We spent the last day of October hobnobbing with the rich and famous in Monaco. Well, kinda . . . if “hobnobbing” means crossing the streets on foot while dodging Bentleys, Rolls’, Ferraris, Maseratis, and Aston Martins. The poor man’s car in this country seems to be the BMW, followed closely by the Porsche. As they say in the upper income strata, “Ford and the world Ford’s with you. Rolls and you Rolls alone.”
Not surprising considering that this diminutive principality (House of Grimaldi) has the highest median income in Europe — well over €200,000 per annum (about $270,000 U.S.). And for proof you need look no farther than the yachts that blanket the harbor like some incredibly opulent carpet of fiberglass and polished wood.
Of course there is at least one entity designed to pry some of that wealth from the wealthy. No, I don’t mean the tax code — Monaco has one of the lowest tax “burdens” in the world. I’m talking of course of the infamous Casino Monte-Carlo. It’s quite an impressive building, especially when lighted up at night.
Just how efficient is this mechanism for wealth exchange? Well, I almost could have said that I lost my shirt at the Casino, but it had just dropped out of our laundry bag so we picked it up off the floor and continued on without placing so much as a single bet. Here’s another view of this legendary casino:
The country of Monaco and its primary and largest district of Monte Carlo (which roughly translates to “Charles Hill”) offers so much to see that I’ll be presenting more on this MS Ryndam port of call in a second segment on Friday. Until then, enjoy today’s gallery. Just click on any image below to start the slideshow.