I’ve said here before that New Orleans is one of my favourite places in the States but one of my absolute favourite places in Europe is somewhere that’s so different – Monte Carlo.

I was only about eleven years old when I first went there and – because I’m pretty old – it has changed so much in that time.

The chances are that you’re not going to be able to travel to Monaco for quite a while to come. (Even if you can afford it, which I can’t). But thanks to YouTube and Formula One driver Charles Leclerc (a Monegasque) you can enjoy a virtual lap of the famous Monaco Grand Prix.

Monte Carlo has changed beyond recognition and for some people, probably the first time they even heard of Monte Carlo was way back in the 1950s when the American movie star Grace Kelly married the ruler of the principality, Prince Rainier. You might be interested in seeing the video of a film made at the time – I think it was 1957 – to see what Monaco was like at that time.


That was the wonderful fairytale principality in the 1950s.

It is still a very special place.

It’s also somewhere that has been long associated with motorsport – the Monaco Grand Prix and the Monte Carlo Rally, to name but two prestigious events. Of course, in 2020 the rally took place in January as always although the grand prix, which usually takes place at the end of May, was cancelled because of the coronavirus.

But as quarantines and lockdowns began to be lifted at the end of May, director Claude Lelouch made a short film of F1 Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc driving the streets of the most famous circuit in the world, le Circuit de Monaco. We can follow Leclerc as he drives through the streets of Monaco that form this fascinating circuit.

And yes, that is Prince Rainier of Monaco on the casino steps…

The film was a remake (well, a sort of remake) of one that Claude Lelouch had made in 1976 when a car was driving at speed through Paris. It is said that F! driver Jacques Laffite was driving the car although Lelouch claimed that he had done the driving himself.


1976 C’etait un rendez-vous

2020 Le Grand Rendez-Vous




JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.

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