Monaco

Travel - September 19th, 2008

The social event to be seen at


by Marie Teather

Monaco Grand Prix

…no Monaco Grand Prix is complete without

the many excusive parties, galas,

auctions, and yacht events.

From the playboy yachts parked in the harbor to the latest sports cars cruising the historic streets, Monaco is a playground for the rich and famous. Without a doubt, the biggest event on the Monaco social calendar happens at the end of May, when this otherwise laid-back city transforms itself into a Formula One race track allowing cars to burn around every port and casino at speeds of 140kms an hour.

The circuit runs through Monaco’s narrow and picturesque winding streets, which are also shared with around 3,000 spectators, creating an atmosphere like no other Grand Prix fixture. Fans delight as the screech of screaming engines and the smell of burning rubber explodes uncomfortably close by, and drivers, knowing that overtaking on this course is notoriously difficult, must race to absolute precision and leave no room for error.

Every space and breath of air around this circuit is accessible only by ticket and these too are expensive and very difficult to come by. Turning up and trying to catch a free glimpse of the event is out of the question and for roadside tickets, expect to pay up to 500 euros. For better seats, it may cost up to 140,000 to rent out a terrace. Hotel rooms are often booked out years in advance and so a notable connection may be the best way to secure a ticket at short notice.

Each season, the glamour and the celebrity fly-ins provide further attraction for spectators—or wannabes—hoping to catch glimpse of their favorite Hollywood film star or supermodel making their appearance. Bernie Ecclestone, the “F1 Supremo,” has long cultivated Formula One’s connection to the stars of the film, fashion, and music worlds and so no Monaco Grand Prix is complete without the many exclusive parties, galas, auctions, and yacht events.

Celebrities aside, jewelry is big here and tans are deep. Whether you’re a car enthu-I siast or just curious to see how the mega-rich kick back, this is one social event to be experienced at least once in your lifetime—if only you can secure a ticket.

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