Photos: The children of Monaco celebrate Saint Nicolas

Following age-old tradition, the patron saint of children was celebrated by the Principality’s youngest residents on the morning of 6th December with a mass delivered in the Monegasque language and chocolate Santas gifted by the Mairie de Monaco.  

Saint Nicolas, the patron saint of children, was commemorated in the Monaco with a procession through the streets surrounding the Notre-Dame-Immaculée de Monaco cathedral that was led by Archbishop of Monaco Dominique-Marie David. 

Later, members of the Mairie de Monaco, including Mayor Georges Marsan, handed out festive chocolate gifts in the form of Father Christmas to the many children who turned out to take part in the traditional event.  

The morning concluded with a mass delivered in the Monegasque language in front of the altar of Saint Nicolas, which was followed by songs from the U Cantin d’a Roca and a performance retelling the story of Saint Nicolas by children from the Institution François d’Assise–Nicolas Barré school.  

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All photo credits: Mairie de Monaco

Dante Alighieri association to recount the “cursed life of Benvenuto Cellini” later this month

Later this month, the Dante Alighieri Monaco association will fuse art with history at an engaging event exploring the life of Renaissance rebel Benvenuto Cellini, and featuring art historian Alessandro Masi. 

The Monaco-based branch of the Dante Alighieri association is set to host an enlightening event exploring the life of “Renaissance rebel” Benvenuto Cellini under the distinguished patronage of Princess Caroline of Hanover and the Italian Embassy in Monaco at the Auditorium Rainier III later this month. 

The key speaker of the evening will be Alessandro Masi, the esteemed Secretary-General of Dante Alighieri of Rome and a respected art historian, writer and journalist, who will delve into the enigmatic and tumultuous life of Benvenuto Cellini, as chronicled in his latest book, ‘Vita Maledetta di Benvenuto Cellini’. 

Art historian Alessandro Masi will tell the story of Benvenuto Cellini’s “cursed life”. Photo via Facebook

The life of a Renaissance rebel 

Benvenuto Cellini, born in Florence in 1500, was a master goldsmith and sculptor whose works, such as the Saliera created for King Francis I of France and his renowned bronze Perseus with the head of Medusa, have left an indelible mark on art history.  

Cellini’s life was anything but ordinary. Often described as a “cursed” artist, his vibrant and violent life was riddled with brawls, murders and even a dramatic escape from Castel Sant’Angelo, where he had been imprisoned. His participation in the armed defence of Rome during the Sack of 1527 further adds layers to his complex character. 

An evening of art and drama 

The event, taking place on 15th December, will begin at 7pm, with doors opening at 6.30pm. Art expert Alfredo Pallesi will open the evening and set the stage for an immersive journey into the Renaissance era. Following this, celebrated Italian actor Remo Girone, known for his role in ‘La Piovra’, will grace the event with dramatic readings that will bring Cellini’s story to life. 

The event will also serve as a platform to announce the upcoming events for the 2024 season of the Dante Alighieri Committee of Monaco.  

The evening will conclude with a cocktail reception, offering attendees an opportunity to discuss the insights gained and network with fellow art and history enthusiasts. Admission to this event is free, but seating is limited so interested individuals are encouraged to confirm their attendance before 12th December by emailing 


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Photo source: Ali Nuredini, Unsplash

How to apply for a residency in one of the three art studios available in Monaco

artist studio monaco

Monaco’s Department of Cultural Affairs is offering up three studios and workshop spaces to artists with projects that are in some way connected artistically or culturally to the Principality. Here are the details.  

Calling all artists! The Monegasque government is once again offering up ateliers on the Quai Antoine Ier to creative souls who have projects linked to the Principality.  

The themes of artists’ projects are not dictated in any other way, and the allocation of the studio spaces will be done via a competition. 

There are three total studios up for grabs, one of which comes with the possibility of accommodation. The studios can be used for a period of one to six consecutive months, although the terms can be renewed.  

Artists applying for one of these coveted spaces can from anywhere, but if they are not already authorised to live or work in the Principality, they must take care of the costs of any visas and travel expenses incurred themselves.  

The full details of the supporting documents required can be found here. Only postal entries will be accepted and submissions must be sent by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt before 22nd December 2023 to the Department of Cultural Affairs at Le Winter Palace, 4 Boulevard des Moulins, Monaco 98000. 


