Monday, May 20, 2024

Monaco Grand Prix Travel Tips

 

One of the biggest weekends of the year is upon us with the upcoming Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix taking place from May 24th to 26th.

Planning on how you will get in and out of Monaco during this time is key to having the best experience.

To accommodate the races and the thousands of fans who attend over the three-day event, numerous roads are closed, most of the car parks are closed, and access to certain areas of the Principality is significantly restricted for both drivers and pedestrians.

Which means, driving into Monaco by car or taxi during the Grand Prix can easily take two or three hours or more.

Big tip: don’t bother driving as once you finally arrive, you will spend almost as much time trying to find a place to park and will likely have to walk a considerable distance to the race tracks.

Public Transit

Bus services have already increased this year due simply to tourist demand. The bus from Nice might take longer than the train, especially with the additional traffic and congestion during the event, but it remains a viable alternative and quite scenic.

There are various bus routes available, including the Ligne Express 80 from Nice Airport and the 602 from the Vauban bus station in Nice to the Casino in Monaco. Additionally, the new 600 bus line runs from Nice to Menton via Monaco and back.

The train journey from Nice to Monaco takes about 22 minutes. During the Grand Prix weekend, trains will depart from Nice approximately every 15 minutes and cost less than €5 if booked in advance.
The first train departs at 5:40 am, and the last trains back from Monaco on May 25th and 26th are scheduled for 11:51 pm—perfect if you want to stay a little later in the Principality.
For both the trains and buses, expect lineups and plenty of people in general so leave earlier for your arrival to Monaco.

Taxis, Uber, Bolt

Another option is to travel to and from Monaco using a taxi or ride-hailing services like Uber or Bolt, though this can be more complicated than it seems as there are various rules.

Monaco-registered taxis can only pick up passengers within the Principality, as there is no agreement permitting them to collect passengers from French territory.

Car service drivers from France can collect and drop off passengers inside Monaco, but only if they have an official vignette. With only 320 of these permits available, the demand for taxi and ride-hailing services is high, resulting in elevated prices.

Alternatively, you can still take an Uber or Bolt (expect to pay premium rates) into Cap d’Ail, as an example, and make your way into Monaco by foot. Taxis in general in France are more expensive than Uber or Bolt.

Helicopter

Flying from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport to the Principality takes just seven minutes from helipad to helipad, making it unquestionably the fastest and most stress-free way to reach the action.

But again, book ahead.

Taking a scenic flight is a great alternative. Blade, owned by Monaco-based Monacair, offers rates starting at €550 on May 24th, 25th, and 27th, with prices for "Race Day" flights on May 26th starting at €650.

Walking

As odd as it sounds, it can be done. One example is, if you can make your way to the heart of Cap d’Ail then a leisurely walk into Monaco can take around 30 minutes.

Monaco itself has an area of 2.1 km2 (0.81 sq mi), or 208 ha (510 acres), making it easily accessible by foot, even with the street restrictions in place for the Grand Prix.

Friday, May 17, 2024

International Day Against Homophobia & LGBTQ+ Rights in Monaco

 

May 17th marks the International Day Against Homophobia yet for all, basic human rights are still not equal.

Surprisingly to many, given all the glitz and glam of the luxury lifestyle within the Principality of Monaco, same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples in Monaco are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples. In fact, Monaco is the least developed among Western European countries in terms of LGBTQ+ equality.

The Principality of Monaco ranks in the bottom 10% of 49 European and Central Asian countries monitored annually by an international civil rights association advocating for equal civil and economic rights for LGBTQ+ citizens. Only 5 countries are rated worse than Monaco: Belarus, Russia, Armenia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan.
In Monaco, numerous accounts exist detailing the stark absence of fundamental LGBTQ+ equality rights. Below are some instances of discrimination encountered by residents, non-Monegasque inhabitants, and foreign workers. The identities and nationalities of individuals involved have been altered.

