Submitted by: James Oleander

Located near the French Riviera, the coastal city-state of Monaco is a popular destination for wealthy people from all over the world.

The latter are not only common visitors, but often own property in the small country, which is only six times larger than Vatican city, making it the second smallest country in the world.

Monaco attracts wealthy people to relocate to the country and become residents. This is because of the laws on income tax. There is none! Those looking to conserve their wealth and minimise their tax bill love this and flock to the country in droves to take advantage of this loophole. This influx of wealthy people living in Monaco has meant the it is teeming with interesting people and sights.

Peculiarly enough, it is not only a fully functioning country, but one that has a lot of interesting things to show foreigners. And of course – some oddities as well. Below, we’ll try to list the ones that seem strangest:

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3. A man disguised as a Monk started the royal family of Monaco

Franceso Grimaldi, commonly known nowadays as “Il Malizia” or “The Cunning One”, conquered the Rock of Monaco by disguising himself as a monk, and penetrating the defenses of the fortress in 1297. He was a nobleman from Genoa, and his descendants ruled for most of Monaco’s history, even in present day. The Grimaldis were put out of power shortly during the period of the French revolution, but aside from that, they have reigned the small country ever since that cunning capture.

2. Monaco has no income taxes

Being such a small country with no natural resources, Monaco had to find a way to generate profits. And this happened with the rise of the gambling and casino industries, followed by a legislation that removed all income taxes on citizens of Monaco. This made it very tempting for wealthy people to get citizenship in Monaco, but also created some controversy regarding tax evasion by people with double citizenship. The country’s unique policy regarding income taxation has made it famous in economic circles.

1. The former Prince of Monaco married famous American actress Grace Kelly

Rainier III, ruler of Monaco until his tragic end in 2005, was for a certain period of time married to Grace Kelly. It is thought that they met when the actress was shooting a movie, in which she drove on the picturesque coasts in the small city state. Ironically enough, she died in a car accident only several years after marrying the prince. Nevertheless, their marriage was one of the first of that kind, setting an example for other publicly covered marriages, like the recent Prince William – Kate Middleton wedding.

There is much and more to be said about Monaco, but these are perhaps some of the quirkiest little details surrounding this beautiful and yet strangely mystical small country. Visiting it will not only be pleasant, but could allow you to learn a lot more about its oddities.

About the Author: I live and work in Monaco and contribute to the website

on a regular basis. My penchant for writing see’s me contributing to many different websites so you might just see me pop up in the most unusual of places.


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