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Monte Carlo, a city so opulently devoted to money and worldly pleasure that Queen Victoria refused to cast her royal eyes upon it, proves to have considerably more going for it than the two sensational pursuits just cited. Not only is the Principality of Monaco a tax haven for the high-rolling superrich: it is also a haven for the high-rolling superrich; it is also a haven for those who enjoy the natural beauties of the Mediterranean sky, sea, and air, even the science of oceanography at its most distinguished. On a more human scale, there are also, in great abundance, the wonders of superb Belle Epoque architecture, world-class ballet and opera, young people with lean, healthy bodies clad in revealing leisure wear, and mature ones with wit, charm, a generous spirit, and variable luck at the gaming tables. An ancient fortified site ruled by one of Europe's oldest and most enlightened dynasties - the Grimaldi - Monte Carlo abounds in history, no part of which is more interesting than the story of how Pierre and Louis Blanc transformed a tiny feudal enclave - sun-baked, rock-bound, impoverished - into the world's greatest gambling empire under the aegis of the famous SBM (Societe des Bains de Mer). Thanks to the grandiose vision of these entrepreneurs, a vision intimately linked to the development of travel by rail, Monte Carlo very quickly became a legend in its own time, along with several generations of legendary visitors and "residents" - everyone from Edward VII of England and legions of Russian Grand Dukes to Coco Chanel, Calouste Gulbenkian, Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, Errol Flynn, Tamara de Lempicka, Karl Lagerfeld, Aristotle Onassis, Sophia Loren, and, of course, Princess Grace, now the most legendary of all the glittering people ever associated with the "Grimaldi Rock." All live again in Monte Carlo, and annotated album of irresistibly fascinating photographs selected from a treasure-trove archive assembled over the years by the SBM but never before opened for publication.
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Book Description Vendome Press, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110865659532