CNN’s author Matthew Knight recently published a superb article on Monaco:
Billionaires’ bolt-hole, playboys’ paradise and, for one week at the end of May, host to the most glamorous motor race in the world.
The Monaco Grand Prix is widely regarded as Formula One’s jewel in the crown — the twinkling gem that all racing drivers dream of winning.
This most handsome of settings for a street race has helped build the Principality’s reputation as one of the most desirable places to live on the planet … and the most expensive.
Life’s rich pageant
Small in size — the Principality would comfortably fit inside New York’s Central Park — but big on personal wealth, Monaco hasn’t levied income tax on residents since 1869.
Today, more than 40% (13,400 out of a total population of 30,600) are millionaires with many of their number worth considerably more — there are an estimated 2,400 multimillionaires, 116 centa-millionaires ($100M+) and seven billionaires.
There are plenty of theories on the secrets to a long life but holing up in Monaco could, statistically, be your best bet.
Cash-rich, care-free living on the sun-kissed French Riviera is clearly good for longevity with residents on average living for 89.5 years — longer than any other nation in the world.
A sport and a pastime
The grand prix is the centerpiece of Monaco’s sporting calendar but so far this year it’s been the Principality’s footballers and Formula E that have taken center stage.
AS Monaco claimed the French Ligue 1 for the first time since 2000, fending off the might of big spending Paris Saint-Germain and earlier this month, electric cars took to the streets for the Monaco ePrix with drivers racing on an abbreviated version of the F1 track.
The world’s best equestrian riders will also be in town at the end of June to compete in round seven of the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour.
The grand prix, however, remains unquestionably the biggest draw — for fans, and drivers.
“When you think of Formula One, you think of Monaco — it’s the most important race and the one we all want to win,” says Force India driver Sergio Perez.
Forget Hong Kong high rises, Manhattan lofts or anywhere else for that matter, Monaco is the most expensive place to buy a property in the world.
Apartments attract premium prices with $1 million equating to 17 square meters of floor space, or $59,000 per square meter, according the Knight Frank 2017 Wealth Report.
Appropriately enough, Monaco is home to the world’s most expensive apartment, the five storey “Sky Penthouse” at Odeon Tower costs $335 million — although that price does include an infinity pool and your very own water slide!
Bernard d’Alessandri, Secretary General of the Monaco Yacht Club, estimates that around 1,000 super yachts visit every year.
Prices for these high-end vessels start at $1 million per meter and hiring one out for grand prix week doesn’t come cheap either — a 100-meter yacht costs $1.2 million with Princess Yacht Charter.
“You know in French we say: ‘quad on aime, on ne compte pas’ (‘when you love something you don’t count’),” D’Alessandri says.
Three-time world F1 champion Nelson Piquet famously likened racing in Monaco to “riding a bike around your living room,” but watching the cars on track is only part of the attraction of the Monaco Grand Prix.
The race routinely attracts some of the world’s biggest celebrities who mingle with drivers and VIPs over the race weekend.
Last year’s star attraction was Justin Bieber who swigged champagne with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton after the Briton had taken the checkered flag.
Earlier this month, British supermodel Naomi Campbell was introduced to electric racing — Formula CEO Alejandro Agag taking Campbell for a high-speed spin around the track.
Originally published by Matthew Knight at CNN
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