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Locked [ECONOMICS] What it's really like to live in Monaco


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Described as a "sunny place for shady people," by English novelist W. Somerset Maugham, Monaco is one of the smallest and wealthiest countries in the world.
Situated close to Nice, France and a few miles from the Italian border, the principality has a population of around 38,000, and just under seven in 10 of those people are millionaires, according to a report by property consultants Knight Frank, with at least 199 holding assets of $30 million.
The number of millionaires -- and billionaires -- residing in Monaco is on the rise, with heiress and fashion designer Tatiana Santo Domingo, who has a net worth of around $2 billion, named as its richest resident in 2019.
The Grimaldi royal family, headed up by Prince Albert II, son of Prince Rainier and Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, are perhaps the principality's most famous citizens, ruling over Monaco for eight centuries -- Domingo is married to the reigning monarch's nephew Andrea Casiraghi.
So what is it actually like to live in this millionaire's playground?

Principality of Monaco

Italian technopreneur Manila Di Giovanni, who has been living in the tiny country since 2018, says she had the "usual preconceptions" about Monaco when she initially came here as a student and found it hard to "find her way in."
"It's a more exclusive environment," she says. "If you're not part of it yet, it takes time to adapt within the actual society. It was very tough in my first years."
However, Di Giovanni, founder and chief executive of virtual reality platform DWorld, says she found things easier once she left university and began building her career and feels very much at home in Monaco now.
"I think that Monaco is really a hub of opportunities," adds Di Giovanni. "Because, despite the fact that it's a relatively small country, every person from around the world with certain influence comes to Monaco at least once per year.
"So if you find your way in the system, you can grow quite a lot."
Monaco resident Marcela de Kern Royer, originally from Guatemala, loves the lifestyle here, stressing that living among so many incredibly wealthy and successful people helps to keep her motivated.
However, she admits that the glamorous nature of Monaco means she doesn't necessarily feel comfortable going out and about while dressed down.
"Sometimes you don't want to leave the house without makeup on," says de Kern Royer, who is the author of "The Superyacht Industry Book" and a superyacht consultant at consultancy firm Onboard Monaco."I would feel a bit under dressed."


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