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Photo credit: Michael Alesi / Monaco Communications Department 

Monaco to officially welcome the Tour de France in summer 2024

It’s official! The 2024 edition of the Tour de France will culminate with a special time trial between the Principality of Monaco and the city of Nice in a radical departure from the usual Paris finish on the Champs-Élysées.  

On 5th December, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Minister of State Pierre Dartout welcomed an official delegation from the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the organisers of the Tour de France, at the Yacht Club de Monaco. 

The motive for the meeting was to sign an agreement between the Principality and the ASO that formalises Monaco’s role as the start line host of the final leg of the Tour, which will be held on 21st July 2024.  


“Signing a contract is obviously always very important, even if we had no doubt that it would take place,” said ASO Director Christian Prudhomme at the event. “We have had a relationship of trust with the Principality for a long time.” 

See more: Full Tour de France 2024 route revealed, including Monaco-Nice time trial

This connection goes back to the post-war era. The Grand Boucle had been put on hold for obvious reasons during World War II, and with much of France in a shambles in the following years, there was simply no money to resume the race.  

“Without the Grimaldi family, the Tour de France would perhaps never have restarted in 1947,” Prudhomme reminded the assembled crowd at the Yacht Club. “In 1946, after the war, it was because your family, Monseigneur [Prince Albert], paid for accommodation for the riders of a Monaco-Paris trip that, the following year, the Tour de France was able to rise from the ashes.” 


Given that the French capital will be hosting the Olympic Games at the same time as the final stages of the Tour, organisers were keen as far back as 2018 to find an alternative.  

In the end, it was decided that the last leg could be entrusted to no other place than the Côte d’Azur and ASO approached Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi. He reportedly leapt at the offer.  

“He said ‘Yes!’ straight away, and from then on, it was obvious to us: the start had to be Monaco,” explained Prudhomme. “For us, there was clearly no Plan B, the last leg had to be Monaco-Nice.” 

“We have a good collaboration, and I would even say a friendship, not only with Christian Prudhomme (pictured), but also everyone involved in the organisation,” said Prince Albert II of Monaco at the signing of the agreement with ASO. Photo credits: Michael Alesi / Prince’s Palace  

By next summer, it will have been 15 years since the Tour last visited the Principality.  

“It was difficult to imagine when the Tour could come to Monaco,” said Prince Albert, who added, “We have a good collaboration, and I would even say a friendship, not only with Christian Prudhomme, but also everyone involved in the organisation. I think I can say, and I hope, that the Tour will return regularly to the Principality.”  

Prudhomme convivially replied, “If we have to come a little more often than every 15 years, that wouldn’t bother us!”  

The Tour de France is one of the world’s most watched sporting events. It is screened in 190 countries around the world, with a total viewership topping the 3.5 billion mark in 2023. 

Read more:

Cycling: Monaco-Nice Tour de France stage revealed


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Photo credits: Michael Alesi / Prince’s Palace  

Ski season begins this weekend in Isola 2000, Auron and Limone

Snow has fallen on the mountains to the north of Monaco, bringing with it news that three of the best skiing resorts in the area – Isola 2000, Auron and Limone Piemonte – will open their pistes this weekend coming.  

Brush off those ski boots and pull out your winter gear as this weekend marks the openings of two of the Alpes-Maritimes’ best-loved ski stations, Auron and Isola 2000, as well as Limone Piemonte’s Riserva Bianca on 8th December. More will follow next weekend, including Valberg, the Val d’Allos and the family favourite of Gréolières-les-Neiges.  

ISOLA 2000 

Lifts will open for the first time this season in Isola 2000 on 9th December, and there will be a big party to celebrate. Music from DJ Afroman will accompany welcome drinks and outdoor games for the kids on Saturday, with an introduction to cross-country skiing on the agenda for Sunday.  

Daily adult ski passes cost €40 and €32 for a half-day. Children and seniors can ski for €33.60 for a full day and €26.70 for half days.  


Auron will also be opening this weekend. It is €40 for an adult all-day pass and €32 for a half-day. For children and seniors, the prices are €33.60 for a full day and a half-day will cost €26.70.  

