send you, on behalf of the Principality of Monaco and my family, my sincere condolences to the families and loved ones the victims. 

Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the emergency services and to those assisting the injured. 

Rest assured, Your Majesty, of our deep solidarity during this difficult ordeal.” 


The International Red Cross has said it could be years before the damage caused by the quake is repaired, leaving an already vulnerable populace in the balance and a country only just coming out of the economic woes of the pandemic in a critical state.  

Locally, the Monegasque Red Cross, headed up by Prince Albert, has launched an appeal for contributions via its website:  


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Photo by Stephanie Horsman, Monaco Life