Monte Carlo, Monaco
I just read ALL of the reviews on Monaco and to say I am shocked is an understatement. My family and I were there in July, 2012 and we collectively deem Monaco the MOST GORGEOUS place we have ever seen! My ONLY complaint is that you pretty much need to be a multi-millionaire to live there. My son was on a quest to have Gelato (the "real" kind--not the US kind) in every country we visited and he stated that Monte Carlo's was the best (limon). It is breathtakingly beautiful, police presence is everywhere so we felt uber safe, the photo ops are non-stop, the tourist shops have prices that aren't obscene and the history (Grand Prix, site of Grace Kelly's crash, etc.) is abundant. NO shortage of drool-worthy vehicles to observe at the Hotel de Paris and Grand Casino, too--my kids and I saw a car that we learned once we got home STARTS at $3,000,000 (and to think both of my kids touched the car--I figure their DNA left behind was about 10k in damages! Lol) Given the small size of the country, it's not like it would take any significant amount of time to view it all but I dream of someday going back. Someday...*sigh*.
Monte Carlo was a kind of wasteland until in 1856 the prince allowed a casino to open it's doors here. He also changed the laws so that gambling was legalised and taxes would soon start to be lowered to almost zero scales for inhabitants of the small principality. At first the success of the casino was not that big, but when Francois Blanc took over the place and attracted welathy people from all over the world to take a gamble here, as well as take the relaxation he installed for them ... the world came, saw and "contributed" to the success that made Monte Carlo. On top of that the races, that this part of Monaco is just famous for, attracted many car lovers (from classics to modern). When arriving at the parking within the rock of Monaco, here one can visit also the "story of Monte Carlo", which gives a complete view over how this small part of the world became such big famous place in only a century time.
We walked along the waterfront and took in the sights of Adam and Eve composition - sculpted by Fernando Botero in 1981.
We moved to Monte-Carlo district where you can see hairpin turns of F1 course. Many spectacular cruisers berthed at the harbor.