Stepping into the Casino in Monte Carlo brings about a rush of James Bond fever. After passing rows of luxury cars and stepping beneath the elegant doorway, I entered this world of hushed tones, plush fabrics and polished mahogany braced for vodka martinis and a thrilling car chase.
Of course, I didn’t exactly have the kind of cash that granted me access to those private areas, but for 10 euros and an “appropriate” dress code, I was allowed into the Salon Europe and the Salon des Amériques. There, suitably distinguished others tried their luck at roulette, poker and Black Jack.
Even if you don’t plan on risking a single penny on the games, it’s worth visiting the Monte Carlo Casino to enjoy the architecture, the location and the legend.
Perched on the hilltop of Monaco, one of the world’s richest principalities, the Casino has spectacular views across the harbour of Monte Carlo. Since yachts are as common as cars in UK suburbia (and people aren’t troubled by their latest tax bill), this compact harbour dazzles with the reflections of streetlights on gleaming yachts.
The Casino itself also has no understanding of the word “moderation.” From the fountains and gardens outside, to the Belle Epoque façade and grand inner Atrium complete with marble columns, it’s easy to understand why this place sparked Fleming’s imagination when he wrote Casino Royale.
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