I don’t know about you, but I am thrilled about all the opportunities, accomplishments, and advancements bestowed upon our guys in this last year. Actually, it all began to sky rocket after Sanremo, and has not stopped. They truly deserve all of it; having remained true to their commitment for excellence, their dedication towards purpose, and a genuine love for music and it’s ability to make a difference within the hearts of those listening. On stage or off, Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero are a gift, our gift, and I’m ever so thankful.
We ended the year with Il Volo; first being in DUBAI, and then in MONTE CARLO-MONACO. These are places familiar to them, but maybe not so much to us? Let’s learn more, and begin with Dubai.
NEXT: MONTE CARLO-MONACO History.
Monaco is an ancient principality covering about 2 sq miles, and has been ruled since the 14th century by the Grimaldi family. Legend has it that during ancient times, Hercules made his way through the area of present-day Monaco and diverted the former gods, prompting the citizens to build the temple of Hercules Monoikos in his honor. Spanish forces closed in on Monaco during the 1630s, Prince Honore ll requested help from France, which subsequently put the princes and Monaco as a vassel of the French Kings. The princes and their families spent the majority of their lives in Paris, ultimately shifting the once Italian House of Grimaldi to a predominately French background. Monaco remained dependent upon France until the Great Revolution, and then in 1793, soldiers of the French Revolution seized the country, placing it completely under French command. Monaco didn’t regain control of their land until 1814, but upon re-establishment, the Congress of Vienna designated the principals a dependency of the Kingdom of Sardinia. By 1860, they found themselves under the protection of France once again. In 1863, the Monte Carlo casino was built, and the residents of Monaco were able to enjoy the luxury of not paying taxes; a privilege made possible by the success of the casino. As WWll raged in the early 1940s, the Italian army invaded Monaco bringing with them a Fascist administration.Then in 1943, after the fall of Mussolini in Italy, Nazi forces of Germany were quick to occupy Monaco. They began deporting the Jewish population to concentration camps. Following WWll, German troops retreated, and Prince Rainier lll took the throne following the death of Prince Louis ll. Capital punishment was abolished in 1962 by the revised constitution of Monaco, and women were given the right to vote: by 1993, Monaco was a full member of the United Nations. A treaty was negotiated between Monaco and France in 2002, saying France would not annex Monaco if there were to come a day that there were no Grimaldi heirs to carry on the dynasty. After a reign of 56 yrs, on April 6, 2005, Prince Rainier lll died, and Prince Albert ll has assumed the princely crown.
NOTE: In my mind, there has always been confusion about the difference between going to Monte Carlo, and going to Monaco. Which is it? Monaco has, basically, the same status as San Morino and Vatican City. It is an independent micro state, with a population of 37,834 (2013). Monaco is divided into several “neighborhoods”. Monte Carlo is the largest one, centered on a 200 ft cliff overlooking the harbour. The Monte Carlo casino resides center stage in the plaza, along with several other Monte Carlo complex venues, ie. Salle des Etoiles–(IL VOLO), which we will review in the next posting.