Brigitte, a resident of France, has dedicated 35 years of her life to working in Monaco, diligently contributing to the Social Security and Retirement program throughout this period. At 72, she married her partner of 29 years in 2015. Despite this, Brigitte's spouse currently lacks any entitlement to spousal rights within the retirement system, meaning she will not receive any spousal "reversion" benefits upon Brigitte's passing. Brigitte's spouse, although younger, faces a medical condition that hampers her ability to work full-time, making the denial of her spousal "reversion" benefits particularly impactful.

Audrey is a Monegasque citizen and has an approved civil union PACS with her partner Sylvie. If Audrey dies before her partner, Sylvie will be forced to pay an inheritance tax on the apartment they share although a married heterosexual couple would pay no tax. In addition, the law prohibits two members of the same sex to live together in the same apartment unless they are related by birth.

Henry and James, legally wed in France, call Monaco home. But, if James were to suffer a car accident and be admitted to a Monaco hospital in a coma, Henry would face a distressing reality: he would have no legal authority to make any decisions regarding James's treatment, including critical matters such as resuscitation

Léa and Margot, Monegasques, had a child, the latter is enrolled in daycare. Margot was unable to pick up her child from daycare because she is not the biological mother. Léa had to sign an authorization so that her mother could collect it. However, the daycare charges this household on all of their income.

Maud and Louise work in the private sector in Monaco and have a child. The Medical Benefits Service in Monaco considers this household as such and takes all income into account. However, when it comes to family allowances, Maud is considered a single mother. In addition, Louise was unable to benefit from leave linked to the birth of their child.

The Rainbow Map, now in its 12th year, is published by the International Lesbian & Gay Association (ILGA) which is co-funded by the European Commission.

The Rainbow Map uses seven categories and 74 criteria to examine the LGBTQ+ laws and policies of each nation, including equality and non-discrimination in the workplace and at home.

Although Monaco’s historical ties to the Catholic Church are often cited for the poor performance, there are no other predominantly Catholic countries in the bottom 10%. In fact, the number-one rated country on the Rainbow Map is Malta whose population is 96% Catholic and whose Constitution establishes Catholicism as the state religion.

Nearly half of the 49 countries covered by the Rainbow Map recognize civil unions or marriages between same-sex couples, Monaco’s failure to recognize marriages legally binding in other countries results in a significant loss of civil and economic rights.

With this, we strive on, with a growing number of local individuals showcasing our strength.

This year for the first time in Monaco, the “MON’ARC EN CIEL” association was created to defend and promote the individual and collective rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ people in the Principality.

 For more details, contact: monarcenciel@monaco.mc

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Cannes Film Festival 2024: Free Films at Cinéma de la Plage

 

The 2024 Cannes Film Festival features nightly open-air screenings showcasing iconic classics from French and international cinema, as well as premieres of French and global films. From May 14th to May 25th, audiences can enjoy a curated selection of movies at the Cinéma de la Plage, the festival's outdoor theater.

Cinéma de la Plage offers a nightly event that is accessible to everyone, whether accredited or not, making it the epitome of inclusivity at the Cannes Festival. Attendees can come dressed in a glamorous gala suit or opt for a more casual attire of jeans and sneakers, ensuring that all are welcome to enjoy the cinematic experience by the sea.

Featuring a colossal cinema screen set up on Macé Beach, beside the Mediterranean Sea and the Palais des Festivals, the outdoor film screenings cater to the general public. Whether you're a regular attendee lounging on a deckchair or simply strolling along the renowned Croisette, everyone is invited to partake in this cinematic experience.

All can relish in this assortment of beloved, high-quality films, presented in restored editions or as previews ahead of their theatrical debuts for certain titles.
In addition to the contemporary films "Transmitzvah" by Daniel Burman will be shown, and "My way" by Lisa Azuelos and Thierry Teston (which recounts the birth of the legendary song, at the edge of a swimming pool in private mansion by Claude François).

