The remarkable terrain of 371 acres that forms the historic town of Monaco is often confused by visitors with its capital,
But whereas Monte Carlo is a mountainous gamblers' paradise, Monaco is in fact, the cradle of a dynasty that goes back many centuries.
For three hundred years the rock was occupied by the Ligurians but during the ninth century these were successfully driven out by the Phoenicians who used it as a trading post and called it Monoïkos.
By the beginning of the tenth century this had become a thriving community and in 1308 a wealthy Genoese family of the house of Grimaldi acquired the title of Lord of Monaco.
Since then the name and the title of Prince of Monaco have been borne by his heirs.
During the next four centuries every conceivable vicissitude happened to the rock - even an annexation, because in 1793, at the time of the French Revolution, it was looted
and incorporated into the French Republic who changed its name to Port Hercule.
Another and very significant change of fortune occured in 1814 when Tallyrand restored the rule of the Grimaldi dynasty over the rock, and its name reverted to Monaco.
Today, the Principality as it widely known, is a thriving and bustling modern city-state (though it does have more than its fair share of millionaires, sports idols and motor racing heroes).
Monaco is truly international, complete with a strong underlying business base and fine
And you can always drive over the border to France or Italy for a spot of lunch.
Created, composed, and constructed by Virtual Riviera 1995