In addition to the skiing, on 8th and 9th December, the village is running the Saint-Etienne-de-Tinée Téléthon, which will feature table tennis and sports challenges, a visit from the local fire brigade, virtual reality fun, astronomy workshops and a tombola, all to be enjoyed with an aperitif offered by the townhall.  


Valberg isn’t scheduled to open until 16th December, but the town’s winter market on Place Charles Ginesy will be in full swing the day before for those who want to get a jump on Christmas shopping, as well as be first in line for the slopes the next day. The market runs from 2.30pm to 8pm and entry is free.  

All three of these resorts are a two-hour drive from central Monaco.


If you simply can’t wait until the weekend for your first ski of the season, the renowned Trois Vallées resorts of Courchevel and Méribel – around six hours in the car from Monaco, but considerably less by helicopter – are already in operation. 53 of Courchevel’s 153 lifts are open and 117 out of 347 are running in Méribel.  

Courchevel’s Christmas market will be taking place on 10th December, with festive local and artisanal offerings from 50 exhibitors in the Salle Festive Ugine. Santa will also make a showing, and children can get a photo of themselves with the big man or simply hand him their Christmas lists.  

On 9th and 10th December, Méribel’s neighbour of Val Thorens will be host to the Andros E-Trophy, a high-speed ice driving competition. For more information, click here

Read more:

When will the ski resorts near Monaco open for the winter season? 


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Photo source: Isola 2000, Facebook

OceanX and Prince Albert Foundation “early champions” in field of ocean innovation

Some exciting partnerships unfolded during COP28 in Dubai, as the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, OceanX, and the World Economic Forum’s 1000 Ocean StartupsCoalition joined forces to advance ocean innovation.

The first partnership, celebrated aboard the cutting-edge OceanXplorer and featuring ocean innovators and their technologies on 4th December, underscored a collective commitment to promoting blue technologies and solutions in support of a sustainable ocean economy.

The second partnership saw the Forum and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (FPA2) pledging joint support to the Foundation’s Ocean Innovators Platform, which showcases the most impactful ocean solutions and entrepreneurial innovations working to conserve the world’s ocean, seas, and marine resources.

“An entrepreneurial approach to ocean and climate issues is increasingly necessary and increasingly relevant,” said Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. “The Ocean Innovators Platform has been set up to bridge the gap between solutions and financing.”

The two partnerships ladder up to a collective effort supporting pioneering entrepreneurs who are committed to ocean conservation and solving the future’s most pressing ocean health issues.

“OceanX has always pushed the boundaries of exploration, creating solutions and new technologies to address the unique challenges of exploring, understanding and protecting the ocean,” said Mark Dalio, founder and co-CEO of OceanX. “We are thrilled to partner with the World Economic Forum’s 1000 Ocean Startups coalition to support and promote ocean technology and innovation that furthers our shared goal of creating global change for the ocean.”

The three organisations will work together to foster cutting-edge technologies and inventive solutions at the forefront of ocean innovation. In addition, ocean innovators will be invited to test their creations during research missions aboard OceanXplorer, the advanced exploration, scientific research, and media production vessel utilised by OceanX in its operations. The vessel sports the latest technologies in ocean exploration, including two Triton deep-sea submersibles depth-rated to 1,000 meters and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) depth-rated to 6,000 meters. The trials will provide groups with insight on the impact, engineering and design of their innovations.

The new partnerships will also advance solutions to fast-track a sustainable ocean economy around the world.

“The ocean economy is vital to the livelihoods of three billion people, of whom up to seven out of 10 are women. Protecting and restoring ocean health supports the climate and biodiversity, strengthens community resilience and wellbeing, and stimulates local development. Ocean innovations that address people, planet and economic vitality remain a largely untapped opportunity,” said Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum. “OceanX and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation are early champions in the field of ocean innovation. We are delighted to be partnering with them through the 1000 Ocean Startups coalition to celebrate the ecopreneurs who are pathfinding solutions towards a more sustainable ocean economy.”

The celebration of the two partnerships took place during the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, UAE, where global ocean exploration nonprofit OceanX hosted a Blue Zone Pavilion with IOC-UNESCO.

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Photo of Prince Albert and Olivier Wenden (right), courtesy of OceanX