Along with the animated films “Silex and the city” by Jul, taken from his comic book series with the voices of Guillaume Gallienne, Clément Sibony and Léa Drucker.

And “Slocum et moi” by Jean-François Laguionie. We can once again watch one of the classics "After Hours" by Martin Scorsese (1985), and “Phantom of the Paradise” by Brian de Palma (1974) or, the equally entertaining, “Operation Condor” by Jackie Chan (1991).

It will also be an opportunity to rediscover Hayao Miyazaki's somewhat forgotten masterpiece "Porco Rosso" (1992).

Also available to watch, "Exils" with Romain Duris, Lubna Azabal in the film by Tony Gatlif (2004) and, "Indigènes", about forgotten soldiers of the first French army recruited in Africa by Rachid Bouchareb (2006).

More offbeat, the film "The Nine Queens" by Fabian Bielinsky (2000) will immerse the beach in the world of Argentine burglars.

This event offers free admission, with screenings starting at 21:30. Space is limited though, so it's advisable to arrive early if you wish to secure a deck chair and blanket, or alternatively, you can bring your own beach towel.

More information can be found on the Cannes Film Festival website.

Queer Palm 2024

 

Queer Palm keeps with tradition as being one of the most anticipated LGBTQ+ events alongside the Cannes Film Festival. This prestigious occasion reveals the contenders vying for its coveted prizes in both short and feature films categories.

This year for Queer Palm, John Cameron Mitchell left his place as president of the jury to Lukas Dhont, who will be surrounded by Juliana Rojas, Brazilian director (Les Bonnes Manners, Cidade; Campo), Sophie Letourneur, French director and actress (La Vie at the ranch, Huge, Travels in Italy), by Jad Salfiti, British-Palestinian journalist (The Guardian, Arte, BBC, etc) and Hugo Bardin (Paloma), actor, director and French drag queen, first winner of Drag Race France.

The Queer Palm List for 2024
LONGS METRAGES / FEATURE FILMS
SELECTION OFFICIELLE / OFFICIAL SELECTION / COMPETITION

Bird / Andrea Arnold
Emilia Perez / Jacques Audiard
Marcello Mio / Christophe Honoré
Motel Destino / Karim Aïnouz

SELECTION OFFICIELLE / OFFICIAL SELECTION / HORS COMPETITION / OUT OF COMPETITION

La Belle de Gaza (The Beauty of Gaza) / Yolande Zauberman / Séance spéciale
Les Femmes au balcon / Noémie Merlant / Séance de minuit
Miséricorde (Misericordia) / Alain Guiraudie / Cannes Première
Vivre, mourir, renaître / Gaël Morel / Cannes Première

SELECTION OFFICIELLE / UN CERTAIN REGARD

My Sunshine / Hiroshi Okuyama
Viet & Nam / Truong Minh Quý

SEMAINE DE LA CRITIQUE / CRITIC’S WEEK

Baby / Marcelo Caetano / Compétition
La Pampa (Block Pass) / Antoine Chevrollier / Compétition
La Mer au loin (Across the sea) / Saïd Hamich Benlarbi / Séance spéciale
Les Reines du drame (Queens of Drama) / Alexis Langlois / Séance spéciale

QUINZAINE DES CINEASTES / DIRECTOR’S FORTNIGHT

Eat The Night / Caroline Poggi et Jonathan Vinel
Most People Die on Sundays / Iair Said

COURTS METRAGES / SHORT MOVIES

Three / Amie Song / Cinéfondation
As minhas sensações são tudo o que tenho para oferecer (My Senses Are All I Have to Offer) / Isadora Neves Marques / Semaine de la Critique
Sannapäiv (Sauna Day) / Anna Hints & Tushar Prakash / Semaine de la Critique
Las Novias del Sur (Southern Brides) / Elena Lopez Riera / Semaine de la Critique
Immaculata / Kim Lêa Sakkai /Quinzaine des Cinéastes

More details about Queer Palm can be found here.
See you on May 14 for the opening of the Festival!