MONACO, April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The storybook legacy of Monaco begins a new chapter this summer as the Principality celebrates the fairytale nuptials of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II and elegant South African Olympic swimmer Miss Charlene Wittstock. With a royal wedding topping a remarkable line-up of celebrations, events, cultural exhibits and fine dining this year, the Principality offers travelers a unique and extraordinary look into this enchanted Mediterranean coast destination. Here are the top ten reasons to visit Monaco in 2011.
On July 1, 2011, the civil wedding ceremony of Prince Albert and Miss Wittstock will take place in the Throne Room of the Prince's Palace. Later that evening, a large concert will be offered by the newly-wedded couple at the Port for all residents and visitors: Jean-Michel Jarre will present a unique sound and light show.
On July 2, 2011, the religious wedding ceremony will take place in the Main Courtyard of the Prince's Palace. To be celebrated by Monseigneur Bernard Barsi, Archbishop of Monaco, more than 3500 invited guests will witness the wedding on giant screens in the vicinity of the Palace and screens will also be set up at prime locations throughout the Principality to enable residents and visitors to watch the proceedings. After the wedding, the couple will take a special procession route in a Lexus luxury hybrid vehicle, underscoring Prince Albert's commitment to environmental conservation, to the Church of Sainte Devote where the bride will lay down her bouquet. The official dinner and a gala ball will be held at the Salle Garnier and the Terraces of the Casino later that evening followed by fireworks for all of Monaco to enjoy.
For further information, please visit www.palais.mc. For instructions on media accreditation, please visit www.mariageprinciermonaco2011.com : all requests must be sent via the online form no later than May 15, 2011.
Royal Houses Exhibition at Grimaldi Forum
This summer the Grimaldi Forum will showcase important pieces from four centuries of historic European monarchies with The Magnificence and Grandeur of Royal Houses in Europe exhibition. Open July 11 through September 11, 2011, 600-plus artifacts will provide visitors with a unique glimpse into the imperial homes and lives of Europe's most powerful and respected leaders and couples. www.grimaldiforum.com
Musical Legends Headline Sporting Summer Music Festival
This year's Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Music Festival, from July 8 through August 27 at Salle des Etoiles, offers, yet again, a list of legendary musicians as key performers. Janet Jackson will open the festival on July 8 and 9, Stevie Wonder will return after his acclaimed performance last year and Sting will perform on July 25. http://en.sportingsummerfestival.com/
New National Museum
Monaco's recently opened Nouveau Musee National de Monaco (NMNM) is located in two venues - the stunning Villa Paloma and Villa Sauber. The newly re-designed venues focus on modern contemporary works of art and will feature two exhibitions annually that will spotlight the cultural, historic and artistic virtues of Monaco. www.nmnm.mc
In addition to the five restaurants that boast a combined eight Michelin stars, fine food connoisseurs will appreciate the Principality's many new culinary offerings including a transformed Le Vistamar at the Hotel Hermitage, which recently re-opened its doors under the direction of Chef Joel Garault. The Horizon at The Fairmont Monte Carlo has proposed a new menu featuring a "chic and ethical" concept, demonstrating Executive Chef Maryan Gandon's commitment to sustainable development and the planet. YOSHI at the Metropole Monte-Carlo – Chef Joel Robuchon's only Japanese inspired eatery - recently received a glittering Michelin star and, at the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel, Elsa, features a modern twist on seasonal seafood.
New Ways to See the Sights
Tourists traveling to Monaco now have an additional option of exploring the Principality with the newly acquired "hop on/hop off" open-top buses. The Grand Tour open-top bus, runs between 10:00am and 6:00pm every day and takes passengers to 12 stops of interest including the Prince's Palace, Casino de Monte-Carlo and museums.
Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium
After a multi-year renovation program, several public areas and rooms of the museum have been restored and equipped with modern facilities. Through September 30, 2011, visitors can explore the American artist Mark Dion's installation "Oceanomania: Memories of the Mysterious Seas," which is filled with curiosities from the marine world and will be presented simultaneously with the Nouveau Musee National de Monaco at the Villa Paloma. www.oceano.org.
Relax and Rejuvenate
As Europe's premier spa destination, Monaco has a distinct advantage: a combination of climate, sunshine and abundant natural resources drawn directly from the Mediterranean Sea. This summer the Monte-Carlo Beach Spa will re-open, highlighting its sleek makeover and unique location, nestled in the pool area overlooking the sea. Les Thermes Marins de Monte-Carlo recently introduced an exclusive, non-invasive, avant-garde anti-aging treatment – Re-Oxy, consisting of pure concentrated oxygen and ozone for long-lasting radiant skin.
Music Under The Stars
Summer evenings become even more enchanting as the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the Main Courtyard of the Princely Palace to perform its concerts under the stars. www.opmc.mc
Monte-Carlo Casino and Opera House
Among one of the world's most famous cultural landmarks, the Monte-Carlo Casino and Opera House continues to be a "must-see" attraction in Monaco. Travelers from around the world can try their hand at the Casino's gaming tables and witness operatic performances in the Salle Garnier, where 45 world premieres have been held and Matisse and Picasso designed sets and costumes in the not-so-distant past.
For more information, contact the Monaco Government Tourist Office (MGTO) at (800) 753-9696 or info@VisitMonaco.com. Information and links are available via: www.VisitMonaco.com/us. Follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
SOURCE Monaco Government Tourist Office