France updates and modernises its infamous highway code test

france highway code

The French government has revamped the national highway code test to make it “more understandable”. Here’s what has changed.  

A complete overhaul of the French highway code test, the compilation exam of rules, regulations and guidelines that every road user must follow in order to drive safely and lawfully, came into effect as of 1st September.  

The test, which has 1,037 possible questions, has been simplified to avoid potential confusion and the vast bank of images previously used has been updated to “make them more realistic”. This has required to replacing of computer-generated shots with ones captured by drones.  


Language simplification specialists and industry professionals were brought in to create this new version, which places renewed focus on rights to roadways.  

This exam now asks test-takers to analyse situations from the point of view of other road users, such as cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and people on electric scooters, for example. The idea is to remind drivers that others have rights on the road too.  

Another feature new to the test allows people taking the exam to better understand what is being asked of them. When an image includes several vehicles, for example, those concerned are clarified within the question by circling the visual or image in yellow.  

What’s gone are the tricky questions that had a multiple choice of answers, but failed to adequately specify this nature. Now the question states whether a single choice or several are expected.  

To pass the highway code test, an applicant must pass 35 out of 40 questions. 

Following a 2016 reform, the success rate for the highway code exam decreased, going from approximately 71.5% in 2015 to 56.6% in 2022, according to official road safety data. 

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Photo source: Sécurité Routière

Strong summer tourism stats prove Monaco’s enduring international appeal

monaco summer

An influx of non-European visitors, including an uptick in the number of Antipodean tourists, is partially to thank for a prosperous summer season in Monaco.  

After an initial review of how well Monaco’s various venues and attractions had performed over the summer indicated record visitor numbers, such as the record-breaking Monet en Pleine Lumière exhibition at the Grimaldi Forum, the Monaco Tourism and Convention Department has released its official report on the 2023 summer tourist season, and the overall picture is rosy. 


Occupancy rates in hotels are still down slightly on the prodigious pre-pandemic year of 2019, but they did hit an impressive 75% in July and 72% in August. This is primarily due to a high influx of tourists from the United States, the UK, Italy and France, who round out the Top Four nations who most visited the Principality. 

“Monaco attracts a very good clientele,” says Monaco Tourism and Convention Department Director Guy Antognelli. “What we are seeing overall compared to 2019 is a growth in non-European customers, including a strong increase in the Middle East.” 

Asian visitors have dipped in number, according to the data, but Antipodean tourists are somewhat making up for that.  

“Japan has picked up this year, China is at just under 40% of the outbound tourism it had in 2019… It’s still a little complicated,” explains Antognelli. “Australians are present in [good] numbers in Monaco, an increase compared to 2019. These are markets with a promising future for the Principality. We will see them much more present in 2024.” 


The Tourism Department is now looking ahead to the autumn, with several high-profile conventions and events on the horizon, amongst them Monaco Yacht Show, Assises de la Sécurité, Luxe Pack and Sportel. 

“These are all major events, which are sold out and some of which will attract more participants than in previous editions,” assures Antognelli. “Requests for 2024, 2025 and 2026 are already pouring in. This proves that the Principality also remains attractive for business conferences and seminars.”  

Read more:

Could it be a record season for Monaco’s major venues and tourist attractions?


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Photo credit: Manuel Vitali / Monaco Communications Department

Women of Monaco Lunch: A pink-themed date for the diary

women of monaco pink

A special pink-themed Women of Monaco lunch date will be held for the benefit of the Princess Grace Foundation in October. Here are all the details. 

The Women of Monaco, a women’s-only club led by Sandrine Knoell of Five Stars Events, will be hosting another fabulous event at 12pm at the Casino de Monte-Carlo on Thursday 5th October. 

The event is being organised with the support of Monaco Life, Anne Fontaine, Luxury International Magazine, Stylezza and Barclays Private Bank.  

The theme for the party is “pink”: the colour of the year after the massive success of the Barbie film, and one that exudes a quiet power that is particularly feminine. 

Held within the stunning Salon Rose of the world’s most iconic Casino establishment – a subtle nod to the theme of the lunch – this exclusive charity lunch event promises a day filled with “elegance, inspiration and fashion”, all benefitting the Princess Grace Foundation. 

The event will include an Anne Fontaine catwalk featuring her latest collection, A Symphony of Elegance, as well as a presentation on women in finance by Barclays Private Bank’s Valérie Genin.

The mission of the Women of Monaco club, and by extension its lunches and other inspirational events, is to bring together a group of like-minded local women to support and celebrate each other and raise money for a good cause.

To find out more, click here


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Women of Monaco Lunch raises funds for Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation

Photo source: Women of Monaco / Five Stars Events




Revised, originally published 15th September 2023