The Principality of Monaco is a small sovereign city and state located on the Mediterranean Sea, tucked between Italy and the French Alps Maritimes. Monaco is a constitutional monarchy and principality, under the rule of the Grimaldi family since 1297. The head of state, since 2005, is Prince Albert II.
Its surface area is 485 acres, of which nearly 100 were recovered from the sea during the course of the last 20 years. Monaco lies on a narrow coastal strip, rising vertically upwards with its highest point at 206 feet. Its width varies between .65 miles and a mere 382 yards. Its coastline is 2.5 miles long. The Principality has only one commune, Monaco, whose limits are the same as those of the state. It is divided into these districts:
Located upon "the Rock", the ancient fortress features the Prince's Palace, the ramparts, the gardens, the Cathedral and the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium within its precincts.
The second oldest area in Monaco, its name dates from the Middle Ages and means the cultivable land at the foot of a village or castle.
Created in 1866 and named in honor of Prince Charles III, Monte-Carlo hosts the internationally famous Casino, luxury hotels and leisure facilities, including the recently created Larvotto Beach, and the Monte Carlo Sporting Club and Boulingrins Gardens.
The newest area of the Principality of Monaco was created from land reclaimed from the sea. This man-made waterfront area features a harbor, stadium and sports complex, heliport, and a pollution-free industrial zone, as well as some shopping areas and the new Columbus Monaco hotel.
Home to the Révoires and the Exotic Gardens (on the western border with Cap d'Ail, France).